Program to Build Sustainable, Conflict-Resilient Communities Launched

Governor Dayanghirang, Lt. Gen. Guerrero, Major General Valencia and other officials led the launching of the Community Support Program.

DAVAO ORIENTAL – A new program which aims to build conflict-resilient communities, especially on areas affected by conflicts and disasters, has been formally launched.

Initiated by the Philippine Army, the program called Community Support Program (CSP) is poised to transform insurgency-affected areas into thriving and sustainable communities by integrating programs that promote economic growth and address the fundamental issues affecting lasting peace and security.

The innovative strategy has received a warm welcome from the community during its launching on May 16 in Barangay Central in the City of Mati, in time for the conduct of the Provincial Government-led Nagkakaisang Lingkod-Bayan ng Davao Oriental Barangay Outreach Caravan. The historic launch was graced by top officials from the Armed Forces of the Philippines, namely: Lt. Gen. Rey Leonardo Guerrero, Commander of the Eastern Mindanao Command and Major General Rafael Valencia, 10th Infantry Division Commander.

Lt. Gen. Rey Leonardo Guerrero, Commander of the Eastern Mindanao Command, Armed Forces of the Philippines

“The Program ultimately targets to uplift economic conditions and achieve sustainable peace in Davao Oriental,” said Guerrero, who has become one of the important pillars in the province’s peace and development efforts as he served as the Brigade Commander here between the year 2011 and 2013.

General Valencia, on the other hand, said the program does not only mean securing communities from violence and insurgency but also securing them from poverty, hunger, and other major social issues that slowly cripples down the marginalized sectors.

Major General Rafael Valencia, 10th Infantry Division Commander.

Being piloted here in the province, the CSP hopes to complement the military’s current Development Support and Security Plan (DSSP) Kapayapaan and serves as upgraded version of the Peace and Development Outreach Program (PDOP) which was also piloted here with great success leading to the declaration of Davao Oriental as ‘development-ready’ in 2013.

Signing of the Memorandum of Understanding for the CSP between the Provincial Government and Philippine Army. The documents were signed during the Peace and Order Council Executive Committee Meeting on May 16

Stakeholders for peace and development comprising the local chief executives of the province led by Governor Nelson L. Dayanghirang put their support behind the new peace and development strategy. Sealing the partnership for the program, Governor Dayanghirang and 701st Brigade Commander Col. Reuben Basiao – who will lead the program operation, have inked a Memorandum of Understanding that defines the role of each party in the program’s successful implementation.

701st Brigade Commader of the Philippine Army, Col. Reuben Basiao

Based on the agreement, the Provincial Government will provide support to the CSP teams immersed in recovered areas, address social issues, and undertake community-based initiatives, among many others. Meanwhile, the military will take charge in dismantling underground organizations in insurgency-affected areas, facilitate the strengthening of barangay-based institutions, and assist in the delivery of government services, among others.

Governor Dayanghirang expressed his concrete support to the CSP

As the Provincial Government-led Barangay Outreach Caravan has already made significant headway in the reaching out to communities, the CSP is anticipated to reinforce the government’s development programs in the communities by implementing community livelihood programs, defense and security strategies, and disaster preparedness, facilitating infrastructure development, environment protection, and support to anti-illegal drugs and anti-criminality campaign, among many others.

The program entails a shift from the purely military role of the Armed Forces of the Philippines into performing non-traditional functions such as support for peacebuilding, security, and sustainable development. Basically, peace and development, as well as sustainability and resilient communities, are at the core of the program.

NLD Barangay Outreach Caravan Forcal Person Rotchie Ravelo shakes the hand of Lt. GEn. Guerrero

Prior its formal launching, the CSP already took off and has already made significant progress, particularly in terms of the implementation of some agriculture-based projects, which includes the establishment of model farms at the military camps which residents from some villages visit for an educational tour and to learn about crop production.

Other activities initiated under the program include specialized training on mushroom spawn production, community based programs such as fishpond and vegetable production. In addition, in the bid to enhance people’s organization, CSP teams have also developed fabricated risers for the urban container project.

Before it even began to take off, the program has already made positive impacts in some communities. Among the significant successes of the program is seen in a far-flung village in the town of Boston, where a thriving community project has been benefiting an association consisting of former rebels. Covering an area of 35 hectares, the 320 members grow different types of crops and livestock. The association has received thousands of seedlings of various fruit and forest trees. They are also planting cash crops and culture different species of fishes in their ponds, as well as raising livestock and poultry.

With the program’s already proven effectiveness and promising potential to help communities build a niche on farming that can help spur economic stability, it is now expected to be rolled out in the whole Eastern-Mindanao covering the regions 10, 11, 12 and portions of region 13.

The Provincial Government and its partners are optimistic that the program will help the province and beyond achieve the long-desired peace and development. By Karen Lou Deloso/Photos by Eden Jhan Licayan

 

 

 

 

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