DUMAGUETE CITY, March 22 (PIA) --- Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo said there is still a need for the government to continue making its presence felt strongly in sitios Avocado and Kakha in the town of Sta. Catalina, which were once hotbeds of insurgency.
Degamo made the statement in after the Philippine Army reported continued sightings of suspected rebels in the area.
“Kakha and Avocado are still priority areas by the Armed Force of the Philipines, and these reports need to be given serious attention and action by the government agencies concerned,” said Degamo in a statement.
Capitol Information Officer Adrian Sedillo said the governor would also receive reports of skirmishes from time to time between the government forces and groups of suspected rebels in the vicinity of the two villages.
While he strongly supports the anti-insurgency measures of the AFP, Degamo said the provincial government will continue to provide the needed interventions in the once insurgency-stricken areas.
“The problem on insurgency could not be solved through military solution alone. This must be coupled with the delivery of basic services in order to address the various needs of the people in these areas,” Degamo stated.
Gawad Kalinga has built a housing project in Sitio Kakha with 38 families now enjoying the housing units.
Sedillo said the provincial government will also bring more services to the area such as farm inputs from the Provincial Agriculture Office, animal welfare mission from the Provincial Veterinary Office and livelihood programs from the Technology and Livelihood Development Center (TLDC).
The AFP is also implementing its “Bayanihan” program in the area, where troopers undertake civic-oriented actions, information dissemination and disaster management particularly on rescue, relief and retrieval operations.
The area spanning Kakha and Avocado was once considered a “no man’s land” in the 1990's when it was under the grip of a rebel group.
Village residents temporarily sought safety in Dumaguete City after government forces moved in to undertake massive military operations to stamp out the rebellion movement in the mountain community.
The provincial government eventually carried out development projects in the area such as roads, schools, water systems, electricity and other basic services to spur economic growth in the two villages. (RMN/PIA Negros Oriental)