DAVAO CITY, Feb. 14 (PIA) - Instead of pouring in a community just any project that the government could think of, the whole of nation approach as embodied in the Executive Order 70 or Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict (ELCAC) changes the approach on how government provides services to communities.
Department of Interior and Local Government XI (DILG) regional director Alex Roldan emphasized during the Kapihan sa PIA held today at the Royal Mandaya Hotel that people's participation in consultation and assessment activities are ensured before the projects are approved to be implemented in communities.
"We are establishing a partnership between the local government units, the national government, and the community. This is now the approach we use in our intervention in 61 barangays as prioritized in the ELCAC", Roldan said.
Before the EO 70 was issued, the Community Support Program (CSP) was carried out by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and dubbed as "Kapayapaan". It was a multi-stakeholder and community-based peace and development effort aimed to establish and protect a conflict-affected community.
However, the CSP was not sustained due to limited resources in addressing issues and gaps as well as participation of other national government agencies.
This led to the birth of the Retooled Community Support Program (RCSP) which was formulated to strengthen the CSP initiative of the military and making efforts driven mainly by the local government.
"The community appreciate when they are being involved and when they are asked how they would want their community to be. The government through the DILG and the LGU hold group discussions and we expanded it to include other necessary NGAs", Roldan added.
Instead of a military-driven community support program, the RCSP allows the local government unit as champions by ensuring that programs, projects, and activities that they decide to pour in the communities are geared towards institutionalizing sustainable peace and development.
Roldan stressed that the LGUs were made aware on which barangays in their locality need immediate government intervention. Thus, in proposing for projects for Year 2021, LGUs and NGAs converged and involved community participation in identifying needed programs and projects.
The DILG also emphasized that red tagging is not in any way practiced through the EO 70.
"In fact, we have opened our doors for former rebels programs under the EO 70 are all geared towards helping them start a new life. Before, rebel returnees go to the military camps to surrender their arms. This time, they are now going to local government units as another option."
The government's RCSP is a convergence mechanism for LGUs particularly in the barangay for the identification of issues and needed government interventions. Its intention is to develop people's capabilities to organize themselves and own development by bringing about value-chain intervention to uplift their current condition.
The RCSP is but one of the strategies employed by the government in ending insurgency by strengthening government's role in establishing peace and development in every community. (PIA/FGM)