DavOr’s Peace and Order Efforts Bear Fruits

DAVAO ORIENTAL – The Province of Davao Oriental is one step closer to its dream of achieving true and lasting peace as it now reaps the fruits of its successful peace and development efforts.

During the Provincial Peace and Order Council’s third quarter meeting on September 17, Monday, Governor Nelson Dayanghirang said that he is pleased that Davao Oriental has now become the country’s yardstick in the implementation of a program for former rebels called Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP).

Part of this is Davao Oriental being the first and only province in the country with a halfway-house for former rebels called Happy Home. Operating since 2013 during his predecessor’s term, Governor Dayanghirang continues to strengthen its operation.

Having been invited to speak during the Nationwide Orientation Workshop on the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) Guidelines and the Government Thrusts on Peace and Security recently held in Manila, Governor Dayanghirang shared how the province was able to successfully implement and sustain the program that continues to entice rebels to surrender to the fold of the law.

The Governor also divulged that as the province is set to receive P 5 million from the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) for the improvement of the existing halfway house facility, the Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan Program under the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace Process (OPAPP) has committed to allocate P 5 million for the facility enhancement. Moreover, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has committed to shoulder the labor cost, thus, maximizing the funds.

Meanwhile, as Davao Oriental continues to wage battle against insurgency through various peace and development strategies, security threats have been significantly reduced.

701st Brigade Commander Brigadier General Reuben Basiao reported that as of the third quarter of 2018, there had been a significant reduction in the forces of the New People’s Army rebels, with one Section Committee dismantled while some enemy units forced to flee to the borders.

On why enemy forces have started to dwindle, BGen Basiao attributed this to the military’s peace campaign Community Support Program which has successfully driven off NPA forces.  This military-initiated peace and order campaign, which strengthens barangay-based institutions through community dialogues and introduction of livelihood projects, is also being supported by Focused Military Operation.

“This is one indication that if we fully develop the communities and the barangay, there is no difficulty of finding them (the enemy),” BGen Basiao said.

Meanwhile, Governor Dayanghirang reiterated his commitment in the fight against insurgency not only through development programs but also in urging local officials to cripple the insurgent group’s operations by refusing to give them support. He said there is no excuse for government officials to provide support to the enemy.

This was backed by 67th Infantry Battalion Commander Lt. Col. Jacob Thaddeus Obligado, saying that there is no reason for local officials and the community to fear the rebels and provide them support. “We have to erase psychological fear and change it to psychological victory,” he said.

Aside from the milestones achieved in the fight against insurgency, Davao Oriental also has one of the lowest crime rates in the region within the latest quarter, said Governor Dayanghirang. He urged peace and order stakeholders to continue and strengthen efforts not only to protect the people and communities but also to help spur development. PIO

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