GINGOOG CITY, Misamis Oriental (PIA)–“Kamo dili pasagdan sa atong pang-gobyerno (The government will not forsake you),” Barangay Captain Porferio Duque of Eureka said as he called to rebel groups who continue the armed struggle in the mountains to return to the fold of the law.
Eureka, as one of the farthest barangays in Gingoog City, is not really an area where conflicts usually happen but Duque said he knows that some of members of the rebel groups have visited their village already, knowing it is situated far from city proper.
“Ako usab nanghinaut ug nag-awhag sa among mga kaubanan o kaperyentehan nga anaa pa sa grupo nga nasalaag ug nakigbatok sa atong panggobyerno pinaagi sa armadong pakigbisog, nga unta mugawas na kamo ug sa katapusan, musilong na sa landong sa kagamhanan kay sigurado ako nga kamo dili pasagdan sa atong panggobyerno, diha sa establisar sa inyong bag-ong panginabuhian nga malahutayon ug pinuy-anan,” the barangay leader said.
(I am calling to all our friends and relatives who continue to battle in the mountains to return to the government fold because it is certain that the government will not forsake you and instead will help you establish a new and better form of livelihood for a better life)
The barangay chief also shared that Barangay Eureka finally felt the care of the government, under the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte. Among the many programs implemented in their barangay is the Barangay Development Program (BDP) under the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC).
BDP is a flagship program of the current administration for poverty alleviation and development in the context of addressing the root causes of insurgency.
Also, the local government unit implemented the renovation of their Barangay Hall, and has put up water works, tribal hall and covered court. Duque said there is already a concrete farm-to-market road that provides quick access and helps them in the delivery of their produce and in their livelihood, in general.
“Ang akong barangay, naa’y 13 ka purok. 75 years na ka tuig, wala gyud ni sila nakatagamtam ug proyekto pinaagi sa waterworks ug panubig sa mga sitio, (We have 13 districts in our barangay. For 75 years, we never experienced having a proper water system),” he shared, citing one of their projects which is the water system.
Barangay Eureka including the tribal group, Tribu Higaonon that as well composed the barangay, is very happy with the realization of the projects. These projects are which they believe they need the most to improve their lives.
“Ang tubig, kung magpadayon kini, dako kaayo nga improvement sa akong barangay. Dako kaayo ang improvement kay ang tubig musumpay kini sa panginabuhi (If uninterrupted, improvement in the barangay particularly the water system is certainly attainable since this aids various livelihoods in the area),” he continued.
The barangay, which was also given cows and carabaos and other livelihood-related opportunities, will continue to prosper if the water system is working, Duque added.
Further, Duque explained the importance of providing and sustaining these projects in the fight of stopping insurgency in remote areas.
“Ang pinakauyokan nga problema nga gyera pinaagi sa armadong pakigbisog, nasuta nga dili diay gyera gamit ang armas ug bala ang kasulbaran niini, kon dili ang tukma nga kasulbaran, pinaagi diay sa pagsulbad sa problema sa pamahaw, paniudto ug panihapon, pinaagi sa paghatag ug kapanginabuhian sa katawhang kabus, ilabi na gayud sa mga sakop sa katawhang Lumad sa among dapit nga mao ang Tribung Higaonon ug mga kasikbit nga mga barangay ng uhaw sa pag-amuma sa atong kagamhanan,” the captain shared.
(Armed struggle is never a solution to the problems experienced by many, but it is through solving hunger problems by providing livelihood support to marginalized communities, especially to Lumads and other communities living in nearby barangays who are thirsty of government support)
Barangay Eureka is also the place of activation of Misamis Oriental Task Force to End Local Communist and Armed Conflict, September 2019. (IJBD/PIA10)