In the Regional Peace and Order Council 7 meeting last May 7, senior military officials said that the Province of Cebu remains insurgency-free.
However, there is a presence of strong sectoral organizations in Cebu, according to the report of 302nd Brigade of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
These sectoral organizations are said to continue to work for the eventual return of its armed component.
Governor Hilario P. Davide III admitted that he also heard relevant report from AFP-Central Command that some constituents complained of lack of government services in their barangays.
Davide said the Capitol has programs, specifically the distribution of financial assistance, for projects in the barangays to address the situation.
From the calendar year 2014 to March 2015, the Capitol has already spent Php 225.705 million of funds for towns and component cities, including the barangays.
The bulk of the amount went to infrastructure development, of which Php 144.774 million was spent. These projects include water system, road rehabilitation, buildings, electrification project, heavy equipment, and other structures.
In agriculture, the Provincial Veterinarian’s Office recently distributed to farmers in the north at least 85 head of cows and carabaos.
The farmers in the south will also get theirs as 200 more heads of cattle are being purchased and will be delivered within the year.
Moreover, the Farmer-Scientist Training Program has been expanded into barangay level. Each FSTP trainee is assured of inputs assistance from the Capitol.
In line with food security as one of the top agenda of the governor, the Provincial Agriculturist’s Office also implemented a farm mechanization project, such as the distribution of corn mills, corn planter, among others.
The AFP assessed that “the delivery of basic services and other programs of government for the upliftment of the citizens’ living conditions should be unrelentingly pursued in order to negate the issues being use by the enemy to attract supporters.”
Col. Allan Martin, commander of the 302nd brigade, said, “The armed component of the leftist group in Cebu was displaced. But then Cebu is a very good source of funds and logistical support. That is why they will always try hard to gain back Cebu and bring their armed group.
In Central Visayas, the provinces of Cebu, Bohol and Siquijor were already declared insurgency-free by the AFP.
Though not yet insurgency-free, the Province of Negros Oriental was considered as conflict-manageable and development-ready area.