Peace and Development Programs Continue to Gain Ground

Governor Nelson Dayanghirang hands over a plaque of appreciation to the newly promoted commander of the Philippine Army’s 701st Brigade Brigadier General Reuben Basiao. Surrounding them in the photo are the local chief executives of the province’s different municipalities and city. 

DAVAO ORIENTAL – The military and the provincial government’s innovative programs for peace and development in the province continue to gain ground.

During the last quarterly meeting of Provincial Peace and Order Council on November 14 at Lanes Kitaanan in the City of Mati, the Philippine Army said that the government’s strategic interventions have paved way for its significant feats on peace and development, especially the dent on insurgency and conflicts here.

Newly promoted 701st Infantry Brigade Commander Brigadier General Reuben S. Basiao said that the full participation of the community and the convergence of all government stakeholders have become the primary keys in this achievement.

The Philippine Army’s Community Support Program (CSP), which is being piloted in Davao Oriental, alongside the Provincial Government’s initiative program – Nagkakaisang Lingkod-Bayan ng Davao Oriental Barangay Outreach Caravan are two programs demonstrating this successful convergence.

Under the CSP, troops of the two battalions based in the province– the 67th and 28th Infantry Battalions, together with government agencies have introduced various interventions designed to build confidence and trust among the people in the community while strengthening the government’s presence in conflict-vulnerable area, explains Lt. Col. Jacob Thaddeus Obligado, Commander of the 67th Infantry Battalion.

Lt. Col. Jacob Thaddeus Obligado, Commander of the 67th Infantry Battalion

He said the military believes that by closely interacting with the community members and making them partners rather than not just merely recipients of government assistance is more effective in the effort of reaching out to them.

In the community, soldiers are seen working together with the locals in undertakings such as vegetable production, tilapia culture, livestock raising, distribution of coconut and falcata seedlings, and livelihood training, among others, as part of the program’s quick impact projects.

28th IB Commander Lt. Col. Ramon P. Zagala (right) and DOPPO Provincial Director PSSUPT Harry Espela (left).

Further empowering the communities, the program has also been helping organize various people’s organizations in the barangays, mainly consisting of women, farmers, and motorcycle drivers, among others. With its own structure already laid in place, these organizations become an ideal venue to educate people on relevant social and political issues while encouraging them to actively participate in the development process of their own community.

While keeping tabs with political organizations in the barangays, the CSP also help ensure the presence of key councils in the barangay local government unit as the military believes that intervening at the grassroots level will likely increase confidence-building among locals, thus, sustaining peace in the community.

(From L to R): BGEN Reuben S. Basiao; Vice Governor Niño Uy; Governor Nelson Dayanghirang; DILG Provincial Director, and Tarragona Mayor and LMP President Mayor Nestor Uy.

Meanwhile, the Provincial Government’s regular outreach caravan, which directly delivers government services to the people in the barangays, has also become a potent mechanism in the peace efforts.

Since its launching in 2016, a total of 99 New People’s Army rebels have surrendered to the folds of the law and have returned to the mainstream society.

Governor Nelson L. Dayanghirang, who initiated the program, said it is the provincial government’s way to instill confidence in the people and show the sincerity and commitment of the government towards holistic and sustainable development.

He said peace and development is among the areas of governance that the Provincial Government takes very seriously. “We cannot achieve development if we do not have peace and order,” he said, emphasizing the crucial need of maintaining peace in the province now that it has been identified as one of the region’s premier tourism destination and investment haven. 

A testament to the Provincial Government’s sincere efforts is its recent success of being the only province in the region awarded with the Seal of Good Local Governance (SGLG), in which peace and order is among the core assessment areas.

While the province basks in its success, the governor said the Provincial Government will continuously make efforts to sustain its triumph in peace and development. By Karen Lou Deloso/Photo by Eden Jhan Licayan

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