As part of the efforts to ensure the integration of local development plans in the implementation of President Rodrigo Duterte’s Executive Order 70 or the whole-of-nation approach to end local communist armed conflict, DILG Caraga hosted the Localization of EO (LEO) 70 Planning Workshop for Mindanao Cluster on March 5-6, 2020 in the Almont Inland Resort, Butuan City.
The heads of offices of the DILG Regional Offices in Mindanao joined the workshop that was attended by Undersecretary for Local Government Marivel C. Sacendoncillo and personnel from the Local Government Academy.
The workshop identified strategies to localize EO 70. The participants were grouped by region for a planning workshop to identify the products and services that will attain positive peace, the activities that will help produce the targeted outputs, the risks that may affect the attainment of targets, and the set of indicators that will measure these objectives. This is to ensure that all DILG regional offices are on the same page in capacitating LGUs for peace and development building.
Sacendoncillo said that as long as socio-economic issues are not addressed, Communist Terrorist Groups (CTGs) will continue to exploit them in furthering their agenda. She then underscored the significance of the Retooled Community Support Program, adding that only through direct dialogue with the community and sustainable solutions to problems can lasting peace be achieved.
“(But) then this is not written in stone, you can bring your ideas and customize this [program] according to the needs of your region. The vehicle will be different as we move through this journey from one place to another,” said Sacendoncillo.
The implementation of RCSP in the region paved the way for the completion of the Barangay Development Plans of the eighty priority barangays, but DILG Caraga employed a unique strategy to secure the funds for these projects and ensure sustainability--it conducted community consultations and public validation of the identified priority projects during the Barangay Assembly to address the governance gaps of the concerned barangays.
Afterwards, the collated projects were subjected to regional validation by concerned agencies and then endorsed to the national government agencies, the Regional Development Council, and the representatives of the legislative districts of the region for budget consideration in fiscal year 2021.
However, to ensure that the identified projects are viable and appropriate, DILG Caraga gathered its partner agencies and other stakeholders for another round of validation of technical accuracy and to secure ahead of time the commitment of its partners.
As a result, the Department of Agriculture committed to the construction of a farm-to-market road worth P300,693.000 in the geographically isolated, disadvantaged, and conflict-affected areas across the region. Likewise, the Department of Trade and Industry committed to facilitate abaca weaving and handicraft making, conduct of information, education and communication on the importance of livelihood, and provide access to credit (loan assistance) as much as P200,000.
Further, DILG Caraga was also able to present the achievements of the Caraga Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF-ELCAC) before the participants. Among these were the creation of the Task Force Operation Center, the creation of the Technical Working Group for the closure of illegal educational institutions in Surigao del Sur, the holding of peace caravans in the hinterland areas of Bayugan City and Tandag City, and the successful conduct of all 4 joint RTF-ELCAC Meetings for year 2019.
To cap off the activity, the participants were treated to an on-site learning experience in a PAMANA project in Brgy. Puting Bato, Cabadbaran City, where they saw firsthand the positive impacts of a community-consulted government intervention against insurgency.