Governor Victorino Dennis Socrates leads the joint meeting of the task force to end local communist and armed conflict and the peace and order council to discuss Palawan's development progress. (Photo from the Palawan PIO)

Governor Victorino Dennis Socrates led Thursday a joint meeting of the peace and order council and the task force to end the local armed conflict in a determined bid to bolster progress in Palawan.

Provincial information officer Atty. Christian Jay Cojamco said that the meeting marked an important milestone in Palawan’s pursuit of lasting peace and security.

Governor Socrates, as the chairman, guided the discussions towards the matter of ensuring peace and order in the province. Vice co-chairman Nino Rey Estoya, acting executive director of the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD), co-led the meeting alongside the governor.

Cojamco said the agenda centered on the ongoing activities being carried out by various law enforcement agencies, such as the 3rd Marine Brigade, Provincial Police Office, 2nd Special Operations Unit-Maritime Group, and the Philippine Coast Guard.

Special emphasis was placed on the Sugpuin iligal na droga: Palaweno’y Aasenso, Susulong sa Progreso-Community Aftercare and Reintegration Enhancement for Sustainability, or SPS-CARES initiative, aimed at combating the illegal drug trade.

Moreover, the Provincial Task Force to End the Local Armed Conflict laid out its preparations for Palawan’s formal declaration as an “insurgency-free” province. Reports from the 12 clusters were presented, highlighting the collaborative efforts and the upcoming Serbisyo Caravan, showcasing the united front against insurgency.

A recurring theme throughout the meeting was the council’s unanimous commitment to adopt a “Whole of Nation Approach” to address crimes, illegal activities, and insurgency effectively.

“This approach fosters multi-agency cooperation, where each agency’s strengths are combined to tackle security challenges comprehensively,” said Cojamco.

He said the governor expressed his optimism about the outcomes of the meeting, stating that their collective efforts are a testament to Palawan’s dedication to fostering peace, security, and progress.