CAMP EVANGELISTA, Cagayan de Oro City – Determined to end local communist armed conflict and attain sustainable peace and development, the Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF ELCAC) Technical Working Group in Region 10 conducted a Cascading Workshop for EO70 and Convergence Areas for Peace and Development (CAPDev) for Misamis Oriental. Congressman elect Christian Unabia from the 1st District of Misamis Oriental led 3 Mayors, 52 Barangay Chairpersons from Conflict Affected Areas (ConAAs), 11 representatives from Regional Line Agencies, 5 Municipal Planning and Development Officers and participants from the 4th Infantry “Diamond” Division, Philippine Army, Police Regional Office 10, Philippine National Police, National Economic and Development Authority 10 (NEDA 10), Department of Interior and Local Government 10 (DILG 10), National Intelligence Coordinating Agency 10 (NICA 10), and other stakeholders for the conduct of the Provincial Cascading of Executive Order (EO) 70 and CapDev and Validation of Needs and Programs, Projects and Activities (PPAs) yesterday, June 3, 2019 at the Amaya View, Brgy. Indahag, Cagayan de Oro City, Misamis Oriental.

The activity, which is the last leg of the series of cascading workshops in the 4 provinces of Region 10, aimed to orient and increase awareness of the local stakeholders on EO70 and the CAPDev Program activities and cluster areas, provide venue for the generation, identification and validation of cluster/community needs and the corresponding priority programs, projects and activities and enlist the commitment and the support of the Local Government Units (LGUs), government agencies, civil society organizations in the entire program implementation.

The opening ceremony was honored with the presence of its gracious host, the Congressman-elect of 1st District, Misamis Oriental, Honorable Christian Unabia who recognized in his speech the problem of insurgency being prevalent in the province of Misamis Oriental for such a long time and the importance of convergence to finally put an end to the conflict and allow his constituents to live a peaceful and better life. Likewise, Dr. Josefino Bascug, the Provincial Planning and Development Coordinator who represented Governor Emano, was very appreciative of the ongoing effort and together with the other Development and Planning Officers, vowed their full support to the Task Force. The event was facilitated by the Northern Mindanao Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict Technical Working Group (RTF-ELCAC-TWG) Chairman, Maj Gen Franco Nemesio M Gacal, Commander, 4ID, as well as Dir Mylah Faye Aurora B Cariño, NEDA-10, who also acts as the Co-Secretariat together with the DILG while the Province of Misamis Oriental acted as co-organizer, together with the Office of Congressman Unabia.

RTF ELCAC 10 TWG is actively operationalizing EO 70 which institutionalizes the Whole-of-Nation Approach in addressing the root causes of insurgency, and created the National Task Force on ELCAC. The TWG was able to formulate CAPDEV, which is Region 10’s banner program to put into motion EO 70. It aims to address the root causes of insurgency through focused, coordinated and sustained delivery of basic services and social development packages by the government in poor, conflict-affected and Geographically Isolated and Disadvantaged Areas (GIDAs) in Region 10. The cascading was also highlighted with a needs workshop where the attendees, particularly the Barangay Chairpersons, were grouped according to their respective clusters to validate PPAs needed by their communities as reflected in the FY 2020 Agency Budget Proposals. During the workshop, they were further assisted by Planning and Development Officers and representatives from the Regional Line Agencies. It is hoped that the implementation of these projects will result in lasting peace and sustainable development and create conflict-resilient communities.

Gacal, on his part, said that the activity is a prelude to the creation of the Provincial TF-ELCAC which in turn will spearhead the implementation of CAPDev in the province. “We are very optimistic that our convergence efforts will produce positive results. The enthusiasm and passion of all the participants, just like in other provinces where we conduct the same activity, reflect our collective aspiration to attain lasting peace and development that will be enjoyed by the generations to come.” “We thank Congressman-elect Unabia, Gov. Emano, the Mayors, Barangay Chairpersons, and all the other government agencies who attended and actively participated for the successful conduct of the activity. We are just at the early stage of our efforts but I am confident that our commitment and sustained convergence of efforts will someday result in achieving long-lasting peace and inclusive and sustainable development in Misamis Oriental” Gacal added.

It can be recalled that the same activity was conducted in the provinces of Bukidnon on 22 May 2019, Misamis Occidental on 30 May 2019 and Lanao del Norte on 31 May 2019.