The municipal government of Siayan, Zamboanga Del Norte, various national government agencies, and the Philippine Army’s 53rd Infantry “Matapat” Battalion (53IB) held a convergence meeting on August 24, 2020, to end local communist armed conflict in the area.
The convergence and collaboration efforts with different line government agencies are part of 53IB’s Community Support Program (CSP) initiatives.
CSP is an approach of reaching out to far-flung communities to deliver basic government services and maintaining peace and order against NPA harassments and oppression.
CSP teams will be deployed in the far-flung barangays of Pange and Macasing in Siayan municipality.
The CSP team deployments will conduct community visitations in the said barangays and call for convergence and collaboration among different line government agencies.
During the meeting, 53IB Operations Officer 1Lt. Oliver Carmen presented the CSP concept emphasizing on the roles of the stakeholders to contribute its success.
53IB Commanding Officer Lt. Col. Jo-Ar Herrera apprised the participants about the current threat situation in the area and explained the expected end result of Executive Order 70.
“Even if we propose so many ELCAC Projects, no matter what kind of infrastructure we make, or any convergence we conduct, if the enemy is still existing, the purpose of ELCAC will still fail because at the end of the day, what ELCAC intends to achieve is to destroy and end the local communist armed conflict itself,” Lt. Col. Herrera said.
Different National Government Agencies also presented their plans and projects for Pange and Macasing barangays for the upcoming Grand Pulong Pulong and Serbisyo Caravan scheduled in September 2020.
The Department of Agriculture (DA) said they would introduce rice and corn farming to include high-value crops.
The Department of Environment Natural Resources (DENR) discussed the Land Reform Act and will offer free consultation on land titling.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development explained on how to avail and register as senior citizens.
Siayan Mayor Josecor Gepolongca expressed his gratitude to the representatives of government agencies and the 53IB for giving their time and exerting their efforts for the said convergence meeting.
“I hope that this activity will have more output that will be effective and efficient to our constituents in order to put an end to these communists [NPA terrorists],” Mayor Gepolongca said.