Presidential Spokesperson Sec. Harry Roque (2nd from right) assures that the government will push through with the implementation of ELCAC projects in Negros Oriental which is a priority area for ELCAC. Roque was speaking during a press briefing in Pamplona, Negros Oriental on Feb. 25, 2021. He is joined by Gov. Roel Degamo (3rd from right) and Pamplona Mayor Janice Degamo (extreme right). (ral/PIA7-NegOr)
PAMPLONA, Negros Oriental, Feb. 27 (PIA) -- Presidential Spokesperson Sec. Harry Roque assured Oriental Negrenses that the programs, projects, and services listed under the government's Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict (ELCAC) program will be implemented in areas affected by insurgency.
"Seryoso po ang ating Pangulo na makamit ang kapayapaan sapamamaraan ng pagbigay ng tulong sa mga lugar na naghihirap na alam naman po niya na isang dahilan sa pagkakaroon ng rebelyon (The President is serious in achieving peace through the delivery of services to poverty-stricken communities which he knows could be a potential ground for rebellion)," Roque told local reporters during his press briefing here on Feb. 25.
"Huwag po kayong mag-alala, lalung-lalo na sa mga lugar na gaya ng Negros Oriental na mababa ang kaso ng Covid mapapatupad po ang mga proyektong iyan (Do not worry, these projects will push through in areas with low cases of Covid-19 like Negros Oriental)," he added.
Gov. Roel Degamo welcomed the statement of Roque.
"I'm happy for that comment of Sec. Roque because kabalo ta na medyo nasagbuyo ta gamay tungod kay ang atong paningkamot sa unsa nga nag-conduct na ta ug Talakayan sa Barangay aron madungog nato ang katawhan kung unsa ang mga proyekto ang angay nato himoon para ma-address nato ang peace and order especially kaning insurgency problem sa ELCAC areas (We initiated efforts including the Talakayan sa Barangay so that we will hear from the public what projects to implement to address issues related to peace and order and insurgency especially in ELCAC areas here)," Degamo said.
"We have submitted already the request coming from the people in the barangay. Sec. Roque will make a follow up on that," he added.
Negros Oriental is a priority area in Region 7 for the government interventions under ELCAC.
In 2019, 16 barangays were identified as priority areas for government programs for ELCAC, namely: barangays Bayog and Lumapao in Calaon City; Trinidad, Binobohan, Sandayao, Tacapo, Imelda, Hinakpan, Humay-humay, and Planas in Guihulngan City; Dobdob in Valencia; Talalak and San Pedro in Sta. Catalina; Tayak in Siaton; and Calango and Mayabon in Zamboanguita town.
In 2020, the Negros Oriental Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NOTF ELCAC) named additional barangays to be included in the list of priority areas: Budlasan in Canlaon City; Balogo, Nagsaha, Palagatasanon, Poblacion, and Villegas in Guihulngan City; Bagtic, Luyang, and Samac in Mabinay; and Panciao, Manjuyod.
In line with this, the NOTF ELCAC conducted a series of "Dagyawan sa Barangay: Talakayan ng Mamamayan" fora in the said local government units where residents of insurgency-affected areas sat down with officials from government agencies and agreed on projects and services that are seen to address the problems related to insurgency in their community.
In December 2019, NOTF ELCAC Chairperson Gov. Roel Degamo turned over the list of projects of priority programs and projects amounting to P2-B to Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Usec. Epimaco Densing for funding endorsement to appropriate agencies.
DILG is the lead agency of the basic services cluster of Task Force ELCAC at the national level.
However, these projects were not able to push through in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In December 2020, Degamo announced that around 129 projects worth P642,380,000 to be implemented in the additional ELCAC priority barangays were submitted to the national government for approval for funding.
The list of priority projects include concreting of roads, establishment of farm-to-market roads for easy transport of agricultural commodities, construction of barangay health centers and water source facilities, repair of schools facilities in the hinterlands, and livelihood and agricultural productivity interventions. (ral/PIA7-Negros Oriental)