NTF-ELCAC BDP’s Developments Evident in Conflict-Affected Surigao del Sur

Lianga, Surigao Del Sur (SDS) – Surigao del Sur Provincial Task Force Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict (LTF-ELCAC) set another developmental footprint as it revealed an ongoing farm-to-market road rehabilitation from Sitio Simowao (Kilometer 9) to Sitio Han-ayan (Kilometer 16) in barangay Diatagon, Lianga, Surigao del Sur in an ocular inspection today. The project is part of the implementation of National Task Force ELCAC’s Barangay Development Program (BDP).

The said sitios were then havens for the Communist Terrorist Groups (CTGs). Barangay Diatagon of Lianga was then a home for the Communist NPA Terrorist (CNT)- front schools, Tribal Filipino Program of Surigao del Sur (TRIFPSS), and Alternative Learning Center for Agriculture and Livelihood Development (ALCADEV) whichwere exposed by former rebels and ordered to stop its operations by the Lianga Indigenous People (IP) Council by virtue of resolutions and ordinances adopted by the Local Government Unit and backed by the Caraga Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF-ELCAC).

Currently, Surigao del Sur Governor and Regional Peace and Order Council Chairman, Alexander T. Pimentel, have greatly supported the rehabilitation of the farm-to-market road by providing fuel and equipment as the 544th Engineer Battalion and the 3rd Special Forces “Arrowhead” Battalion provide the manpower and security to finish the development projects.

The road rehabilitation was instrumental as it opened the gateway for government services. The NTF-ELCAC’s orchestration of government efforts to address the root causes of NPA terrorism has resulted to the establishment of DepEd-accredited IP Schools of Living Tradition (DepEd-SLTs), the provision of livelihood settlement grants, the delivery of various social and basic services to the IP communities was realized and sustained.

The IP communities in Surigao del Sur, Lianga tribal chieftain Datu Constancio Duhac, and IP Mandatory Representative (IPMR), Alexander S. Bucales along with San Miguel IPMR, Rico Maca said that NTF-ELCAC’s thrust have freed them from the bonds of CPP-NPA exploitation and opened the gateway for IP communities towards sustainable development.

“Ang mga senador na gustong tanggalan ng budget ang NTF-ELCAC at BDP ay hindi nakakaintindi sa kalagayan at kahirapan ng tribo hindi lamang sa Surigao del Sur kundi sa buong Pilipinas. Pag tinanggalan mo ng budget ang NTF-ELCAC BDP, hindi matutuloy ang mga project na para sa aming mga conflict-affected barangays at dadami nanaman ang rebelde dahil sa kahirapan,” Datu Rico Maca, said.

“Ang NTF-ELCAC ang aming pag-asa sa pagunlad ng aming tribo. Kapag nagawa na ang mga kalsada mas mabilis nanaming maibababa ang mga produkto naming at mawawala na ng tuluyan ang mga NPA dahil wala na silang mapagtataguan,” Datu Constancio Duhac, added.

Meanwhile, Surigao del Sur Government will implement the BDP and the municipalities have already prepared the documentary requirements to push through with the identified projects that would address the roots of conflict in the province.

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