The Joint Regional Task Force 8 on Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict (JRTF8-ELCAC) tackled important issues to be elevated to the National Task Force-ELCAC during its meeting on 2 October 2023 at the Summit Hotel, Tacloban City.

Regional Development Council (RDC) VIII Vice-Chairperson and NEDA VIII Regional Director Meylene C. Rosales presented the region’s development opportunities and challenges, as well as the major proposed programs and projects in the region. Highlighted in her presentation were the needed support for the three major strategies laid out in the Eastern Visayas Regional Development Plan (RDP) 2023-2028 mainly on: developing and protecting the capabilities of individuals and families, transforming the production sectors to generate more quality jobs and competitive products, and fostering an enabling environment, which includes ensuring peace and security.

Director Rosales called for a more intensive implementation of ELCAC programs and projects under the new Cabinet Officer for Regional Development and Security, DILG Secretary Benjamin “Benhur” DC Abalos, Jr., especially to the disadvantaged areas and sectors of the region.

RD Rosales’ presentation provided a socioeconomic dimension to JRTF8-ELCAC Technical Working Group (TWG) Chairperson, MGen Camilo Z. Ligayo’s presentation of the updates on the ongoing efforts of the Task Force for the period January – September 2023.

Some local chief executives present during the meeting raised pressing issues in the region both on socioeconomic concerns and peace and security, such as high-power rates, the Amnesty Program, and the Road Network Program.

CORDS Abalos responded to the issues and concerns raised by the JRTF8-ELCAC members by discussing his plans for the region’s development and security. He provided guidance on how to address the issues and stated that several local government units (LGUs) requiring support have been identified and will be provided with the needed assistance in accordance with programs of the JRTF8-ELCAC. He also expressed appreciation for the information shared by Director Rosales of NEDA VIII and reinforced NEDA VIII’s call for stronger and harmonized efforts on ELCAC.

Article by:  G. Arteche, NEDA VIII PDIPBD
Photos by:  DILG VIII