MANILA – The municipal government of Remedios T. Romualdez (RTR) in Agusan del Norte is hoping that the implementation of infrastructure projects under the Build Build Build Program will help ease the presence of armed conflict in some of its beneficiary barangays there.
In a Network Briefing News interview on Tuesday, Mayor Richard Daquipil said that these projects helped them augment their resources in developing their municipality, on top of their P17 million development fund.
“One of our focuses here in our municipality is responding to the needs of our people. With the help of our congresswoman, Presidente Duterte’s Build, Build, Build Program was able to reach us,” he told host Presidential Communication Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar.
RTR is a recipient of various road concreting projects. These include the Barangay Basilisa to Barangay Panaytayon road concreting project amounting to P50 million and the Brgy. Poblacion II to Brgy. Panaytayon road costing P50 million.
“Sana po matapos po ito na mga proyekto in support to our armed-conflict barangays. Para mapigilan na din natin ang mga kaibigan natin sa kabila na pumapasok pa sa mga barangay na ito [We hope that these projects will be completed in support to our armed-conflict barangays. So that we can deter those from the other side who enter these barangays],” Mayor Daquipil said.
There are three identified conflict-affected barangays in RTR, two of which were beneficiaries of P20 million worth of development projects under the Support to Barangay Development Program. These are barangays San Antonio and Tagbongabong.
SBDP is the flagship program of the Duterte administration for poverty alleviation and development under the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC).
In its bid to end local insurgency, the RTR LGU partnered with the Philippine National Police and the 65th Infantry Battalion of the Philipine Army to raise awareness among youth on the manipulative strategies of armed groups in recruiting them.
“Hangad namin na maiwas sa recruitment ang mga kabataan namin kasi sa tingin ko sila ay prone sa ganitong recruitment ng mga nasa kabila [It is our goal to help prevent the recruitment of our youth here because I believe that they are vulnerable to the recruitment of those leftist rebels],” he said.
Mayor Daquipil also urged his constituents to continue to support the initiatives of the government. “Suportahin lang natin ang gobyerno, huwag na tayong sumuporta sa kabila para makamit natin yung peace. Kung nandyan ang peace, nandyan yung progress sa ating lugar [Let us support the government and not the other side so that we will be able to achieve peace. Because if there’s peace, there’s also development in our place],” he said.