The Caraga Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF-ELCAC) convened its 10th regular meeting on January 12, 2022, via videoconference. Newly-designated Cabinet Officer for Regional Development and Security (CORDS) for Caraga Region Secretary Allen A. Capuyan of NCIP presided over the said meeting. The meeting discussed the COVID-19 status of the Region, situation report on Typhoon Odette affected areas and responses, updates on the implementation of the Barangay Development Program (BDP) in the Region, and updates on the 12 clusters of the Caraga RTF-ELCAC.
In his first address to the Task Force members, Sec. Capuyan encouraged the members to be faster and bolder in their efforts to end insurgencies and other armed conflicts, given the remaining term of the current administration. He challenged the members to strengthen their efforts in their delivery of various social development services in support of the “Whole of Nation (WON)” approach.
During the meeting, the 12 Clusters of the RTF-ELCAC presented their FY 2021 accomplishments and other efforts relating to the institutionalization of the WON approach. On peace and development and law enforcement, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) reported on their efforts in clearing focus areas and affected barangays. In the past year, 25% of focus areas and 90% of affected barangays have been cleared. The Philippine National Police Regional Office (PRO) 13 also highlighted a 21.13% total decrease in crime incidents in the Region in 2021.
The Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) reported on the actions taken by the different government agencies and other offices in response to Typhoon Odette. Inter-agency teams have been deployed to Siargao Island, Surigao del Norte, and Dinagat Islands for the Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) to assess the impacts of the typhoon in the affected areas.
On the management of the COVID-19 situation in the Region, the Department of Health (DOH) Caraga apprised the body that 1,101,238 Caraganons have been fully vaccinated to date, covering 57.59 % of the target population for vaccine administration. Relatedly, the Task Force passed a resolution urging the Congress of the Philippines to pass a law making the COVID-19 vaccination mandatory.
On the implementation of BDP in Caraga, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Caraga reported that there were already 13 groundbreaking ceremonies conducted in the Region relative to the Support to the BDP (SBDP) projects. DILG also reported that all local chief executives (LCEs) of the 191 BDP beneficiary barangays have expressed their written appreciation and recognition for the said program.