The Caraga Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF-ELCAC) convened for its 9th regular meeting on 15 September 2021 through videoconference. No less than Cabinet Secretary Karlo A.B. Nograles as the Cabinet Officer for Regional Development and Security (CORDS) for Caraga Region presided over said meeting. Among others, the Task Force discussed the localization of the National Food Policy (NFP), COVID-19 status of the Region, and implementation of the Barangay Development Program (BDP). The meeting was also attended by National Task Force (NTF)-ELCAC Vice-Chairperson and National Security Adviser Sec. Hermogenes C. Esperon Jr.
Sec. Nograles emphasized the importance of prioritizing in Caraga Region the anti-hunger strategies contained in the NFP. Relative to this, the Department of Agriculture (DA) Caraga, National Nutrition Council (NNC) Caraga, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Caraga, Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Caraga, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Caraga, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Caraga, and Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Caraga provided the Task Force with their respective updates which highlighted on the following, viz:
- Kadiwa ni ANI at KITA to provide assistance to producers and buyers;
- Biodiversity-Friendly Social Enterprise Development (BDFE) CY 2017-2019;
- Price monitoring activities; and
- Establishment of food safety R&D hubs in Caraga, among others.
On the management of the COVID-19 situation in the Region, the Department of Health (DOH) Caraga apprised the body that as of 15 September 2021, 359,640 Caraganons have been fully vaccinated, covering 22.86 percent of the target population for vaccine administration. The Region’s vaccine consumption rate is at 89.97 percent.
Regional Task Force for COVID-19 One Caraga Shield (RTF-COCS) and Caraga RDC Chairperson Gov. Dale B. Corvera highlighted in his report the re-establishment of Regional border controls to contain the spread of COVID-19 Delta variant from the neighboring high-risk regions and the completion of construction of several COVID-19 facilities in the Region through DPWH. He also raised to the Cabinet Secretary the issue on low oxygen tank supply in the Region and moved for the Task Force to identify options in addressing such. The Cabinet Secretary responded speedily that he is coordinating with Secretary Ramon M. Lopez of DTI for the said matter to be addressed.
On the implementation of the Barangay Development Program (BDP) in Caraga, DILG reported that there were already 12 groundbreaking ceremonies conducted in the Region relative to the Support to the BDP (SBDP) projects. On the FY 2021 Retooled Community Support Program (RCSP), said agency also reported that 100 percent of the Caraga provinces and the highly urbanized city (HUCs) of Butuan have all completed the Phase 1 or the Organization of the RCSP Team and Core Teams.
During same meeting, DILG also reported that all local chief executives (LCEs) from the 95 RCSP barangays have expressed their written support relative to the approval of BDP funds proposed for FY 2022.
Article by: Ms. Patricia B. Radaza, NEDA XIII