KORONADAL CITY, South Cotabato – The Joint Regional Task Force- End Local Communist Armed Conflict (JRTF-ELCAC) of Region 12 enjoins local government units to  fast-track the implementation of the Local Government Support Fund – Support to Barangay Development Program (LGSF SBDP) in the identified priority barangays of Region 12.the The JRTF-ELCAC consist of RDC and RPOC with NEDA XII as technical secretariat which meets quarterly to discuss and resolve peace and order issues affecting the  development of SOCCSKSARGEN Region.

During the 23rd Joint Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (JRTF-ELCAC) 12 meeting, TESDA Secretary Isidro S. Lapeña, Chairperson of JRTF-ELCAC 12 and Cabinet Officer for Regional Development and Security (CORDS) for SOCCSKSARGEN expressed his concern on the slow progress and significant negative slippage incurred in the number of projects implemented under this program in the region. He underscored the need for DILG XII to take an over-all lead in advancing the implementation of the SBDP programs by closely coordinating with LGUs to comply with the lacking documents for submission and to initiate meetings with concerned LGUs to address implementation issues.

Secretary Lapeña, further enjoined everyone to extend support to the government in ending local communist and terrorist activities in the region through the provision of basic social services and implementation of the LGSF SBDP to give them hope to a better life.

“The conduct of information dissemination and advocacy campaign through barangayanihan and RTF ELCAC 12 virtual kapehan is a step forward to making government efforts and initiatives known to everyone, that efforts are geared towards bringing services closer to the people to achieve sustainable peace, and ensure that our “kababayans” will be lifted from poverty and violence,” he said.

Other topics discussed is the status of the COVID-19 vaccination roll-out in the target priority barangays in the region, where everyone is encouraged to support the 3-day national vaccination program to attain herd immunity.  Basic Services, Local Government Empowerment, and ECLIP and Amnesty Cluster accomplishments were also presented, highlighting the line of efforts in advancing government’s intervention to eliminate terrorism in the region. Lapeña said that if another year will be given to support the development programs in the priority barangays, the accomplishments of the different clusters and the RTF ELCAC 12 as a whole are irreversible. Thus, he is confident that we are making an impact and can attain the end goal of bringing the people back to the folds of the government.  (RRR Salas-Simtim, NEDA 12-PMED)