Northern Samar launches peace projects for remote villages

NEW DEVELOPMENT. An area in Barangay San Miguel, Las Navas, Northern Samar, where the national government will build a farm-to-market road. Northern Samar province recently launched 35 subprojects under the Support to Barangay Development Program (SBDP) in six villages previously influenced by the New People’s Army. (Photo courtesy of DILG-Region 8)

TACLOBAN CITY – Northern Samar province has started 35 subprojects under the Support to Barangay Development Program (SBDP) in six villages previously influenced by the New People’s Army (NPA).

The provincial government reported on Monday that it has earmarked PHP120 million, or PHP20 million for each village beneficiary. The recipient communities are Hitapian, Osang and Nagoocan in Catubig town; San Miguel in Las Navas; Quezon in Catarman; and Calantiao in Bobon.

These projects include construction and rehabilitation of potable water systems, construction of health stations, construction and concreting of farm-to-market roads, rural electrification, construction of school buildings, assistance to indigent individuals or families (such as medical, financial, transportation, burial, and food, or in difficult circumstances, cash for work), livelihood and technical programs, and agricultural projects.

Northern Samar Governor Edwin Ongchuan, chair of the Provincial Task-Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (PTF-ELCAC), thanked the national government for giving more attention to these remote communities.

“These villages deserve these road works, infrastructure projects, and livelihood projects to end insurgency and bring development,” Ongchuan said in a statement.

During the event, officials also held a groundbreaking for the single-lane farm-to-market road in San Miguel, Las Navas town.

The PHP17.93-million project is one of the two infrastructure projects in the community that is expected to shorten the 45-minute travel through muddy fields to the village from the highway to a mere five-minute motorcycle ride.

Government officials also held a service caravan under the Retooled Community Support Program at the San Miguel National High School attended by about 1,500 participants coming from the host village and nearby areas.

Residents availed of free medical and dental services as well such as coronavirus disease (Covid-19) vaccination from the municipal health office and Department of Health; educational materials from policemen; health kits from the Office of the Civil Defense; and toys, educational materials and loot bags for children from the Department of the Interior and Local Government, among others.

SBDP, a hallmark program of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), brings progress to former conflict-prone communities.

The NTF-ELCAC, created by virtue of Executive Order 70 issued on Dec. 4, 2018, is tasked to “provide an efficient mechanism and structure for the implementation of the whole-of-nation approach to aid in the realization of collective aspirations for inclusive and sustainable peace.”

The Communist Party of the Philippines-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.

The Anti-Terrorism Council also formally designated the National Democratic Front as a terrorist organization on June 23, 2021, citing it as “an integral and separate part” of the CPP-NPA that was created in April 1973. (PNA)

Source: Business Diary Philippines

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