300 conflict-affected families in Agusan Norte town get aid
By Alexander Lopez / Philippine News Agency
BUTUAN CITY – Around 300 residents in the remote area of Sitio San Jose, Barangay Durian in Las Nieves, Agusan del Norte received government services and aid during a two-day "Serbisyo Caravan" on Aug. 11-12.
“Sitio San Jose is among the priority communities in Las Nieves under the Executive Order No. 70 (EO 70) issued by President Rodrigo Duterte. The place is among the areas greatly affected by the terrorist activities of the New People’s Army (NPA),” said Lt. Col. Julius Cesar C. Paulo, commander of the 23rd Infantry Battalion, in a statement.
The activity led by Gov. Dale B. Corvera and Mayor Avelina Rosales brought basic services of the government to the local residents who have been affected by conflicts due to insurgency for years, he added.
The affected families received free medical-dental check-ups, medicines. Free circumcision and haircut were also provided to the children in said community. The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority in Agusan del Norte also awarded training and scholarship grants to some residents in the sitio, especially the youth.
Paulo said the two-day activity relived the true Filipino spirit of Bayanihan, a deep-seated culture among Filipinos.
“The spirit of Bayanihan is very much alive among us especially during trying times or when our fellow Filipinos need help and support. This culture unites us and enables the different instrumentalities of the government to effectively address the root causes of local communist armed conflicts that for years have brought havoc in communities like Sitio San Jose,” Paulo said.
On the contrary, he said, the NPA insurgents spread disunity and dissent in communities and the people.
“The CNTs (Communist NPA Terrorists) and their leaders do not believe in the culture of Bayanihan. Instead, they propagated disputes and hatred. This is how these terrorists rule. They weaken communities through divisions and rifts and control the residents through fear,” Paulo said.
He also assured the residents of San Jose that the 23IB is working with the different local government units and agencies in Agusan del Norte to achieve the common goal of realizing sustainable development and lasting peace in communities in the province.
The Communist Party of the Philippines - NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. (PNA)