The province is not a communist armed conflict-affected province and has no vulnerable barangays. But as premised in the joint resolution, the establishment of the task force will strengthen local or traditional conflict resolution and management mechanisms. It will also establish formal and informal avenues for continuing dialogue and participation of peace stakeholders among peace and order councils, local development councils, and Katarungang Pambarangay.
The resolution is seen to strengthen Executive Order 50 earlier issued by Governor Melchor Diclas which establishes PTF-ELCAC.
Department of Interior and Local Government Provincial Director Rufina Fegcan said the joint resolution reinforces the existence and establishment of the task force which is chaired by the governor with the DILG as head of the secretariat.
As can be recalled, President Rodrigo Duterte issued Executive Order Number 70 last December 4, 2018 institutionalizing the Whole -of-Nation approach to attain inclusive and sustainable peace. It mandates the creation of a National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict and replicated in the lower levels of governance to addresses the root causes of local armed conflict prioritizing the delivery of basic government services, social development packages, and construction of needed infrastructures to usher development as part of the country’s peace agenda.
Among the functions of the provincial task force are ensure the creation of municipal task forces, ensure that the local government units include peace building initiatives, and provide technical assistance at the municipal level.
Members of the PTF-ELCAC are the Philippine National Police, Sangguniang Panlalawigan Chair on Peace and Order and Public Safety, Liga ng Barangay, Sangguniang Kabataan, provincial government offices such as Planning and Development, Health Office, Social Welfare and Development, Budget, Accounting, Agriculture Office, Engineering Office, Environment and Natural Resources Office, Prosecutor’s Office, Department of Trade and Industry, Philippine Army, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, Department of Education, National Commission on Indigenous Peoples, Department of Agrarian Reform, and Department of Public Works and Highways. (JDP/SCA-PIA-CAR, Benguet)
By Susan C. Aro