DEPARTMENT of Interior and Local Government Secretary Benjamin ‘Benhur’ C. Abalos Jr. has lauded the Revitalized-Pulis sa Barangay (R-PSB) program of the Philippine National Police headed by General Benjamin C. Acorda Jr.
Leading the R-PSB is Major General Edgar Alan O. Okubo, the PNP Director for Police-Community Relations. The man helped jumpstart the program when still assigned in Southern Mindanao and later as director of the PNP Special Action Force and the National Capital Region Police Office.
The official said that by helping open roads and highways in far-flung areas, they are allowing the local community to easily gain access to everything they need, including hospitals, schools and other government facilities.
“I believe in the concept where the road begins, insurgency ends,” the official said.
Sec. Abalos mentioned the ‘tremendous achievement’ of Okubo for the PNP and the National Task Force To End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) when he spoke before a delegation from LEMHANAS Indonesia, otherwise known as the National Resilience Institute of Indonesia last Sept. 6.
The Indonesian delegation was led by Police Commissioner General Drs. Rudy Sufahriadi Sr.
“I’ve seen the project of ELCAC and Gen. Okubo going to the countryside myself, P1.5 billion raised on his own, not even government money and it’s going to the Geographically Isolated and Disadvantageous Areas (GIDAS) in the country,” the DILG chief said.
Okubo was applauded by the Indon delegation and officials of the DILG and the NTF-ELCAC when he presented the concept of the R-PSB before the LEMHANAS Indonesia officials.
The R-PSB has proven its effectiveness in many parts of the country as one of the PNP’s primary anti-insurgency programs, officials said.
R-PSB liberates areas from the influence of the New People’s Army by proving the government can provide basic services.
The official said that as part of the PNP’s strengthened drive versus insurgency, criminality and terror, they have launched their R-PSB program in line with the 5-Focus Agenda of Gen. Acorda and in order to complement the national security plan of President Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ R. Marcos Jr. to address security challenges.
He told the Indon delegation how police and community will gain back its resiliency through an honest-to-goodness partnership.
Gen. Acorda has also emphasized the important role played by the R-PSB program in defeating the communist insurgency.
The R-PSB immerses policemen with the poor people in far-flung areas in the country for six months.
This immersion will help the people get real government service and find out what their other concerns are.
Acorda said it is an important program to help sustain peace and order in barangays known to be infested with rebels.
The top cop commended Okubo for the resounding success of the R-PSB training and its alignment with the PNP’s Five-Focused Agenda, particularly the pillar of community engagement.
At present, the R-PSB program is being fully implemented in many parts of Regions 8, 5 and Bangsamoro Administrative Region.
Over 300 R-PSB personnel from the Police Regional Office 8 headed by Brigadier Gen. Vincent S. Calanoga have been sent to seven barangays in Northern Samar.
Prior to that, Okubo and PRO5 director, Brig. Gen. Westrimundo D. Obinque also met with 320 PRO5 officers and men who have finished an R-PSB training prior to their deployment to 34 far-flung barangays in Bicol.