Caraga holds first SBDP project groundbreaking in Mindanao, manifests success of ELCAC in the region

By LGOO II Estela Marie M. Vallespin

On July 8, 2021, the Caraga Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF-ELCAC) holds the groundbreaking of the 20-million-peso worth Farm to Market Road project in Barangay Mahanub, an insurgency-cleared barangay in the municipality of Gigaquit located in the province of Surigao del Norte, marking the activity as the first-ever project groundbreaking ceremony under the Support to the Barangay Development Program (SBDP) in the entire Mindanao.

On July 8, 2021, the Caraga Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF-ELCAC) holds the groundbreaking of the 20-million-peso worth Farm to Market Road project in Barangay Mahanub, an insurgency-cleared barangay in the municipality of Gigaquit located in the province of Surigao del Norte, marking the activity as the first-ever project groundbreaking ceremony under the Support to the Barangay Development Program (SBDP) in the entire Mindanao.


The project is one of the 357 projects in the region totaling 3.8 billion pesos funded by the Local Government Support Fund – Support to Barangay Development Program (LGSF-SBDP) of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC).

The ceremony was attended by DILG EO 70 Project Management Office Director Rene Valera; NTF-ELCAC Director of the BDP Committee Monico Batle; NTF-ELCAC Supervising Director for Caraga and Poverty Reduction, Livelihood, and Employment Cluster Maria Lourdes Santelices; Surigao del Norte Governor Lalo Matugas; Vice Governor Geed Gokiangkee; Surigao del Norte 1st District Congressman Bingo Matugas; Gigaquit Mayor Chandru Bonite; and DILG Regional Director Lilibeth Famacion.

In the pre-recorded message of NTF-ELCAC Vice Chairperson and National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr, he congratulated the barangay for the quick response in transforming their community from the influences of the CPP-NPA-NDF.

“We all know that your barangay was once considered as a geographically isolated and disadvantaged area (GIDA) wherein it is hard to be reached by government programs, making your barangay prone to the influence of the NPA. Now, it is the start of the day that Brgy. Mahanub will not anymore be considered as GIDA because your barangay is the first to respond to the call of transforming your community by creating and sustaining peace through the completion of all (EO 70) processes,” Secretary Esperon said.

Meanwhile, in the testimony of Punong Barangay Julito Go, he expressed the sincere thanks and excitement of the barangay officials and residents in the construction of the road.

“Our lives used to be very difficult with the presence of the NPA. But thanks to the active support of the police and armed forces and the leadership of President Rodrigo Duterte, we are in a much more peaceful situation now. We are hoping that more projects will be implemented in our barangay through the ELCAC initiative,” the Punong Barangay shared.

As the Head Secretariat and Chairperson of the RTF-ELCAC Technical Working Group, Regional Director Lilibeth Famacion assured the people of Mahanub that the DILG will work hard to ensure the swift and transparent implementation of the project. She also shared that there are other windows that the local government units can apply for the funding of their priority projects, such as the Financial Assistance to LGUs (FALGU).

“As your DILG, we will keep on working hard, together with our partners, to make sure that Barangay Mahanub will finally enjoy the fruits of sustainable and inclusive peace and development.  With the kickoff of the implementation of the project through this ceremony, we expect to do the same in the other BDP projects in the region. This only proves that the fight to end local communist armed conflict in Caraga region has been very successful,” RD Famacion declared.

Mahanub is one of the 191 barangays in Caraga region that received a 20-million-peso worth funding assistance for FY 2021 for the implementation of their priority projects following the identification of their issues and concerns through the Retooled Community Support Program.

The guests of the Groundbreaking Ceremony listen as the host officially announces the start of the ceremony.

[From right to left: Vice Governor Geed Gokiangkee, Dir. Lilibeth Famacion, Governor Lalo Matugas, Mayor Chandru Bonite, Rep. Bingo Matugas, Dir. Rene Valera, Dir. Maria Lourdes Santelices, and Dir. Monico Batle (not shown in photo)]

The guests, wearing their helmets and vests, officially kick off the implementation of the Farm to Market Road project in Barangay Mahanub, Gigaquit.

 

 

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