The 402nd Infantry Brigade (402BDe) of the Philippine Army, commended on Monday the Regional Development Council in Caraga Region (RDC-13) for endorsing the PHP22.39-billion road projects for far-flung villages that are considered Geographically Isolated, Disadvantaged and Conflict-Affected Areas (GIDCAS).
In a statement, 402BDe commander, Brig. Gen. Maurito Licudine said GIDCA villages are within the Peace and Development Zones (PDZs) in the region.
The endorsement was made by the RDC early last week, Licudine added.
The villages under the PDZs are considered conflict-affected due to the presence of the communist New People’s Army (NPA).
These areas are also considered priorities under the Executive Order No. 70 issued by President Rodrigo Duterte, or the Whole-of-Nation Approach to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (ELCAC).
“With the recurring insurgency problems in the identified CPP-NPA Terrorist (CNT) affected barangays, it is imperative to find solutions not only confined in confronting the armed component of the CNTs,” Licudine said.
He also thanked the line agencies of the government, the local government units (LGUs), and the other stakeholders for ensuring that pressing issues in identified communities are given importance.
“The road projects are very vital to the economy and livelihood of the people living in the GIDCA areas as it will ease their burden particularly in transporting their products and commodities,” Licudine added.
Under the said endorsement for the 2021 budget, the PHP22.39 billion will fund a total of 276 road projects in 114 barangays in the PDZ areas.
“Where development begins, insurgency ends precisely because the NPA rebels will no longer have issues to exploit and use to agitate the people to fight the government,” Licudine said.
He added that terrorism staged by the NPA thrives when there seems to be no government existing in a community.
“The prompt response of the RDC-13 in providing developmental projects and services to our people will surely end the insurgency in Caraga Region,” Licudine said. (PNA)