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PIA Press Release

RPOC 8 endorses use of P90M KBP funds to jumpstart construction of tri-boundary roads in Samar Island

Tacloban City (November 27) -- The Regional Peace and Order Council of Eastern Visayas under the chairmanship of Leyte Governor Carlos Jericho L. Petilla, unanimously passed a resolution endorsing the request to use the P90 Million Kalayaang Barangay Project of the Armed Forces of the Philippines to jumpstart the rehabilitation of existing logging roads in the tri-boundary roads in the Samar Island.

In the RPOC meeting held on November 26 at the Leyte Governors' Hall, the 8th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army under Major General Mario Chan, recommended the construction of the Tri-Boundary roads connecting the three Samar Provinces, the absence of which is the main reason for the NPA strongholds in the area.

The 8th ID which was represented by Col. Neri alsoqud the RPOC of Eastern Visayas to endorse the same.

In passing the resolution, the members of the RPOC took into consideration that said roads are crucial to the resolution of the insurgency problem that hinders the development of the areas and Region 8 as a whole.

The members were unanimous that there is an urgent need for the prioritization of said projects.

The Kalayaan Barangays Program or KALAHI para sa Kalayaan is intended to put an end to the decades-old problem of communist insurgency and usher in peace and development in poverty stricken rural barangays.

It is in line with the government's goal to rehabilitate and develop conflict-afflicted areas as contained in the Medium-Term Philippine Development Plan for 2004 to 2010 or the National Peace Plan.

The program's ultimate goal is the achievement of sustainable peace in the community following the human security framework of freedom from want, freedom from fear, freedom from humiliation and exclusion.

Specifically, it seeks to empower the target barangays to be able to build and sustain peace and development; restore and strengthen formal governance institutions and maintain peace and security in the area; and fast-track the delivery of government's commitment under signed final peace agreements.

Currently, the Kalayaan Barangays Program covers 600 conflict-affected barangays in 12 regions in the country. These regions are the CAR, Regions III, IV-A, VI-B, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X, XI and CARAGA.

Of the total areas covered, 500 barangays were identified by the Department of National Defense (DND) through the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) as priority communist insurgency areas. These barangays are either infiltrated or influenced areas of the CPP-NPA-NDF. (PIA 8) [top]

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