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PIA Press Release

Gov cites KBP as newest "gun-free" weapon vs rebels

Manila (16 October) -- The vaunted Kalayaan sa Barangay Program (KBP) of the government has continued to make headway in eradicating insurgency in the countryside without using guns and bullets.

Newly-installed Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Nabil A. Tan today said KBP is being implemented in rebel-infested areas in various parts of the country where projects are put in place to bring economic development to these places.

The Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) is the lead implementing agency of the KBP in partnership with the Department of National Defense (DND) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) with the latter as the one tasked to construct farm-to-market roads, school buildings, water system, electrification projects, and day care centers, among others.

Tan also said local government units (LGUs) and other line agencies of the government (LAG) are coordinating in the implementation of KBP, particularly on what priority projects they would like to have in their respective provinces and municipalities.

Tan said KBP projects will greatly help boost economic development in the countryside where majority of the people live.

KBP is a peace and development program designed to provide tangible basic services to the people affected by the armed conflict to show the government's concern for their welfare.

The KBP projects are in New Bataan in Compostela Valley in southern Philippines where 15 peace and development infrastructures are being undertaken by the Philippine Army.

"The partnership of soldiers, LGUs, LAGs, barangay officials and the people themselves has been fruitful in making these projects a reality," according to Maj. Gen. Reynaldo B. Mapagu, commanding general of the Army's 10th Infantry (Agila) Division, based in Davao.

"The government's peace and development efforts are slowly taking shape as we progress in or campaign to bring necessary services and infrastructures to our people in the countryside. The much needed project are now in our midst and many more will be coming," Mapagu added.

Compostela Valley Gov. Arturo T. Uy and New Bataan Mayor Lorenzo L. Balbin Jr. said the projects will bring economic benefits to their constituents.

"These projects are proof that the government is serious in working for peace and public officials are doing their best to serve the people in bringing services to them," Uy said.

In the town of New Bataan, the government is set to start the construction of farm-to-market roads, level II water system and a school building in Barangay Magangit.

Two more schoolhouses, a water system, a health center and a day care center will be constructed in Barangay Tandawan while a school building, a dare care center, water system and electrification project in Barangay Fatima, while Barangay Cabinuangan will finally have electricity, aside from getting a day care center and water system of their own.

In Calbayog City (Samar), five barangays from the northern part of the city received the fruits of their "liberation" from being affected by the insurgents: through the KBP Projects of the AFP.

Col. Arnaldo Fernandez, Jr, commander of the 53rd Engineer Brigade and Col. Arnolfo Atendido, commander of 803rd Infantry Brigade, turned over to city mayor Mel Senen Sarmiento and the five punong barangays the fully accomplished KBP projects package consisting of a 2-room school building, a health center and street lights.

The simple turn-over ceremony was held at Brgy. Pe?a in Tinambacan district in September. (PIA-Samar/OPAPP) [top]

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