CAMP CAPINPIN, Tanay, Rizal — A 2.5-hour travel over 7 kilometers of unpaved road did not dampen the members of RTF ELCAC CALABARZON’s desire to deliver services to the grassroots of Quezon Province’s Macalelon town on Wednesday.
In line with President Duterte’s Executive Order Number 70 which calls for a whole of nation approach in ending local communist armed conflict, national government agencies joined the LGU during the Serbisyo Caravan held in Region 4A.
According to Colonel Norwyn Romeo P Tolentino, Commander of the 201st Infantry Brigade which has operational jurisdiction over southern Quezon, around 500 residents of Brgy Malabahay benefitted from the first ever convergence activity under EO 70 in his area.
He added that the activity was successful because “aside from delivering the much needed services to our beloved constituents, representatives of national government agencies had a first-hand experience of the challenges and hardships which our people confront and experience in their daily lives which led them to realize that, indeed, a sense of urgency in addressing social issues is very much in order.”
He further emphasized that “collaboration between and among government agencies is the key to address the community’s concerns and liberate them from the Communist NPA Terrorists’ exploitation and deception.”
Aside from medical and dental missions, free haircut and massage, the team discussed prevailing issues in the barangay and joined the people in coming up with possible solutions which is part of the government’s advocacy for participatory governance.
Food packs and toys for the kids were also distributed during the caravan on top of the cash assistance extended by Mayor Nelson Traje to his constituents.
The event’s highlight was the distribution of government grants amounting to Php280,000,00 which was received by five former rebels with the residents of Brgy Malabahay as witnesses.
For his part, Major General Arnulfo Marcelo B Burgos Jr, Commander of the Philippine Army’s 2nd Infantry Division, lauded the unity of efforts shown by the different agencies.
“This is a tangible proof of the government’s genuine collective desire to bring what the people need and deserve” and that “the synergy of efforts among the different partner-agencies prove that the Filipinos’ Bayanihan Spirit is still very much alive in our midst,” said MGen Burgos.
He ended his statement by reaffirming the soldiers’ “commitment and support to this unprecedented government initiative which will pave the way not only for inclusive growth but also the attainment of just and lasting peace, prosperity and development which every Filipino truly deserve.”
Per the military’s record, the 1st and 2nd “Serbisyo Caravan” were held at Brgy Cagsiay III of Mauban and Brgy Magsaysay of Infanta, both of Quezon Province, on August 30 and September 20 respectively.
Numerous similar caravans are scheduled across CALABARZON by the Regional Task Force ELCAC in the coming weeks, months and years.
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