Villar Meets Reg’l Dev’t Bodies For ‘Whole-Of-Nation’ Approach

Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Mark A. Villar formally operationalized on Tuesday the National Capital Region Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict or NCRTF-ELCAC via a meeting with members of the Metro Manila Regional Development Council (RDC) and Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC).

NCRTF-ELCAC was anchored from the National Task Force (NTF) to ELCAC in line with the Executive Order No. 70 issued in December 2018 by President Rodrigo R. Duterte that institutionalizes the “Whole of Nation Approach” in attaining inclusive and sustainable peace.

As the President’s assigned NCR Cabinet Officer for Regional Development and Security (CORDS) and NTF-ELCAC infrastructure cluster head, Villar urged the local government chief executives and heads of various regional government offices in Metro Manila, including educational institutions, to set commitments and priorities on how to overcome the challenges toward greater peace and prosperity.

Villar said the first step taken by organizing the meeting with the RDC and RPOC is the appropriate action against the communist-terrorist group responsible for destroying not only peace and development but also thousands of innocent lives in the country.

The meeting event was organized and attended by Undersecretary Emil K. Sadain as the DPWH alternate head of DPWH ELCAC Special Task Force together with John Dominic Pulido of the office of DPWH Secretary; project directors Sharif Madsmo Hasim, Virgilio Castillo, and Rodrigo delos Reyes of DPWH Unified Project Management Office (UPMO) operations; DPWH NCR director Ador Canlas; UPMO project managers Emmanuel Supe and Sol Abasa of the technical working group; project manager Rogelio Ang; stakeholders relation service director Elizabeth P. Pilorin, and Public-Private Partnership service director Alex Bote.

Also present are officials of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG)-NCR; Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA); National Security Council; National Intelligence Coordinating Agency; NTF-ELCAC Secretariat; National Capital Region Police Office chief, Maj. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar; and the AFP-Joint Task Force NCR.

During the historic first joint RDC-RPOC meeting held at Summit Hall D of the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City, members of both policy-making bodies unanimously adopted Joint Resolution No. 1 of 2019 that created the NCRTF-ELCAC.

“Handling the peace and order in Metro Manila is not only the work of uniformed personnel or state forces but it is also the responsibility of all stakeholders for a peaceful nation,” Villar said.

The RDC, chaired by MMDA chairman Danilo Lim, is the highest policy-making body in Metro Manila and the primary institution that coordinates and sets the direction of all economic and social development efforts in the region.

The RPOC, headed by Eleazar, on the other hand, plays a vital role in maintaining the peace and order situation. As a coordinating body, it threshes out issues and concerns affecting peace and order and comes up with a collective decision.

Both also serve as fora where local efforts can be related and integrated with national peace and development initiatives.

“The creation of NCRTF-ELCAC shall serve as the venue for integrating and coordinating national efforts to the localize peace initiatives,” the approved joint resolution read by Eleazar.

Meanwhile, Lim said: “We in the government, shall prioritize and harmonize all our efforts in the delivery of basic services, facilitate societal inclusivity and ensure active participation of all sectors of the society in pursuit of peace and development.”

From the 12 lines of efforts at the national level, the NCRTF-ELCAC will create regional clusters to come up with projects and strategies that will focus on the sustainability of support services and intervention to move the peace and development agenda forward.

NCRTF-ELCAC vows to ensure equitable and direct delivery of social services to the poor and marginalized, as well as counter the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army’s recruitment efforts and deceitful propaganda campaign in schools, labor unions, and urban poor sectors in Metro Manila, among others. (PNA)