ABRA Governor Joy Bernos called on the Regional Development Council and Regional Peace and Order Council (RDC-RPOC) to let prospective private sector representatives in the council undergo the necessary clearance from the security sector before allowing them to be members.
In the third quarter meeting of the council in Baguio City, Bernos reiterated the need for clearances from the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to ensure such representatives are not aligned with communist groups in the region.
“We are fighting or preventing the recruitment of members coming from the other side on the problem of insurgency. Others use it as a front that they are coming from the NGOs (nongovernment organizations) as private sector and that they will help in the barangays which is a way of persuasion on their part. That is why it is important to clear those entering as members of the regional councils,” Bernos said.
In recent joint RDC-RPOC meetings, Bernos noted questions raised by other members of the council on how the RDC-RPOC allow the entry of NGOs in the villages particularly in the upland municipalities of Abra.
“Based on our Provincial Peace and Order Council resolution, we require clearances from the PNP, the military and the provincial government for NGO’s going to the upland municipalities to prevent the recruitment of people,” the Governor stated.
Albert Mogol, Office of the Civil Defense and Cordillera Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council chairman, reiterated the need for a close door session for applicants wanting to be part of the private sector as representatives to the council.
“I think they have their point to do it in a close-door session but they have to profile them before they come in as members of the RDC-RPOC. Our point here is for them to get a clearance from the PNP and military before they listen to them,” Bernos added.