DILG rolls out local mechanisms to end local communist armed conflict in South Cotabato

Koronadal City—The Provincial DILG here rolled out an action plan to end local communist armed conflict, institutionalizing the whole-of -nation-approach to attain inclusive and sustainable peace.

Lawyer Michelle Viejo, Acting Provincial Director, said the action plan establishes a local version of strategies to curb armed conflict in South Cotabato.

“The government believes that each province has its own reasons for communist armed conflict. We have to create a task force that will focus on the localized peace process,” Viejo said during the Peace and Order Council meeting held recently.

The whole-of-nation-approach converges government agencies, local government units and civil society in the peace process. The plan recognizes that insurgencies and other armed conflict are not only military and security concerns.

In a separate presentation, Lt. Col. Jones Otieda encouraged LGU’s to prioritize the conduct of outreach activities to areas prone to armed conflict.

In South Cotabato, towns with problems on communist armed conflict are the towns of Lake Sebu, Banga, Tampakan, and Tboli. Otieda, however, said, “The province is generally peaceful.”

“Poverty pushed our people to join the New People’s Army because of the promise of better living but with the initiative of the local government to prioritize delivery of social services in far-flung areas, NPA lay low,” he said. But, Otieda believes the threat still lingers.

The Palace Executive Order states the government shall harmonize the delivery of social development packages to ensure the active participation of the communities in government activities.

Viejo said the Palace expects the local creation of a Task Force and shall consist of local counterparts.

DILG is set to present the Palace order to the incoming governor this July for his action and support.