A convergence meeting was called by Energy Sec. Alfonso Cusi in Manila recently to strengthen the implementation of Executive Order 70 in the MIMAROPA region.
Cusi, who represents the Cabinet Officer for Regional Development and Security (CORDS) of MIMAROPA, called the meeting for officials of the Regional Development Council and the Regional Peace and Order Council, as well as the cluster heads of the Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF-ELCAC) on January 10 at the DOE in Taguig.
“We, CORDS, have been entrusted with the tall order of helping President [Rodrigo Duterte] and the National Task Force-ELCAC to finally put an end to the local communist armed conflict while ensuring the sustainable development of our respective regions,” Cusi was quoted in a Thursday released statement by the DOE.
Cusi emphasized to the attendees of the convergence meeting the significance and importance of the NTF-ELCAC that was established through EO 70, citing that “it ensures the efficient and effective implementation of the Whole-of-Nation Approach for the attainment of inclusive and sustainable peace in the country, as well as a platform for good governance”.
The statement said that during the meeting, presentations on the current security, peace, and order situations in the MIMAROPA region were given by the Peace, Law Enforcement and Development Support (PLEDS) Cluster composed of regional units of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP), as well as updates on regional activities and best practices provided by the CORDS MIMAROPA Technical Working Group.
During the open forum, concerns were raised on how to improve effective communication between and among member agencies of the RTF, achieve true convergence of activities of member-government agencies, and the funding mechanisms to implement prepared plans and strategies, particularly on the priority areas of MIMAROPA.
National security adviser and NTF-ECLAC vice-chair Hermogenes Esperon Jr. also provided further guidance on some issues that were deemed internal to the RTF and on external issues considered significant, but are beyond the scope of the CORDS’ expressed mandate and authority.
“Our task does not end here. There is still a lot of work that lies ahead, but let us be driven by the leadership and support of the Duterte Administration to attain the objectives of EO 70 and help us eradicate the local communist armed conflict,” Cusi said.
Also present were DOE Undersecretary and CORDS MIMAROPA TWG Chairperson Vice Admiral Alexander S. Lopez (ret); Palawan Governor Jose C. Alvarez; the CORDS MIMAROPA TWG led by Dr. Adrianne A. Mabanta; National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Undersecretary Adoracion Navarro; NSA Deputy Director-General Damian L. Carlos; AFP Commander of Western Command Vice Admiral Rene Medina; AFP Acting Southern Luzon Command MGen Arnulfo Burgos; Regional Directors of NEDA, Philippine Information Agency, Department of the Interior and Local Government; the CORDS MIMAROPA TWG; and other members of the MIMAROPA Regional Task Force-ELCAC.