By Genalyn Kabiling
President Duterte has approved the national plan to step up the delivery of basic services and peace-building initiatives amid efforts to address the communist insurgency.
A Cabinet member will be assigned in each region to oversee the peace and development efforts as part of the whole-of-nation approach, according to Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo.
The President’s latest directives came during his closed-door meeting with the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict in Malacañang last Monday. It was the first meeting of the task force since its creation through Executive Order No. 70 last December.
“President Duterte approved the national plan that will integrate and harmonize the various efforts of the whole government and of all sectors of society in delivering goods and services as well as in providing for peace and security especially in conflict-affected communities,” Panelo said, reading a statement from the task force.
He noted that the Cabinet members and heads of government agencies have agreed that the whole of nation movement aims to demonstrate “genuine good governance for the betterment of the lives of the people.”
“To effectively manage the whole of nation movement, the President will assign each of his Cabinet members to oversee peace and development efforts in all regions of the country,” he said.
The Cabinet official designated for the region would be supported by the unified and integrated regional development council and regional peace and order council, he added.
Panelo said the government also intends to hasten the implementation of the “national wi-fi and 911 projects” in all barangays in the country as part of the national plan.
“By effectively managing barriers and challenges to peace and development, the whole of nation movement envisions to build resilient and robust communities that promote the welfare and wellbeing of the Filipino people,” he said.
Under EO 70, the President created the national task force to ensure the efficient implementation of the whole-of-nation approach in attaining inclusive and sustainable peace especially in conflict affected areas.
Under this strategy, the government will prioritize and harmonize the delivery of basic services and social development packages in conflict-affected areas, facilitate social inclusivity, and ensure participation of all sectors of society in pursuit of the country’s peace agenda.
The same EO also authorized the task force to implement a mechanism for localized peace talks within the next six months.
The President heads the new task force, with the National Security Adviser as co-chair and 18 top officials from government agencies and two private sector representatives as members.