LEGAZPI CITY – Hundreds of Bicolanos in two villages of Sorsogon province benefited from government services during the Support to Barangay Development Program (SBDP) Roadshow-Barangayan information and services caravan on Wednesday and Thursday.
Residents of barangays Sta. Cruz and San Pascual in Casiguran town availed of various services from member-agencies of the Regional Task Force-Bicol and local government units under the End Local Communist Armed Conflict (ELCAC) program.
Philippine Information Agency regional director Marlon Loterte said the Department of Health-Rural Health Unit (DOH-RHU) administered coronavirus disease (Covid-19) vaccine to priority sectors while the Armed Forces of the Philippines provided medical and dental services, and free haircut,
The Philippine National Police provided food to the villagers, while the Department of Agriculture distributed crop seeds.
The PIA led a community dialogue, distribution of information, education and communication materials, and film showing on the milestones of programs and initiatives on the whole-of-nation approach under President Rodrigo Duterte's Executive Order (EO) 70.
In a message via Zoom, Information and Communications Technology Secretary Gregorio Honasan II, Cabinet Officer for Regional Development and Security, said an inclusive society must be created to attain sustainable peace.
"Founded on justice and equality, including the disadvantaged and vulnerable sectors, this is the essence of NTF (National Task Force)-ELCAC and corresponding regional task forces," he said.
Honasan noted the importance of institutionalizing a whole-of-nation approach to prioritize and harmonize the delivery of basic services and social development packages to conflict areas and vulnerable communities.
"We hope to address poverty, hence truly ending and eradicating insurgency problem in these areas. To our barangay beneficiaries, rest assured that the Regional Task Force ELCAC, will continue to monitor and provide help to your localities as we continue our mission to attain sustainable and inclusive, and long-lasting peace in Region 5," he added.
Meanwhile, in a live-streamed event, Sorsogon Governor Francis "Chiz" Escudero led the blessing and inauguration of the "Harong Paglaom" (halfway home), which is also under the SBDP, in Juban town.
"Whole-of-Nation approach means not everything is done by guns, bombs, and ammunition in fighting with the rebels groups and to convince them to return to the folds of the government. We witness the groundbreaking ceremonies of projects in two barangays that will benefit at least 16 barangays with PHP20-million worth projects that will be given by the national government," he said in his speech.
Escudero said he was informed that in the coming years, at least 204 barangays or 37 percent of the villages in Sorsogon will benefit from projects that would improve to enhance people’s lives.
These projects will also prevent the people from joining the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army (CPP-NPA), he said.
"More than 50 years, Filipino to Filipino fight each other that for me, it must come to an end, stop the fighting and start talking if we can do it by giving and helping each other to return the life of our fellowmen that our former rebels into normal life," he added.
The governor thanked the President through National Security Adviser, Secretary Hermogenes Esperon, for the SBDP program and all the help being given to the province of Sorsogon including the former rebels, and for understanding the needs of far-flung barangays. (PNA)