The Philippine Army’s 53rd Infantry “MATAPAT” Battalion (53IB), 547th Engineer “AGILA” Battalion, and the Zamboanga del Norte Provincial Police Office (ZNPPO) have deployed two Community Support Program (CSP) teams in the hinterland barangays of Pange and Macasing in Siayan, Zamboanga del Norte province.
CSP is a community and issue-oriented AFP operational concept employed in conflict areas (CSP Primer). It is a multi-stakeholder, community-based, and people-oriented peace and development effort with the end goal of establishing and developing disaster and conflict resilient communities.
CSP is characterized by dismantling underground mass organizations, implementation of livelihood programs, and facilitation of infrastructure projects at the Barangay level.
A simple closing ceremony was held on August 12, 2020, with ZN Provincial Director (PD) PCol. Ronald Briones invited as the Guest of Honor and Speaker.
PCol. Briones said in his message that the conduct of Community Support Programs in the hinterland barangays of Siayan, ZDN is a collaborative effort and “cannot be accomplished without the support of the communities.”
“This CSP symbolizes the collaboration and unity between the Army and the Police. With this collaboration and unity, we can achieve lasting peace,” PCol. Briones said.
Pange and Macasing are barangays known to be safe heavens of communist New People’s Army (NPA) terrorists in Siayan town.
53IB Commanding Officer Lt. Col. Jo-ar Herrera reminded the troops that “the enemy is in the brink of collapse.”
“Your CSP deployment in Siayan will be the turning point of defeating the Communist-NPA terrorist enemy. Let us maintain the momentum while their will to fight and morale is weak,” Lt. Col. Herrera said.
Lt. Col. Herrera also said the CSP is an approach of reaching out to far-flung communities to deliver basic government services and maintaining peace and order against the NPA harassments and oppression.
The CSP team deployments conduct community visitations in the said barangays and call for convergence and collaboration among different line government agencies.