The launching of MIMAROPA Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF ELCAC) projects was held last September 23, as part of the MIMAROPA Regional Development Council (RDC) Week celebration.

In attendance were MIMAROPA Cabinet Officer for Regional Development and Security (CORDS) Representative General Rodolfo Magtibay, directors and representatives of regional line agencies (RLAs), local government units (LGUs), state universities and colleges (SUCs), private sector representatives, MIMAROPA RTF ELCAC members, and local media personalities.

NEDA Regional Office (NRO)  MIMAROPA OIC-Assistant Regional Director and RDC Acting Secretary Bernardino A. Atienza, Jr. read RDC Chairperson and Romblon Governor Jose R. Riano’s opening remarks emphasizing the relentless efforts of the RTF ELCAC in achieving a safer, more secure, and economically vibrant region. He enjoined participants to never stop pursuing the matatag, maginhawa, at panatag na buhay that the MIMAROPAns deserve.

Meanwhile, MIMAROPA CORDS Technical Working Group (TWG) Gen. Rodolfo Magtibay conveyed MIMAROPA CORDS and Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi’s message highlighting the accomplishments of MIMAROPA RDC and RTF ELCAC. He acknowledged the involvement of various stakeholders, particularly those in the vulnerable sectors, in conversation about development issues and in creating solutions. He encouraged everyone to continue exploring what can be done in making a sustainable and resilient future and changing the mindset of people to a solutions-focused and growth mindset. He also enjoined everyone to unite and collaborate on developing organizations and capabilities so that MIMAROPA can bounce back better, smarter, and quicker.

CORDS TWG Consultant Dr. Adrienne A. Mabanta presented the various RTF ELCAC Projects in MIMAROPA, which are intended to: 1) satisfy basic physiological needs such as food security; 2) enable indigenous peoples communities to protect and promote their rights and culture using digital technology; and 3) engage and communicate with different stakeholders to support the RTF ELCAC initiatives.

​​​​​​​The RTF ELCAC projects lineup includes the following: (a) Emergency Food Reserve; (b) Cuniculture; (c) Plant4Me; (d) Indi-genius Peoples (InGen) Hub; (e) Indigenous Potentials for Peace and Resilience (IPRA) Academy; (f) RTf Convergence Center; (g) 2022 RTF Calendar Photo Contest; (h) #CultureOfPeace Vlogs and TikTok; and (i) MIMAROPA Changemakers Awards.

President Roberto A. Alvarez, Jr. of the  Rotary Club of Makati Central Foundation, Inc. (RCMCFI), meanwhile,  was introduced as the RTF ELCAC private sector partner.  He highlighted the importance of collaboration, working together, and building networks to serve communities better. President Edmund James N. Singson of the Rotary Club of Makati Central (RCMC), also informed the participants on the roles and initiatives of RCMC in attaining the country’s goals and objectives in the peace and environment sectors.

In closing, NRO  MIMAROPA Regional Director and RDC Vice-Chairperson Agustin C. Mendoza highlighted the efforts and initiatives of MIMAROPA RDC, together with the RTF ELCAC, in the implementation of the whole-of-nation approach to end local communist armed conflict in the region. He assured everyone that NRO MIMAROPA and MIMAROPA RDC fully support MIMAROPA RTF ELCAC initiatives in bringing sustainable and inclusive peace throughout the region.