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AFP adopts “bayanihan” to promote development, end insurgency

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ISABELA CITY, Basilan – The National Development Support Command (NADESCOM) conferred to government forces its advocacy to promote multi-stakeholder partnership and cooperation in bringing about development and end insurgency in the country.

In a press statement, NADESCOM Commanding General MGen Carlos B. Holganza conferred last February 3 with the Chief and the Officers of the Western Command (WESCOM) in Puerto Princesa City, and talked with the soldiers after, to explain the advocacy that “bayanihan” promotes.

Derived from the true Filipino value of cooperation, “bayanihan”, the new Internal Peace and Security Plan (IPSP) of the Armed Forces puts premium of its success to partnerships and collaborations with all the stakeholders in fighting insurgency, while simultaneously bringing development to the community.

The Commanding General, who was welcomed with an arrival honors, explained that instead of defeating the enemy, the military’s new IPSP aims to “win the peace” by focusing more on conducting Civil-Military Operations and implementing developmental projects and  programs.

“The military intends to end the problem of insurgency in the country, not with guns and bombs but through ‘bayanihan’,” he said.

Holganza further explained that working towards achieving that goal, the “bayanihan” adopts a two-fold strategy that will ensure that its implementation will become a success: the whole-of-nation approach and the people-centered approach or human security approach.

The former focuses on establishing a collaborative working relationship in bringing developmental projects to the community not only with the non-government organizations (NGOs), Civil Society, local government units and agencies and private organizations but also with the public at large because ultimately, it is the public that will benefit most in winning the peace.

The latter, on the other hand, emphasizes the importance of protecting the people instead of hunting down the enemies. It works on the principle that if one helps people improve their lives, they will become less susceptible to being swayed to join the rebel group.

It encourages the soldiers to always respect the human rights of every individual and to always observe professionalism in every military operation that they are part of, because combat operations will still be employed if necessary.

MGen Holganza said WESCOM is fortunate to have Lt Gen Juancho M. Sabban as Commander because he has shown openness to non-traditional military methods in winning peace.

When he was still doing his stint in Sulu, Lt Gen Sabban has started adopting a means of fighting the enemies by helping the communities develop.

“Waging war with the enemy will not solve the problem. It will only perpetuate a cycle of violence that will benefit neither party to the war,” the WESCOM Chief pointed out.

The NADESCOM, according to MGen Holganza, is presently working on two developmental programs, the Kalayaan sa Barangay Program (KBP) and the more recent Bayanihan sa Barangay Program.

While both programs aims to bring progress to the community by constructing infrastructures such as farm-to-market roads and school buildings and providing basic necessities such as water cistern tanks, the projects under the latter will not end when the structures have been completed.

MGen Holganza explained that under the Bayanihan sa Barangay, they will try to compliment a project with something that would make it even more useful to the people.

He took for example the construction of a new school building. He said that once it was completed, they will not just turn it over to the beneficiaries as it is; they may also provide computer units for the education of the students who will use the school building.

Projects under the Bayanihan sa Barangay will be funded through collaboration with the private sectors because the funds of the Kalayaan sa Barangay Program, although regular, is unfortunately not enough.

“Instead of killing the enemies, we will try to win over friends,” MGen Holganza said.

The AFP is confident that it will succeed in ending the problem of insurgency with the current direction that the Armed Forces are undertaking. (6CRGAFP/PIA9-BST/rvc)




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