Community mobilization program now in place in Calabarzon

(L-R) Mr. Romulo Edaños of Quezon Province, Ms. Milagros Trias of Rizal Province, Gov. Hermilando Mandanas of Batangas Province, Secretary Jose Maria Nicomedes Hernandez of OPAST, OIC-RD Annie Mendoza of DSWD Region IV-A, BGen. Arnulfo Burgos of AFP-SolCom, RD Luis Banua of NEDA Region IV-A, and ARD Ariel Iglesia of DILG Region IV-A pose for a “kabit-bisig” photo after the Yakap Bayan: Community Mobilization and Support Program Action Plan MOA Signing (Photo from NEDA IV-A)

The Calabarzon Regional Development Council (RDC) has approved and released Monday its “Yakap Bayan: Community Mobilization and Support Program,” following the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement by the multi-agency stakeholders of the regional police headquarters’ initiative on the Community Mobilization Program (CMP).

According to the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA)-Calabarzon Regional Office as the RDC secretariat, the Yakap Bayan-CMP convergence project puts in place a strong and sustainable community defense system against lawlessness and criminality, involve the community in conflict resolutions, and provide rehabilitation, aftercare, transformation and reintegration support for recovering drug surrenderers.

The program was initiated by Secretary Jose Marie Nicomedes, the Presidential Adviser for Southern Tagalog (OPAST).

Under the MOA, the collaborative partners comprising regional offices of national government agencies such as the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) among others; the local governments of the Calabarzon provinces of Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon, OPAST, and the Armed Forces of the Philippines Southern Luzon Command, expressed their commitment to the PNP during the RDC Full Council meeting last month at the Sta. Rosa city’s Paseo Premiere Hotel.

The agreeing parties committed to implement the convergence project, coordinate with each other to ensure alignment of programs and activities, provide inputs for the enhancement of the project, monitor and report on the project status and participate in all subsequent meetings.

PNP IV-A shall proceed with the implementation of its Community Mobilization program and invite all parties for convergence efforts, while AFP-SolCom implements its Community Service Program and involve all parties in its activities, such as delivery of basic services and provide security support to activities conducted in conflict-affected areas.

NEDA Calabarzon provided for the needed Secretariat works like preparing and finalizing the program’s action plan based on the comments and recommendations, finalized the MOA and coordinated between parties and beneficiaries.

Another partner, DILG IV-A was tasked to download to all LGUs all pertinent information relative to the plan and its implementation of the Yakap Bayan-CMP, as well as advocate and encourage LGUs to support the project.

For its part, the DSWD IV-A will provide the needed technical assistance and fund augmentation to LGUs for the project’s implementation and provide other programs and series of activities in support of the program.

The regional DWSD office also commits to provide livelihood and basic services to identified convergence areas and related activities.

The region’s provincial offices are tasked to monitor the convergence project’s action plan and related programs and the projects’ implementation in their respective areas, plus provide support and participate in the activities in their geographical jurisdictions.

The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) in Calabarzon will implement drug-clearing operations and participate in the convergence project together with other line agencies.

The OPAST, which serves as chair of the oversight group, will convene the group or any of the parties concerned in relation to the Yakap Bayan: Community Mobilization and Support Program Action Plan implementation. —Gladys Piño/PNA