TACLOBAN CITY – Borongan City Mayor Jose Ivan Dayan Agda says infrastructures could end the decades-long reign of terror from the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) in Eastern Samar.
Agda said that one of the factors that continuously divide the people in far communities is the inaccessibility of basic government services.
He cited Barangay Pinanag-an, the remotest barangay in Borongan which is about a three-hour motorboat ride from the wharf in Borongan with more than 1,000 households.
In 2019, a bloody encounter transpired between government troops and the NPA in the barangay. Several soldiers were killed and wounded.
Months later, a civilian vehicle was ambushed in nearby Barangay Poblacion where several civilians and a policeman were killed and many others wounded.
The government through the Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (ELCAC) has been in a constant battle with the communist-terrorists.
Agda said some issues have yet to be addressed, particularly the problem of inaccessibility of government services.
“People from remote barangays need us, people in the government. They need interventions, but all our planned interventions will be limited to none if we can hardly reach them, and if their needs remain unabated, resentment, division could prevail,” he added.
Agda has presented a poverty alleviation program, the “Dukwag Agrikultura” (DA), which was approved recently by the City Council, with program components aimed to improve the economic standing of marginalized farmers.
However, he said that many of the identified agricultural farms are located in insurgency-laden communities, which in one way or another hampers production.
“With the construction of needed roads and bridges, perhaps, some peace and order issues can be addressed eventually,” he stressed.
The city official expressed optimism that the ongoing Phase 1 construction of the Pinanag-an Road, with Phase 2 being realized and may be included in the proposal roads of the Office of Presidential Adviser on Peace Process (OPAPP) Visayas under the Payapa At Masaganang Pamayanan (PAMANA) Program of the government that supports the peace negotiation track, contributes to the goal of attaining just and lasting peace.
Agda hopes that when the road networks are completed, the 51-years of armed-struggle of the CPP-NPA-NDF movement in his city and province, will dwindle if not, be over, as they can expect better lives.