EIGHT more barangays in Davao City have been declared insurgency-free, a military official said.

Lieutenant Colonel Rey Pasco, 16th Infantry Battalion (IB) commanding officer, said in an interview on the sidelines of AFP-PNP Press Corps media forum at The Royal Mandaya Hotel Wednesday, March 6, that barangays Pañalum, Mabuhay, Lumiad, Mapula, Malabog, Paradise Embac and Paquibato proper in Paquibato District, and Barangay Dominga in Calinan district were declared insurgency-free on February 14.

He said the area is declared insurgency-free if there are no presence of rebels or their camps in the area.

Pasco added that these barangays are ready for development. There are 25 government projects in these villages.

He added that some of the residents in these barangays have already started to plant their own crops since they have been assured of the peace and order situation in their area.

The government’s intervention program for former rebels such as livelihood training also helps, he added.

"Nagpasalamat mi nga ang katawhan na gyud sa Paquibato concerned sila kay dagko na gyud og kalainan compared sa una og karon (We're thankful because the people of Paquibato are now concerned since there are already big changes compared before)," he added.

Meanwhile, the 16th IB in Davao City covers 29 barangays in Davao City composed of 11 barangays in Paquibato, six in Calinan district, eight barangays in Buhangin, two barangays in Bunawan, one each in Talomo and Marilog District.

They also cover 40 barangays in Panabo City and two barangays in Carmen, Davao del Norte. Pasco added all these barangays are declared insurgency-free.