Army's two-pronged approach vs. insurgency takes concrete form
By Eli C. Dalumpines
Tacloban City (17 March) -- As a proof that it does not only confine its efforts to defeat the armed component of the communist organization in the country by engaging them in combat, the military here assisted the village folks in constructing infrastructures that can provide them with the basic services they need.
This two-pronged approach of the military to solve the 38-year old insurgency in the country took a concrete form Wednesday with the turning over of the water system projects in hinterland villages of Jiabong town, some 25 kilometers east of Samar 's capital.
The Army's 546 Engineer Battalion led by Maj. Jocelyn Regis, together with the officers of the 46th Infantry Battalion led by Lt. Col. Luis Vincent Tacderas, handed over to the residents of Barangays Lulugayan and Parina two water system projects Wednesday morning.
The projects were part of the KALAHI Para sa Kalayaan Program jointly implemented by the Philippine Army, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and the Office of the Presidential Assistant on the Peace Process (OPAPP) to villages that are considered conflict areas due to the strong influence of the communist rebels.
Lulugayan Brgy. Captain Nolito Lagbo, in an acceptance speech, considered his barangay as one of the lucky barangays in the country that received projects from the KALAHI Para sa Kalayaan Program.
According to Lagbo, the water system project means a lot to the barangay residents who, for a long time, had to walk for miles to fetch drinking water from the source.
But with this project completed they can now enjoy a level two water system that brings safe and unlimited supply of water on their doorsteps, the barangay official added.
"With the support the government is giving us there is no reason left why we will not support the government in return," he said in the vernacular.
Meanwhile, Capt. Xerxes Trinidad who represented Col. Tacderas in the said event announced that there are still more projects that the army will implement in these barangays including barangay roads and school buildings. (PIA-Samar) [top]