SAGAY CITY, Negros Occidental — The Local Task Force ELCAC of Escalante City in collaboration with the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Army’s 303rd Infantry Brigade, and 79th Infantry “Masaligan” Battalion successfully turned over farm machinery worth a total of PhP20,695,000 to the seven (7) recipient barangays in a ceremony held at Escalante City Coliseum on Monday, October 11, 2021.
Nine (9) units of four-wheel drive tractor with complete implements and two (2) hand tractors were turned over to Barangays Paitan (2), Dian-ay (2), Mabini (1), Libertad (1), Pinapugasan (1), Udtongan (1), and Washington (1), all of Escalante City. These projects were funded through the Local Government Support Fund – Support to the Barangay Development Program (LGSF-SBDP) initiated by the National Government.
Gracing the turn-over ceremony was Escalante City Mayor Melecio “Beboy” Yap Jr.; 303rd Infantry Brigade Commander Brigadier General Inocencio I Pasaporte PA; Lieutenant Colonel J-jay T Javines, Commanding Officer of 79IB; Brgy Chairman of the 7 beneficiary barangays headed by Hon. Richardy Pios, ABC President; Ms. Sharon Cadigal, City Local Government Operation Officer; and Ms. Fatima Daiz, DILG Negros Occidental Cluster Leader.
Out of 25 barangays in Northern Negros which were considered “cleared” from the influence of communist rebels, 14 are from Escalante City.
Speaking on behalf of the recipient barangays is Association of Brgy Captain President Hon. Richard C Pios Sr. “We are very happy that our barangay is one of the beneficiaries of BDP. The provision of farm tractors would definitely help our farmers increase their farm production and secure additional income for their families, said Hon. Pios.
Escalante City Mayor Melecio “Beboy” Yap Jr. lauded the efforts of the Philippine Army and underscore the importance of the active participation of the populace in defeating the insurgency. “The Philippine Army and the Armed Forces have done their share. Now, it is our time to do our part. We will not only bring the government closer to the people but we will involve the people in our governance”, said Mayor Yap.
In response, BGen Inocencio Pasaporte, 303rd Infantry Brigade Commander said, “The event marked the beginning of the roll-out of the BDPs in the province cleared of CTGs affectation. These projects would bring benefits not only to the recipient barangays but also to the entire province.
For his part, Lt. Col. J-jay Javines, Commanding Officer of 79IB said that the implementation of BDP was the response of the Government to the issues and concerns being exploited and used by the Communist NPA Terrorists (CNTs) which were found out during the immersion of the CSP teams in those previously affected barangays.
“As your partner in this endeavor, we will continue to do our sworn duty; that is to protect the peace and order not just in Escalante City but in the whole Northern Negros as well”, said Lt.Col. Javines.