Stakeholders’ Engagement Remains the Best Strategy for Rebels’ Surrender

Provincial Peace and Order Council meeting on Sept. 12, 20017 at Lanes Kitaanan in the City of Mati.

DAVAO ORIENTAL – The active involvement of stakeholders in the government remains to be the best strategy to draw New People’s Army rebels to go back to the folds of the law.

During the recently held quarterly meeting of the Provincial Peace and Order Council, Col. Reuben Basiao, Commander of the 701st Brigade Commander of the Philippine Army, reported that most of the former rebels who have submitted to the government chose to go to the Local Government Units to facilitate their surrender.

Col. Reuben Basiao

He said that in the recent months, there had been a significant decrease in enemy strength. “There are more surrenderees outside of warfare than those who are neutralized (captured or killed during encounters),” he said, stressing the role that the government’s development interventions play in countering insurgency.

Meanwhile, underlining people empowerment as the most effective weapon to counterinsurgency, he highlighted the impacts of the active involvement of the LGUs in the campaign towards peace and development and the broad partnerships involving many actors in the government.

He cited the Provincial Government’s initiative Nagkakaisang Lingkod-Bayan ng Davao Oriental Barangay Outreach Caravan as an effective counterinsurgency strategy that aims at delivering services directly to the communities.

Governor Nelson L. Dayanghirang

A flagship program of Governor Nelson L. Dayanghirang, the outreach caravan, which is becoming a model strategy for peace and development, has been bolstering the province’s campaign to win the hearts and minds of the people.

“It’s not only the military that are affecting the changes. A more significant part of that is the services delivered by the Provincial Government,” Basiao said. “The NLD Outreach Caravan is practically synchronized in the recovered areas and we saw the convergence of efforts of the whole of Davao Oriental,” he added.

Just recently, a team from the neighboring province of Compostela Valley has visited Davao Oriental to witness and learn valuable lessons from the caravan. The city government of Mati in Davao Oriental has also started to implement its own version of outreach caravan in its barangays, using the same principles of the province’s NLD Outreach Caravan.

The outreach caravan is being complemented by the Philippine Army’s Community Support Program. The military also complements the government’s efforts by implementing Quick Impact Projects that provide interventions to the communities such as barangay information drive, youth seminar, the establishment of People’s Organizations, and livelihood support like crop and fish production.

Governor Nelson L. Dayanghirang, who chairs the council, lauded the efforts of the military and local offices and national agencies in striving for ways to bolster peace and development in the province. PIO



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