The National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) was established to provide mechanisms and ensure effective and efficient implementation of the Whole-of-Nation Approach (WNA) in the realization of an inclusive and sustainable peace.

Institutionalizing the WNA means the convergence of all government instrumentalities, the private sector, non-government organizations, and other stakeholders in the delivery of basic services and in peace-building programs, plans, and activities.

Since its implementation, the NTF-ELCAC has achieved a leap in terms of eliminating local armed conflict in just a matter of two years.

The task force had accomplished several projects and effectively addressed most of its plans and programs through its 12 operational clusters, namely, Situational Awareness and Knowledge Management; Local Government Empowerment; Strategic Communications; Sectoral Unification, Capacity Building, Empowerment, and Mobilization; Basic Services; Poverty Reduction, Livelihood and Employment; Infrastructure and Resource Management; Local Peace Engagement, Peace, Law Enforcement, and Development Support; Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration and Amnesty Program; and International Engagement.

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The task force’s accomplishments under its Basic Services Program include the 190 completed and 141 ongoing housing developments in Davao del Norte and Cagayan de Oro City through the National Housing Authority for the Indigenous People (IP) since 2016, the closure of Salugpungan Schools, the construction of 9,691 last-mile schools by the Department of Education from 2019 to 2021, the establishment of 8,244 barangay health stations by the Department of Health (DOH), and the electrification of 40 sitios by the National Electrification Administration (NEA).

Through the Poverty Reduction, Livelihood, and Employment Program, it has provided livelihood training to 194 barangays with 268 interventions from various agencies, as well as skills training to 710 barangays with 1,576 interventions from the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, the Department of Education, and other agencies.

The Task Force also installed solar lighting and charging systems, formed cooperatives, delivered funding to agrarian reform recipients, established vegetable and poultry farms, and provided former rebels with livelihood kits, as well as established Project IPEACE in IP villages.

The task force’s Peace, Law Enforcement, Development, and Security Program had dismantled 16 guerilla fronts and 6 regional guerilla units while weakening five others; filed International Humanitarian Law violations against the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) with the Commission on Human Rights in Region 10; provided orientation on Executive Order No. 70 to officials of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, and rescued trafficked IP students in Cebu.

Another notable accomplishment of the task force was the designation of the NDF as a terrorist group by the Anti-Terrorist Council. The Anti-Money Laundering Council was given the authority to execute a freeze order on any accounts and assets associated with the NDF, which was described as long overdue.

Through the Legal Cooperation and Local Peace Engagement Program, the following were achieved: the filing of perjury cases against Communist Terrorist Groups, Rural Missionaries of the Philippines, Gabriela, and Karapatan; the backing of the Commission on Elections in the bid to cancel the Gabriela Party-list Registration; the investigation and case build-up on Haran 31; the freezing of CTG’s assets; the Samar Bishops’ leading local peace dialogues; and the holding of Ugnayan sa Barangay, among others.

With the continuing efforts of the task force in achieving its mandated mission of eradicating terrorist groups and ceasing internal insurgencies through WNA, the country will soon see the light of a more progressive and developing land—for the Filipino people, and for the future to come. Indeed, there is still a lot more to accomplish, but through the good process, government leaders’ support, and the public’s participation, the task force’s vision may be eventually realized. (Sponsored content)

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