BACANCI, Butuan City – The Peace, Law Enforcement and Development Support (PLEDS) Cluster of the Regional Task Force in Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict in Caraga held a Planning and Workshop meeting on August 16, 2019 at the Headquarters of 402nd Infantry (Stingers) Brigade, Brgy Bancasi, Butuan City.

The PLEDS Cluster of the RTF ELCAC Caraga spearheaded by its Ex-Officio Chairperson representing the DND at the regional level and the Brigade Commander of the 402nd Brigade, Col Maurito L Licudine, facilitated the planning and workshop to craft an action plan to harmonize the efforts of member agencies and set specific actions and corresponding timelines to achieve the goals and objectives of the TF-ELCAC as a response to the Whole of Nation Approach (WNA) embodied in the EO No. 70.

The highlights during the cluster meeting were the leveling of understanding on the individual roles of the agencies and the actual planning and workshops. The 402nd Brigade discussed the insurgency situation and Community Support Program (CSP); DILG Caraga explained the salient points of the Peace and Development Zone initiative and the Retooled CSP (RCSP) as the banner program to combat insurgency and as the enabling mechanism to operationalize the EO No. 70 in the Caraga region; and PRO13 presented peace and order briefing on Caraga.

Regional member agencies who attended the said meeting were the following: 402nd Brigade and 401st Brigade of the Philippine Army; PRO13 of the PNP; DILG; BFAR; DA; DOJ-RPO; PIA; DOLE; DOTR; NBI; OPPAP; NCIP; DOT and DILG Butuan City.

In his statement, Col Allan D Hambala, the 401st Brigade Commander said, “The cluster meeting with the AFP representing the DND in the regional level gives us the opportunity to synchronize our efforts in defeating the communist terrorist group and set the benchmark towards the journey of attaining a sustainable and lasting peace in the region”.

Meanwhile, Col Licudine stressed the importance of the PLEDS cluster meeting as it will chart its journey towards the realization and success of the EO No. 70 objectives utilizing the RTF ELCAC mechanism. “We need to accelerate our efforts to operationalize the EO No. 70 thru the RTF ELCAC using the PDZ apparatus as the banner program. Unlike with the other clusters, PLEDS will directly confront the existing threats and security challenges in Caraga, hence, it is essential that concrete plans and timelines are set and member agencies roles and task are precisely defined to effectively respond to the issues at hand.”

The cluster meeting ended in the afternoon with the output presentation of the PLEDS Action Plan.