Cagayan Valley RTF-ELCAC brings gov't services closer to Calayanos
By Oliver T. Baccay / Philippine Information Agency
Members of the RTF-ELCAC hand-over a food pack to one of the participants of the Information and Service Caravan held in Calayan Island. (PIA photo)
CALAYAN, Cagayan – Members of the Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF-ELCAC) have brought their programs and services to the people of this island in an information and service caravan.
The National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA) region 2, the head of the Situational Awareness and Knowledge Management (SAKM) cluster, has oriented the local officials and sectoral representatives on the deceitful recruitment tactics of the terrorist groups.
Regional Director Dennis Godfrey Gammad also informed the islanders on how the Communist Party of the Philippines- New Peoples Army - National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) infiltrated the bureaucracy.
"We are going around the different municipalities and provinces to convey to the people the different programs of the government that they may avail of," Gammad said.
The locals also committed to help the government attain lasting peace and security in the country by disregarding any attempt of the rebels to infiltrate their island. They also witnessed the burning of the flags of the Communist Terrorist Groups (CTGs).
During the caravan, the Philippine National Police offered their firearms licensing service and gave food packs to some identified residents while the National Bureau of Investigation also offered its clearance issuance service.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development also conducted payout to senior citizens, distributed cash assistance to some identified qualified beneficiaries under the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) program, and distributed 500 family food packs.
The Technical Education Skills and Development Authority also conducted technology demonstration on organic fertilizer making and informed the communities on the skills trainings that they can avail of for livelihood opportunities.
The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources also distributed 10,000 tilapia fingerlings and 4,000 tilapia breeders to identified fisherfolk of the town.
The Department of Health delivered additional Sinovac vaccines that are intended for senior citizens while the Department of the Interior and Local Government inspected some development projects that will benefit the people of Calayan Island.
The Philippine Statistics Authority has also launched the registration for the Philippine Identification System while the Department of Tourism also updated the people on the latest guidelines in the tourism industry.
Mayor Joseph Llopis expressed his gratitude to the team for bringing the services of government closer to the islanders.
Though the local government here has already completed and inaugurated its air strip, the mayor said they are still waiting for the issuance of their permit to operate to allow air transportation as alternative accessibility in going to and from the island town. At present, the island is accessible only by sea travel for about six hours.
"We are very peaceful in this town. We are insurgency-free and drug-free. We will not allow any attempt of the rebel groups to infiltrate our municipality," Llopis said.
Though the town has no active COVID-19 case at the moment, the mayor is also hopeful that the pandemic will be over soon to bring back the normal situation in the island, especially the tourism industry which is severely affected. (MDCT/OTB/PIA 2-Cagayan)