Thursday, June 18, 2020

Caraga RTF-ELCAC intensifies efforts vs insurgency amid pandemic

From the Philippine Information Agency (Jun 18, 2020): Caraga RTF-ELCAC intensifies efforts vs insurgency amid pandemic (By NEDA Caraga)

Cabinet Secretary Karlo A.B. Nograles is joined by NTF-ELCAC Vice-Chairperson and National Security Adviser Sec. Hermogenes C. Esperon Jr., NSC Deputy Director General Usec. Damian L. Carlos, and Caraga region’s local leaders.

BUTUAN CITY, June 18 (PIA) -- The Caraga Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF-ELCAC) continues the fight against insurgency amid the limitations posed by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

During its 5th (Second Quarter 2020) Meeting last June 16 presided by Cabinet Officer for Regional Development and Security (CORDS) for Caraga region, Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) Co-Chairperson, and the task force chairperson Cabinet Secretary Karlo Alexis Nograles, member agencies reiterated their counterinsurgency initiatives during the health crisis.

On the issue concerning the closure of the remaining Tribal Filipino Program of Surigao del Sur (TRIFPSS) and Alternative Learning Center for Agricultural and Livelihood Development (ALCADEV) schools in the region, Department of Education (DepEd) Caraga regional director Francis Cesar Bringas bared that the department has already issued final notices of closure to the said schools, which are allegedly used as training grounds of the communist-terrorist groups (CTGs) in Caraga.

Director Bringas also apprised the body that the construction of makeshift classrooms for the affected Indigenous People (IP) students in Diatagon, Lianga, Surigao del Sur and in Mahaba, Marihatag, Surigao del Sur are already in progress, which were made possible through the funding from the concerned local government units (LGUs) and assistance from the Engineering Brigade of the Philippine Army.

The heads of the regional offices of the DILG, NEDA, PNP, DepEd, DOH, and the Commanding Officer of the 4th ID provide updates concerning developments in the region.

Regional Task Force for COVID-19 One Caraga Shield (RTF-COCS) Chairperson and Agusan del Norte Provincial Governor Dale B. Corvera also presented the accomplishments and milestones of the RTF-COCS, highlighting the region’s proactive efforts in developing harmonized policies and guidelines relative to the implementation of enhanced and general community quarantines (E/GCQ) by LGUs in the region such as setting-up of regional border controls to shield the region from its high-risk neighbors; establishing proposed local COVID-19 laboratory testing centers; on-time and full implementation of the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) in the region; and formulating the Caraga Regional Recovery Program (RRP), among others.

The task force was also able to cover key issues and concerns such as the pending request to be recognized by the IATF-MEID and NTF COVID-19 as the regional policy-making and coordinating body concerning COVID-19 in Caraga Region; the pending accreditation of the proposed COVID-19 laboratory testing centers; and the request to include the region on in the second tranche of the SAP distribution.

In addition, DOH Caraga, Police Regional Office 13 (PRO 13), and the 4th Infantry Division, Philippine Army (4ID, PA) provided updates on the health, peace and security, and insurgency situation in the region.

Relative to the region’s fight against insurgency, the body also passed the Caraga RTF-ELCAC Resolution No. 12-A, S. 2020, entitled “Supporting the Passage of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020.”

The Inter-Regional Task Force of Joint Regional Task Force (JRTF)-ELCAC 9, 10, 11, 12, Caraga, and Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) is scheduled to convene on June 25 via teleconference to discuss on the current security updates and efforts in Mindanao. (DMNR/Amethyst Joy A. Galos, NEDA Caraga/PIACaraga)

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