Koronadal City, South Cotabato – The summing up of accomplishments of the Joint Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (JRTF-ELCAC) for CY 2018-2022 will be one of the last major activities of this task force before a new administration sets in by June 2022. TESDA Secretary Isidro S. Lapeña, Chairperson of JRTF-ELCAC XII and Cabinet Officer for Regional Development and Security (CORDS) for SOCCSKSARGEN announced this when he presided over the 26th meeting of the Task Force last 24 February 2022.

The Honorable Secretary enjoined all the twelve clusters to showcase their collective efforts in localizing the implementation and operationalization of EO 70, highlighting the best practices in the delivery of services and implementation of projects especially those in hard to reach areas of the region.

“This attests to the sincerity and commitment of all member agencies of the clusters to address the long pending insurgency in the country by acting locally in bringing government services closer to the people through program and project implementation“, he said.

The Summing-Up activity will be conducted on March 3, 2022 and shall be participated in by heads and members of the regional task force, national cluster heads, directors and officers from the National Task Force, and local chief executives of cities and provinces of Region XII. Each cluster will be given opportunity to render a 20-minute report on the highlights of their accomplishments, challenges in project implementation, as well as their plans and ways forward through their respective cluster heads.

A pre-meeting shall be conducted on March 1, 2022 to be participated in by heads of the Clusters to ensure the completeness of the preparations for the said activity.

Other matters discussed during the 26th JRTF ELCAC Meeting were reports on the status of the Local Government Support Fund-Support to Barangay Development Program (LGSF-SBDP) by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) XII; updates on the COVID-19 Vaccination Program in Region XII by the Department of Health (DOH) XII; and, issues on Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) Implementation in the region by the DILG XII.

The CORDS urged everyone present during the meeting to be optimistic and sustain the efforts and initiatives started even beyond the term of the present administration.

The meeting was concluded with the CORDS’ final guidance and directives which included the following: a) DILG XII and the local government units to work together to fast track the implementation LGSF-SBDP projects, b) DOH XII to proactively conduct massive vaccination program and target far-flung areas, c) Military personnel to continue to monitor their areas of jurisdiction, and d) RLAs to remain vigilant, and advocate the condemnation of CTG-related activities in order to maintain the conduct of a peaceful May 2022 election.

Finally, he reminded everyone not be complacent and observe stringent health protocols, get vaccinated and avail of the vaccine booster shots to ensure safety. (Desiree T. Jacinto, NEDA XII-PMED)