ELCAC Program to bring gov't project better, faster
GUIPOS, ZAMBOANGA DEL SUR (2 July 2020) — Construction and Rehabilitation of three farm-to-market road (FMR) ELCAC projects in Lakewood town will soon come into realization after the Groundbreaking Ceremony held today in Barangay Dagum, Lakewood, this province.
The FMRs are the rehabilitation of 5.925-kilometer Poblacion-Baking-Dagum Road; construction of 4.745-kilometer Dagum-Matalang Road; and the construction of 4-kilometer Dagum-Tiwales Road.
In partnership with the 53rd Infantry (MATAPAT) Battalion, the said FMRs are priority projects of the ZamboSur Provincial Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (PTF-ELCAC) chaired by Gov. Victor J. Yu in collaboration with the local government of Lakewood and Lakewood Municipal TF-ELCAC chaired by Hon. Mayor. Domingo Mirrar, also with the support of the Office of ZamboSur 1st District Rep. Hon. Divina Grace Yu.
In his remarks, PTF-ELCAC Chairperson Gov. Victor Yu said that the construction of these roads is the prerequisite to eradicating insurgency.
"I have always said, we first build roads then everything else will follow,” Gov. Yu said.
"Having roads will also translate to the delivery of basic and government services to far-flung areas," Gov. Yu added.
Meanwhile, the Municipal Mayor of Lakewood and Lakewood MTF-ELCAC Chairperson Hon. Domingo Mirrar thanked the Provincial Government and the Army for helping in the realization of said FMRs.
"This year 2020, forty-three years after Lakewood was founded in 1977, is the first time our constituents here in Barangay Dagum will be able to see four-wheeled vehicles," said Mirrar.
"This means that the people [of Brgy Dagum] will now regularly see the transport of their harvest to the market, the entry of basic and government services, and hopefully, the end of insurgency," he added.
For 43 years, four-wheeled vehicles cannot enter Brgy Dagum because of the unpaved roads, and became a safe haven of NPA terrorists due to lack of access to basic and government services.
Meanwhile, 102nd Infantry Brigade Commander Col. Leonel Nicolas, who has operational jurisdiction over the Province of Zamboanga del Sur, lauded the efforts of the Provincial and Municipal Task Forces ELCAC and 53rd IB for putting into action their commitment to end the insurgency in Lakewood town.
"The good governance practiced by our local government will not only put insurgency into an end, but will also sustain our future efforts of delivering services to the people," said Col. Nicolas.
Meanwhile, 1st Infantry Division's Assistant Division Commander Brig. Gen. Bagnus Gaerlan, Jr. said that the construction of these roads hopes to open the eyes of NPA terrorists still in the hinterlands.
"We hold this ground breaking ceremony and construct these roads with the hope that more NPA terrorists will abandon the armed struggle and return to the folds of the law," said Brig. Gen. Gaerlan.
"The [NPAs] are also our brothers and sisters who were deceived with the wrong ideology," added Brig. Gen. Gaerlan.
In addition, Lt. Col. Jo-ar Herrera, 53rd IB Commander who has tactical control over Lakewood town, said that these roads will form part of conflict resolution as the people will now receive the services they are so longing for.
"What we are building now are the roads that lead to progress, roads that will deliver basic and government services to the people such as health, education, and job opportunities," said Lt. Col. Herrera.
Also present in the Groundbreaking Ceremony were ZamboSur PNP Provincial Director Police Col. Rhode Espero; Lakewood town Vice-Mayor Hon. Ronaldo Looc; Tiwales Brgy Captain Hon. Jonh Montesan; Baking Brgy Captain Hon. Rolando Langgas; Bulalawan Brgy Captain Hon. Rudy Tillo; Poblacion Brgy Captain Hon. Ivangelen Looc; Dagum Brgy Captain Hon. Felino Galgan. (PR)