TACLOBAN CITY-The government’s peace and development efforts and significant accomplishments on ending local communist armed conflict (ELCAC), especially in Eastern Visayas region, were the main points of discussion during the post-State of the Nation Address (Sona) Forum in this city on Tuesday, September 5.

Some 500 participants attended the Eastern Visayas episode of the peace-themed talks, a public forum which will be held at this city’s convention center.

The day-long activity features a Serbisyo Caravan in which some 31 participating national line agencies put up booths where they displayed their programs, projects, activities, and services, freely offered to clients, including consultation and info dissemination on how to avail such programs and services.

Among those who graced the event were regional heads of national government agencies, information officers, punong barangays, SK chairpersons, KKDAT officers in the city, a youth group on poetry, friends rescued, and employees, while over a dozen local media practitioners are due to cover the event.

The Tacloban post-SONA forum carries the theme, “Pagkaurosa para ha Kamurayawan nga Kauswagan ha Sinirangan Bisayas” (Unity for Peace and Development in Eastern Visayas).
City Mayor Alfred Romualdez, the concurrent chairperson of the Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC), delivered the welcome remarks, while Paulino Gutierez of the Presidential Task Force on Media Security, gave an inspirational message.

Program overview was tackled by Jose Torres Jr., director-general of the Philippine Information Agency (PIA).

Other speakers are Usec. Ernesto Torres Jr., executive director and Secretariat of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), who shared a briefing on ELCAC accomplishments, and Eustacio Bacabac, regional director of the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA), on the topic “Awareness Orientation on CTG Infiltration and Exploitation.”

Oscar Valenzuela, Undersecretary for Peace and Order of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), discussed a briefer on “Benefits and Livelihood Opportunities for Friends Rescued.”

Leonilo Lopido, PIA-8 officer-in-charge, made the closing message following the open forum.
(MMP/PIA Southern Leyte)