The Philippine Star

‘Defeating COVID-52’

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The armed conflict caused by communist terrorist groups is continuous­ly losing popular support, but the small yet persistent band continues to pose threats to the lives of people in the remote communitie­s. That is why I appreciate the decision of the Senate to retain the NTFELCAC budget for 2021.

Under Executive Order 70 or the Whole of Nation Approach, there are numerous policies, programs and projects that will empower communitie­s to play an active role in the attainment of sustainabl­e peace and developmen­t – and these obviously will need a big budget.

In the vulnerable rural communitie­s, they need ELCAC to be completely free from poverty, which is the primary propaganda line of the communists that fuels insurgency. With the implementa­tion of ELCAC, I can see the government’s sincerity in addressing the basic needs of the people, particular­ly in conflictaf­fected areas. This is why, ELCAC is steadily gaining popular support and I fully support it.

I am overwhelme­d that the NTFELCAC budget was passed without cut, although it was being questioned by other legislator­s. Although it is also imperative to allocate funds for disaster recovery to ensure that we are resilient in both armed conflict and natural calamities, our momentum to defeat the Communist Virus Disease (COVID-52) that has plagued our country for almost 52 years should not be disrupted to finally put an end to this threat to national security.

I am hopeful that the insurgency and armed conflict in our country will soon be resolved so that government can focus its budget on mitigating the effects of natural disasters and facilitate recovery and resiliency. – KRISTINE JOYCE S. LUGAO, Loakan, Baguio City, CAR

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