PLACER, Surigao del Norte, July 22 – Provincial Government of Surigao del Norte and the city government of Surigao, in collaboration with the 30th Infantry Python Battalion (30IB) conducts a free public concert and haircut together with the Philippine National Police (PNP), Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), other Government Line Agencies and Jollibee Foods Corporation for a peaceful, orderly, and meaningful State of the Nation Address (SONA) 2019 at Luneta Park, Surigao City, Surigao del Norte.

The “Concert Rally for Peace” aims to bring and promote peace to the people of Surigao del Norte through music and fun. The activity was made possible through the initiative of the provincial government of Surigao del Norte, city government of Surigao City, in collaboration with the Philippine Army, PNP, and the BFP during the SONA. It is way of the government to encourage the Caraganons to support a peaceful conduct of SONA in the province.

Lt. Col Jeffrey A. Villarosa, Acting Commanding Officer of 30IB said, “It is our way of giving our beloved populace an option to celebrate a SONA that is free from intimidation, coercion and disinformation from misguided elements of the Communist NPA Terrorists (CNTs).” It is worthy to highlight that this is the first ever SONA where the CNTs and their legal front organizations were not able to conduct mass protest action at Luneta Park in Surigao City. The day was instead celebrated with good fun, music and merry-making. On lookers even actively participated and rendered their songs by jamming with the 30IB band, the BFP band, the SDN band and the wonderful vocalists of SDN PPO. Jollibee and Twirly even rendered their own dance numbers!

Moreover, to ensure a peaceful and secure SONA celebrations in the province, the 30IB together with the Caraga Regional Mobile Force Battalion (RMFB) and the whole police force of SDN PPO conducted an SDN-wide checkpoint and security operations.

The Philippines is considered one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world. The archipelago surrounded by vast oceans is frequently battered by typhoons. Aside from this, the country is not spared from earthquakes, landslides and other forms of disaster that may occur unexpectedly. Moreover, the Local Government Units as well as the populace depends on the Philippine Army for much needed rescue and assistance during times of calamities. In this regard, all Army units are obliged to change its gear from its traditional task of combating insurgency to perform functions as rescuers and lifesavers if disaster may arise. Response to cope with the effects of disasters is a primary concern of the government. In line with this, the government maximizes the utilization of AFP units particularly the Army.