To ensure that government services reach remote communities in the hinterlands and islands, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) targets to bring enhanced government services and projects to 822 remote barangays in the country as part of its Retooled Community Support Program (RCSP).
RCSP is a priority program of the DILG together with other government agencies that aims to address identified issues of the community by closing the governance and development gaps through the provision of needed government interventions to promote sustained peace.
DILG Secretary Eduardo M. Año says that “the communist terrorists utilize alleged government neglect to hoodwink unsuspecting farmers and indigenous peoples to join their lost cause. Bringing government services closer to the communities is a massive step to counter further communist recruitments in these remote barangays.”
"Mahalaga na maramdaman ng ating mga kababayan, maging sa mga pinakamalayong dako ng bansa, na handa silang suportahan at tulungan ng pamahalaan. With this 822 barangays, we are underscoring the government's resolve to end local armed conflicts, but above all, ito ay pagtupad sa mandato ng pamahalaan na maglingkod sa ating mga kababayan," he says.
According to Año, Regions 11, 13 and 10 have the most number of communities that will benefit from the priority implementation of the RCSP with 213, 178, 118 barangays, respectively.
Meanwhile, Region 6 has 74 target barangays; Region 12 with 62; 45 from Region 5; Region 9 with 32; CALABARZON with 31; Region 2 with 28; MIMAROPA with 24; and 10, six and one for CAR, and Regions 8 and 3, respectively.
He says that the 822 barangays will cover a total of 206 cities and municipalities.
"We really targeted barangays that are the farthest and susceptible to communist recruitment. We will empower these communities so that they may not be easily swayed by the empty promises of the communist-terrorists," he explains.
Empowering the Communities
The DILG Chief says that the DILGis aiming to develop the citizens of the barangays to organize themselves towards their own development by bringing to the communities interventions that will uplift their current condition.
Capacitating urban communities for peace and development, he says, will be implemented in 42 cities and one municipality through enhancing local government unit (LGU) social protection mechanism, increased citizen participation in governance.
Establishment of local-based cooperatives will also be encouraged in these LGUs by jumpstarting the assistance to LGUs in partnership with other national government agencies and stakeholders, he says.
He further says that technical assistance in project preparation and implementation will also be accorded to 206 cities and municipalities covered by RCSP for 2020.
He says that the said technical assistance will be beneficial in the roll-out of the barangay development package provision of the National Task Force on Ending Local Communist and Armed Conflict (NTF ELCAC) under the Payapa at Maunlad na Pamayanan Program.
"These programs aim to empower the beneficiaries, hindi basta lang na ibinigay at ibinabagsak ang programa sa mga LGU at mamamayan kundi may kasamang pagtuturo at capacity building," he says.
Two hundred four (204) municipalities and cities will also receive technical assistance in preparation for the 643 PAMANA projects to commence in 2020 in partnership with the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace Process, while 206 cities and municipalities are targeted to participate in the Citizen Satisfaction Index System to gather feedback on LGU service delivery.
"We are going all out for the empowerment of barangays and their protection against terrorists. In fact 2,739 threatened barangays are prioritized for strengthening of barangay-based institutions," he says.
Innovating existing policies on the coverage and scope of Conditional Matching Grant for Provinces, Assistance to Municipalities, and Sagana at Ligtas na Tubig Para sa Lahat are also slated in 2021 onwards to accommodate more beneficiaries in the communities, he said.