The Cordillera is among the safest regions in the country as reported by Cabinet Officer for Regional Development and Security for the Cordillera Department of Agriculture Secretary William Dar during the Kasama sa Pamana Regional Pre-SONA Series in Baguio City on 01, June 2021.
Agriculture Secretary William Dar said in his report that the Cordillera is among the safest regions in the country as a result of the drop of crime incidence due to effective implementation of law enforcement and anti-illegal drug campaign of the government.
In 2020 alone, intensified police operations resulted to the arrest of the top three most wanted persons and 1,717 wanted persons,
The continuing fight against illegal drugs also led to the arrest of 444 drug personalities and around P588.32 million worth of illegal drugs were confiscated, Dar added.
On improved security, Dar also congratulated the communities and the people of the region for their effort and participation in the localization of Executive Order No. 70 institutionalizing the whole - of - nation approach in attaining inclusive and lasting peace and creating the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF - ELCAC).
Through the regional and local ELCAC task forces, there are harmonized efforts in addressing insurgency and other peace and order concerns including their root causes such as inaccessibility to basic services, poverty, social inequity and lack of knowledge on government programs and services, he added.
Through the joint efforts of national government agencies, local government units, civil society organization and the private sector, implementation of Support to the Barangay Development Program are set for eight pilot insurgency free -barangays in the region (6 in Abra, 1 in Mountain Province and 1 in Kalinga).
For this year, a total of P160 million or P20 million worth of development projects is allocated for each of the eight barangays. 71 more identified ELCAC barangays are also set to get government support with the collaboration of all key stakeholders.
"I encourage all sectors of our society to push through with harmonizing and converging our efforts in the fight against insurgency. The display of good governance, strong partnership and unified direction will surely establish the path towards inclusive and sustainable peace and development", Dar stressed.
On the part of DA, Dar said they will continue with their work to transform the agriculture to an ideal environment that will optimize resources while producing the maximum outcomes and benefits.
"Focus shall be given to marketing and agribusiness activities that have been considerably affected with the COVID - 19 pandemic while the Plant Plant Plant Program shall be intensified, as we all know, food security at present is our overarching goal, second to public health concerns", Dar explained.
In his presentation, Dar also shared accomplishments on poverty alleviation and greater economic and social inclusion; improved road and irrigation facilities to promote and enhance economic activities under the Build, Build, Build Infrastructure Program; and the Declaration of five Minahang Bayan in Cordillera.
Dar was joined by Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, PIA Director General USEC Ramon Cualoping III and ASEC Marie Rafael representing the Presidential Communications Operations Office, DOH - CAR Assistant Regional Director Dr. Amelita Pangilinan and Mayor Benjamin Magalong.
A prelude to the sixth and final SONA of Pres. Duterte on July 26, 2021, the Kasama Sa Pamana: Regional Pre-SONA Series is being conducted in the different regions to inform the public of the major accomplishments of the Duterte Administration and plans for his remaining term , as well as comprehensive report on CoVID 19 response and the ongoing national vaccination program in the regions.
Spearheaded by the Office of the Cabinet Secretary and the PCOO, the Cordillera leg of the Pre-SONA series is the sixth to be conducted across the nation. (JDP/CCD-PIA CAR)