PRO6 launches RTF ELCAC6’s ‘Akap Kapatid’ pilot program

ILOILO CITY, Feb. 22 (PIA) – The Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF-ELCAC) in Western Visayas launched a new program entitled “Akap Kapatid” spearheaded by Police Regional Office 6.

This seven-day activity is a uniquely designed intervention program that employs collaborative response among members of RTF-ELCAC.

The pilot program, which began February 16 was held in Botong, Oton, Iloilo,  focuses on human welfare and social well-being of surrenderees.

The event was attended by 82 participants, 64 of whom are from Tapaz, Capiz and 18 are from Calinog, Iloilo.

Part of the program on February 20 was the medical mission and service caravan which was participated in by the PNP, Armed Forces of the Philippines, National Economic and Development Authority, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, local government units of Calinog and Tapaz, Department of Agricultre, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Health, Department of Public Works and Highways, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority and Philippine Medical Association.

All the 82 participants were able to benefit from the services provided by the said government agencies. The PNP Health and Dental Service provided tooth extraction, dentures, prosthodontics, medical check-up, BP monitoring, eye check up and ECG to qualified or identified beneficiaries.

The participants were also given other services such as haircut, manicure and pedicure hired by PRO6. Services by other government agencies such as issuance of community tax certificates, giving of seeds and seedlings, distribution of educational materials and receiving of inquiries were also done.

Present during the event were  PNP-DPCR director Police Major General Rhodel Sermonia, PNP Spokesperson Police Brigadier General Ildebrandi Usana,  PRO6 Director Police Brigadier General Rolando F. Miranda,  301st Brigade commander Brigadier General Marion Sison, DSWD 6 Director Evelyn Macapobre, RTF-ELCAC 6 Legal Coordination Cluster head Prosecutor Flosemer Chris Gonzales, TESDA 6 director Jerry Tizon, Calinog, Iloilo mayor Francisco Calvo, and Office of the Presidential Adviser for  the Visayas ASEC Anthony Gerard Gonzales  attended the culmination program held February 21.

During the culmination activity, Gonzales turned over the judicial affidavits taken from the surrenderers. Certificates of completion were also given to the participants for having completed the 7-day program.

The highlight of the culmination program was the distribution of mountain bikes, gift packs and cash amounting to P5,000.00 each from the Philippine National Police.

In his message,  Miranda said that two more Akap Kapatid programs will be conducted based on the schedule or availability of the participating agencies.

“This is just the beginning. We will sustain the communication that we have with the communities in Tapaz and Calinog by conducting more police-community relations activities” Miranda said.

Meanwhile, in her impression, Lahug, Tapaz, Capiz barangay official Jobelyn Giganto, who is one of the participants, , expressed her gratitude to the government for extending assistance and for letting them undergo the program.

 “Ipabalo gid namon sa amon mga kabarangay kung ano kanami ang programa sang gobyerno (we will tell our fellow barangay residents how good this government program is),” she said.

Participant Nineta Caballero of Masaroy, Calinog, Iloilo, expressed that her perception about men in uniform changed after the program, saying “Wala na kami nahadlok sa army kag pulis. Gintratar nila kami sang maayo (We are no longer afraid of the army and poliice. Tthey treated us well),” she said.

Akap Kapatid is aligned with the government’s Executive Order 70 that aims to change the beliefs of the surrenderers and increase their confidence on the government; disengage from participating and supporting Communist Terrorist Group (CTG) activities; and use the whole of nation approach in addressing the root causes of local armed conflict by prioritizing the delivery of basic government services, social development package, and the construction of much-needed infrastructures.

The Akap Kapatid program includes lectures and activities and enables the participants to know themselves, their community, and the government’s plans, programs and projects especially in far-flung areas. (PIA6/ Story from PLtCol. Joem J. Malong/PRO6-RPIO )



Source: Philippines Information Agency (pia.gov.ph)

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