DSWD chief asks groups' commitment to end conflict

CLARK FREEPORT—Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Rex Gatchalian called for the commitment of different groups to foster peace and development in Central Luzon.

Gatchalian issued the statement during the first quarterly meeting of the Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF-ELCAC) III.

“I am pleased to note that we gather here not only as government officials but also as representatives of the communities we serve, with a common purpose – that is to put an end to the local communist armed conflict that has long hindered the nation’s progress,” Gatchalian said.

The RTF-ELCAC was held on February 8 at the Royce Hotel inside this freeport.

As the Cabinet Officer for Regional Development and Security (CORDS) for Central Luzon, Gatchalian led the RTF-ELCAC quarterly meeting.

He expressed gratitude to stakeholders for the commitment in fostering lasting peace, security, and sustainable development in Region 3.

“Our presence here underscores our shared commitment to fostering lasting peace, security, and sustainable development in Central Luzon,” he said.

The RTF-ELCAC quarterly meeting served as a platform for member-agencies to showcase the accomplishments of the regional task force in the past year, present the security situation report, and reflect on the possible ways forward for the implementation of various peace and development initiatives in Central Luzon.

Emphasizing the importance of a comprehensive approach, Gatchalian highlighted the need for aligning efforts with the national roadmap and adopting an organizational structure that remains adaptive and responsive.

“We must gain an understanding and align ourselves with the national roadmap. I acknowledge that the orientation of the NTF-ELCAC roadmap is crucial for the success of our regional efforts as this will provide us with valuable insights and guidance as we work collaboratively towards ending local communist armed conflict in Central Luzon,” Gatchalian said.

Gatchalian cited the need to “ensure communities have access to education, healthcare, and livelihood opportunities, creating an environment conducive to growth and stability”.

Part of the meeting’s agenda was the signing of the relief prepositioning agreement between the DSWD and the local government units (LGUs) in Central Luzon.

The agreement, which was signed by Gatchalian and other key officials in the region, outlines the partnership between the DSWD and other stakeholders in prepositioning relief items that can be used by the different municipalities in times of disasters and calamities.

DSWD officials who attended the meeting were Undersecretary for Inclusive-Sustainable Peace and Special Concerns Alan Tanjusay, Undersecretary for Disaster Response Management Group (DRMG) Diana Rose S. Cajipe, and DSWD Field Office -3 (Central Luzon) Regional Director Venus Rebuldela.


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