MIMAROPA Cabinet Officer for Regional Development and Security (CORDS) and Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi, together with CORDS Technical Working Group (TWG) and Energy Undersecretary Alexander S. Lopez, recognized the NEDA Regional Office (NRO) MIMAROPA for its commitment and dedication as Secretariat of MIMAROPA’s Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF ELCAC). This was   during the second quarter meeting held last  June 21 at the Marquis Events Place, Bonifacio Global City in Taguig City.

MIMAROPA RTF ELCAC Head Secretariat and Regional Director (RD) Agustin C. Mendoza of NRO MIMAROPA, together with Chief Economic Development Specialist Sheryll B. Sarabia and Senior Economic Development Specialists Kimberly Ann T. Pilongo and Julius Carlo F. Hilado, received the plaque of recognition.

The following RTF and Provincial Task Force (PTF) ELCAC officials and cluster heads and key development partners were also recognized for their significant achievements in sustainable development and security in MIMAROPA: (a) Occidental Mindoro Gov. Eduardo B. Gadiano, Oriental Mindoro Gov. Humerlito A. Dolor, and Palawan Governor Jose Ch. Alvarez for their committed, dedicated, and inspiring leadership as PTF ELCAC chairpersons; (b) RTF ELCAC cluster heads for their meritorious, exemplary, and dedicated service; (c) Rotary Club of Makati Central (RCMC) Foundation President Roberto A. Alvarez, Jr. and RCMC President Edmund James N. Singson for their compassion, generosity, and commitment to support RTF ELCAC MIMAROPA’s programs and projects; and (d) Pilipinas Shell Foundation, Inc. for its collaborative efforts and utmost contribution to the PTF ELCAC Palawan.

Sec. Cusi presided over the meeting, which was attended by Usec. Lopez, Gov. Gadiano, Dir. Mendoza, Boac Mayor Armi DC. Carrion, and heads and representatives of regional line agencies (RLAs), local government units (LGUs), and private sector representatives.

In his message, Sec. Cusi commended the RTF ELCAC MIMAROPA member agencies for having served the MIMAROPAns well through their sheer hard work, dedication, and relentless effort to achieve regional development and security. He expressed his gratitude to President Rodrigo Roa Duterte for setting example and institutionalizing Executive Order 70, s. 2018 or Institutionalizing the Whole-Of-Nation Approach in Attaining Inclusive and Sustainable Peace, Creating a National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict, and Directing the Adoption of a National Peace Framework. He also emphasized the importance and convergence of the 12 RTF ELCAC clusters to address the root causes of local insurgencies and lay down sustainable and inclusive peace throughout  MIMAROPA. He added that reducing silos, redundancy, and unnecessary bureaucracies paved the way for the whole-of-nation approach.

​​​​​​​Sec. Cusi expressed how it has been an honor to be the CORDS for MIMAROPA, wherein he learned valuable truths from the grassroot communities and resilience being drawn from genuine concern of each other. He enjoined everyone to remain steadfast on pursuing sustainable development and security in the region by replicating what worked and formulating strategies to address what did not work, both in project design and implementation.

Meanwhile, RD  Mendoza represented MIMAROPA Regional Development Council (RDC) Chairperson and Romblon Governor Jose R. Riano. Mendoza read Gov. Riano’s message expressing gratitude to the MIMAROPA CORDS and all the member agencies of MIMAROPA RTF ELCAC, RDC, and Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC) for their relentless efforts in leading MIMAROPA to regional development and in identifying programs, projects, and activities that promote peace, order, and security in the region. He also reminded everyone that the goal is not only to end the insurgency in the region, but also to address poverty and other societal problems faced by MIMAROPAns. He enjoined everyone to carry their respective undertakings and undying aspirations of a peaceful and secure living for fellow MIMAROPAns as the country transitions into a new administration.

On the other hand, Gov. Gadiano acknowledged all MIMAROPA RTF ELCAC member agencies for assisting the province in its fight against communist insurgency. He emphasized the importance of the whole-of-nation approach, particularly in the implementation of the 2021 Local Government Support Fund – Support to Barangay Development Program (LGSF-SBDP) projects in the province, which catalyzed local development by improving living conditions of beneficiaries.

Moreover, MIMAROPA RTF ELCAC Strategic Awareness and Knowledge Management (SAKM) Cluster Head and National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA) MIMAROPA RD  Ariel T. Perlado presented the MIMAROPA RTF ELCAC Transition Report 2019-2022. Highlights of the presentation included the following: (a) current insurgency situation and CTG threat assessment in MIMAROPA; (b) accomplishments and performance efficiency of the 12 RTF clusters; and (c) overall assessment of MIMAROPA RTF ELCAC.

​​​​​​​In closing, Sec. Cusi again expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to lead the RTF ELCAC MMAROPA as his term ends on  June 30. He emphasized the RTF ELCAC’s noteworthy accomplishments in improving the lives of MIMAROPAns, securing peace, and bringing development. He also urged everyone to  continue the initiatives started by the ELCAC and hoped that the next administration will continue the said program, including the institutionalization of the CORDS.