CATBALOGAN CITY- While this city was already declared as “manageable conflict affected and development ready,” presence of soldiers would still be felt. This was announced by Brigadier General Wilson Leyva, commanding officer of the 801st Infantry Brigade, as Catbalogan became the latest area in the region to be declared as such. The declaration of Catbalogan, one of the three newest cities of Eastern Visayas and the provincial capital of Samar, as manageable conflict affected and development ready was formalized in a document signed by Leyva and Mayor Stephany Uy on July 28. But while Catbalogan was declared as such, Leyva assured its people that soldiers would continue to be seen. “The notion that once an area is declared as such, the Army will leave the area,” the Army official said. It is in Catbalogan where the main base of the Army, the 8th Infantry Division, is based. Leyva added that “good governance” is the real solution to the insurgency problem hounding a municipality. He said that since the mayor and other leaders are doing good governance, the issue on insurgency has been reduced and is now downgraded as police matter. “Please spread our peace advocacy; that problems and issues can be resolved through peaceful means and not necessarily by violence,”Leyva said. Mayor Uy, meantime, said that she consulted with all the 57 barangay officials of the city as well as other stakeholders like the business sector. “We struggled to reach the parameters that we are in now,” she stressed. (ROGER SORIA)