BAUKO, Mountain Province – The municipal government started to work on the marching orders of President Rodrigo R. Duterte mandating the involvement of local officials to actively participate in the overall efforts of the government to end local communist armed conflict in their areas of jurisdiction for the realization of lasting peace in the country.
Mayor Abraham B. Akilit recently created a task force composed of municipal government department heads who will identify the root causes of the armed conflict in the countryside and the crafting of proposed solutions and interventions to curb the proliferation of communist armed conflict in the remote villages of the municipality.
Bauko is one of the conflict-stricken areas in the province, being one of the escape routes of communist rebels fleeing from the pursuing government forces exiting in the neighboring provinces of Abra, Ilocos Sur and other areas in Northern Luzon.
Earlier, President Duterte issued Executive Order No. 70 governing the implementation of a national, regional and local approaches that will put an end to the local communist armed conflict that have besotted the country over the past 50 years.
Last week, the municipal task force to end local communist armed conflict started the ball rolling in the municipal level as it organized workshops to ascertain the primary causes of insurgency and the recommended interventions to address the problems.
During the workshop spearheaded by the municipal task force in the presence of mayor Akilit, the issues discussed by the participants involved those that were raised by the concerned sectors from Balintaugan, Bagnen Oriente and Bagnen Proper.
The involved sectors claimed that among the factors that compel people in the countryside to join the communist movement is the alleged lack of employment, lack of agricultural infrastructure and support system, bad condition of roads leading to the rural areas, conservative farm machineries and practices that result to low production, government neglect and low local government fund contribution to such situations and other factors that make the youth vulnerable to those recruiting them to join the communist movement.
On the other hand, the sectors also formulated interventions to help solve the presence of insurgents in the municipality which focused on the implementation of high-impact development projects in the municipality to allow interested investors to put up their tourism-related businesses that will translate to economic activities.
Akilit will be transmitting the results of the workshop to the concerned government agencies involved in the national and regional task forces for possible prioritization and provision of the required funds to develop rural communities towards stopping the recruitment being done by the communist rebels in the countryside.
Aside from Mayor Akilit, the members of the task force that attended the workshop included Municipal Local Government Operations Officer Judy Piluden, Municipal Planning and Development Officer Walter Dalang, Municipal Social Welfare and Development Officer Marichu Cominga, Police Major Yougean Cabay and personnel of the municipal government.