CAMP EVANGELISTA, Cagayan de Oro City – The 4th Infantry “Diamond” Division Philippine Army facilitates the conduct of a forum relative to the operationalization and institutionalization of Executive Order (EO) no. 70. The activity aims to discuss the two significant local peace and development initiatives which are being spearheaded by the the Regional Development Council and Regional Peace and Order Council of Region X and CARAGA. Formulated with the active support and participation of the Philippine Army units in Caraga and Region 10, DILG, Philippine National Police, Balay Mindanao, Local Chief Executives and other stakeholders, these initiatives, also known as the Peace and Development Zones (PDZs) in Caraga, and the Convergence Areas for Peace and Development (CAPDev) in Region X, were thoroughly discussed at the Headquarters of 4th ID, Philippine Army, Camp Evangelista, Patag, Cagayan de Oro City last March 29, 2019.
The forum succesfully apprised the attendees on the very important factors of these initiatives as these relates to 4th IDs’ campaign in its area of responsibility. It was attended by Officers, Key Enlisted Personnel and Civilian Employees from 4ID headed by its Commander, Major General Franco Nemesio M Gacal AFP, who was also one of the speakers together with NEDA Region X Director Mylah Faye Aurora B. Cariño, and Cagayan de Oro City Administrator, Mr. Teodoro A Sabuga-a Jr.
Mr. Sabuga-a presented a briefing on the importance of Executive Order (EO) 70 in addressing insurgency and other forms of conflict anchoring his lecture on “The Lantad Experience” wherein the administrator shared his personal experience and further went into details how the Army, LGUs, IP leaders and the community worked hand-in-hand to address peace and order concerns and brought the much needed development in Lantad. “We will address the root causes of insurgency since this is one of the main concerns of the Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC) Region X. We must win the hearts and minds of the people to finally deliver peace and development programs in the conflict affected communities. Our urgent task is to bring the services closer to the people.”
In the same manner, RD Cariño thoroughly presented an information brief about the PDZs in CARAGA and the CAPDev in Region X wherein she cited the importance of the peace and development efforts of all concerned government agencies. She pointed out the importance of utilizing existing mechanisms and the need to integrate the delivery of identified government services so that interventions are focused in priority areas of convergence. Priority are the Conflict Affected Areas (CONAAs) and Geographically Isolated and Disadvantaged Areas (GIDAS) which were jointly identified by the secretariat of RDC in partnership and in consultation with the 4th Infantry Division, 1st Infantry Division, PNP, DILG, Balay Mindanao and other stakeholders. Further, RD Cariño ensured that they will facilitate the funding requirements for the urgent PAPs in FY 2020 for focused areas of intervention by specifying in the FY 2020 Northern Mindanao Regional Budget Guidelines the prioritization of focused areas of intervention in the identification of PAPs and allocation of budgets.
Finally, Major General Gacal, Commander 4th ID also presented a briefing on the “Journey Towards Hope and Transformation” and shared with the participants the initiatives and best practices of 402nd Infantry Brigade that significantly contributed to its mission accomplishment and their significant impact in the socio-economic development in CARAGA region. MGen Gacal emphasized the specific roles of the security sector and the LGUs and LGAs in terms of security and developmental interventions.
MGen Gacal said, “We are very much thankful on the time, effort and expertise shared by our speakers. Experts say that where development ends, insurgency begins. In Region X and CARAGA, we are about to make that generalization completely irrelevant, because the entire apparatus of government is passionately working together to address the root causes of socials issues that enable an insurgency to gain traction. Together, we shall transform conflict affected areas into conflict resilient communities” Gacal concluded.
The activity was conducted on a date where the NPA was supposed to celebrate their futile armed struggle but failed to do so because of disintegration of members and non-support of the people. Meanwhile, the government is talking and working for Peace and Development.