TALISAY CITY -- Local government units (LGUs) in Negros Occidental province were told by authorities on Wednesday, August 23, to establish their own anti-terrorism task force to deter threats.
Some mayors and village leaders of 31 cities and towns in the province attended the Task Force Buglas orientation at the Nature’s Village Resort here to learn to replicate the programs initiated by the Provincial Government to thwart terrorism risks.
Major General Jon Aying, commander of the 3rd Infantry Division of the Philippine Army, said the total infrastructure coming from Western Visayas Region and the province will be copied in the cities and municipalities down to the villages.
He said there will be capacity building across all levels.
“The links, convergence, lines for cooperation, collaboration and integration” are being strengthened, he added.
One of the government programs that can be used as a framework is the Mamamayang Ayaw sa Anomalya, Mamamayang Ayaw sa Iligal na Droga (Masa Masid), he added.
Aying said it’s important for the local chief executives to have “political will” to “initiate, organize, and operationalize” these programs “to secure and make their localities peaceful.”
He added that the government leaders’ political will make the program effective and sustainable.
The military official also said that local leaders who refuse to follow the template should blame themselves if there are terror attacks.
It’s their accountability and liability, the Army official said.
Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. said the Capitol’s efforts to stop possible terror attacks continue even if the Negros Island Region was already abolished.
“We have to make this province peaceful, livable, and ready for further development,” he said.
The governor said the local chief executives, barangay leaders, and the community must be vigilant, hence, the preparation.
“There can never be progress without peace,” Marañon said, as he urged local leaders to cooperate and help each other.
He that added it’s important to have cooperation and coordination in the fight against terrorism.
The governor said the Philippine Coast Guard is looking to establish a training academy in southern Negros.
Marañon added that it would help the province in terms of security.
“If there is a Coast Guard academy, there will be patrol boats. It would be a big help,” he said.
The governor also urged Negrenses to work together to make Negros as one state once the country shifts to federal form of government.
Published in the SunStar Bacolod newspaper on August 24, 2017.
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