At least 20,000 Negrenses participated in a peace rally and availed themselves of the health services during the 13-day “Marching for Peace, Serving the Countryside” project in six hinterland barangays in northern Negros Occidental.
The initiative, led by the Provincial Peace and Integration Development Unit of Negros Occidental, in cooperation with the Philippine National Police and the Philippine Army, concluded with a peace rally in
It started with a march of 1,000 military and police personnel on July 1 from Barangay Bato,
On the same day, government services were also brought to Barangay Paitan.
The next stop was Barangay Bandila,Toboso, then Barangay Malatas, Calatrava, Barangay Bug-ang, Toboso, and Barangays Pinapugasan and Malasibog, also in
First District Board Member Rolando Ponsica, who district covers Escalante, Toboso and Calatrava, said Negrenses have a role to play to promote and achieve peace in the province.
During the two-week activities, Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr. visited five of the six far-flung barangays and assured the residents of the provincial government’s assistance in addressing their respective concerns, particularly on lack of infrastructure, livelihood opportunities, and basic health services.
During the activities, Lt. Gen. Roy Deveraturda, chief of Central Command in the Visayas, visited Barangay Malasibog with Marañon.
He said the initiative should set as an example for other areas in the region.
Col. Jon Aying, commander of the 303rd Infantry Brigade, said the fight is no longer through the use guns but on how to address poverty.
The areas of Escalante-Toboso-Calatrava have been the focus of operations of the 303rd IB since two years ago, but Aying said sustained military pressure forced the two platoons of the New People’s Army to leave the area.