The Caraga RTF-ELCAC officials and presenters during the 8th Caraga Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF-ELCAC) Meeting

The Caraga Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF-ELCAC) convened for its eighth regular meeting on 07 July 2021 through videoconference. Among others, the Task Force discussed the status of COVID-19 vaccination roll-out and the implementation of the Barangay Development Program (BDP) projects in the Region. The meeting was presided by no less than Cabinet Secretary Karlo A.B. Nograles, Cabinet Officer for Regional Development and Security (CORDS) for Caraga Region, Caraga RTF-ELCAC Chairperson, and the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) Co-Chairperson.

Among others, the meeting highlighted the status of the Region’s vaccination program presented by Department of Health (DOH) Regional Director (RD) Cesar C. Cassion. His report featured the vaccine coverage and consumption for Butuan City and the five provinces. As of 07 July 2021, a total of 248,221 doses were already administered to Caraganons, 171,463 for 1st dose and 66,758 for 2nd dose vaccinations. The Region’s vaccine consumption rate is at 94.41 percent covering 39.35 percent of the population.

Regional Task Force for COVID-19 One Caraga Shield (RTF-COCS) and Caraga RDC Chairperson, and Agusan del Norte Provincial Governor Dale B. Corvera also discussed the Region’s accomplishments and its on-going efforts in containing COVID-19. His report highlighted the sustained implementation of the Zoning Containment Strategy (ZCS) in the Region; activation of Emergency Operations Centers (EOCs); operationalization of the Caraga RTF for COVID-19 Recovery Cluster and Caraga RTF for COVID-19’s Coordinated Operations to Defeat Epidemic (CODE) Team; and development of COVID-19-related plans, among others.

Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) RD Lilibeth A. Famacion reported updates on the implementation of the Local Government Support Fund-Support to the Barangay Development Program (LGSF-SBDP) covering 357 barangays throughout the Region with a total fund allocation of PhP 3.82 Billion. Caraga having the second highest allocation for BDP projects across regions. Downloading of funds to the LGUs has been completed while 98.31 percent of the projects have been reviewed by DILG Caraga.

P/BGen Romeo M Caramat Jr of Police Regional Office XIII (PRO13) presented the report on the Region’s unceasing efforts to abate criminality. For the second quarter of 2021, a 12.42% reduction in crime incidence was observed compared to the first quarter. This can be attributed to the strategic deployment of the police forces, among others.

Col Michele B Anayron of the 4th Infantry Division (4ID) of the Philippine Army presented update on insurgency activities. Accomplishments highlighted in the report includes the 45% reduction in NPA-Initiated Violent Incidents (NIVI) in the 2nd quarter of 2021 compared to the last quarter of 2020. A total of 546 former rebels have surrendered to 4ID during the period.

Sec. Nograles encouraged the body to remain strong-willed and steadfast despite the pandemic and other challenges in the Region.

Article by: Ms. Kris Jane E. de Rama, NEDA XIII