AFP eyes road networks to solve decades-old insurgency in Samar Island
By Rodrigo S. Victoria
Tacloban City (30 November) -- The considered the construction of road networks particularly the provincial roads in the tri-boundaries connecting the three Samar provinces of Samar Island as a solution to decades-old insurgency problem besetting that part in region 8.
This was the major recommendation of the 8th Infantry Division of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in Eastern Visayas as presented by Army Captain Darah Regis during the Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC) meeting held recently at the Leyte provincial capitol.
The Regional Peace and Order Council in Eastern Visayas is currently chaired by Leyte Governor Carlos Jericho L. Petilla and co ?chaired by Governor Paul Daza of Northern Samar.
"Solving the decades-old insurgency problem entails a collective effort and that military solution alone is insufficient", the 8th ID said in its recommendation.
The 8th ID of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in Eastern Visayas recommended three proposed road projects in Eastern Visayas with project estimates made by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).
These road construction projects include the road opening of Gandara-Matuguinao Road which has a length of 23 kilometers with an estimated cost of P345M; repair and rehabilitation of the 40 kilometers Matuguinao-Las Navas Logging Road with an estimated cost of P600M and the proposed road opening of the San Jose de Buan-Matuguinao Road worth P375M.
The 8th ID also recommended the construction of other eight road projects in Northern Samar which includes the construction of 25 kms. Silvino Lobos-Las-Navas Road with an estimated cost of P500M, construction of the 31 kms. Happy Valley, San Isisdro-Bonifacio, Lope de Vega Road with an estimated cost of P620M, 9 kms. Trojillo-E. Duran, Bobon Road with estimated cost of P180M, 4 kms. Trangue-Mabini, Catarman Road with an estimated cost of P80M, repair and rehabilitation of the 14 kms. Cagpanit-an, Silvino Lobos-Silvino Lobos Road with an estimated cost of P210M, 13 kms. Simora-Palapag Road with an estimated cost of P195M, 7.8 kms. Polangi-Tranque, Catarman Road with an estimated cost of P117M and the road opening of the 74 kms. Kas Navas-Jipapad Road with an estimated cost of P1.4B.
"The construction and eventual completion of these road networks will certainly boost employment opportunities and spur economic growth", the 8th ID said in their recommendation.
The 8th ID added that this would encourage foreign investors to come and invest and will further lead to the discovery of natural resources most beneficial to the people in the region.
The 8th ID emphasized that the easy access brought by the construction of road opening projects would make internal security operations a lot easier as per experiences in the provinces of Bohol, Cebu, Misamis Oreintal and other provinces in the country that have also decades-old problem on insurgency.
The insurgents or the local terrorists in these mentioned LGUs have been relegated to irrelevance as the AFP handed down the internal security operation to them through the implementation of development projects and an effective and efficient local governance, the 8th ID further said.
The 8th ID further informed that the insurgency problems in the provinces of Cavite and Laguna have been overcome and overwhelmed by development.
As an initial step, the 8th ID has earlier requested from higher AFP headquarters for the realignment of the programmed projects under the P90M Kalayaang Barangay Project (KBP) intended for the different barangays of Northern and Eastern Samar provinces for the immediate rehabilitation of road networks connecting the municipalities of Las Navas in Northern Samar, Jipapad in Eastern Samar and Matuguinao and Gandara of Samar to be undertaken by the Army Engineering Battalion.
The 8th ID also recommended the council for the drafting of a resolution endorsing the proposed road construction projects in Samar Island as a priority projects to be undertaken by the DPWH.
The 8th ID likewise recommended the inclusion of the proposed construction of road projects in the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) of congressmen in the House of Representatives as a way of taking cognizance of the 8th ID project proposals. (PIA 8) [top]