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Carlos wants R-PSB replicated nationwide by Azurin, PNP

August 16, 2022 Alfred P. Dalizon 794 views

CarlosNATIONAL Security Adviser (NSA) Clarita R. Carlos had said her piece: she wants the Revitalized-Pulis sa Barangay (R-PSB) program of the Police Regional Office 11 which has proven to be a success in convincing thousands of New People’s Army (NPA) supporters and sympathizers to denounce the rebel movement, replicated by the Philippine National Police nationwide.

Carlos batted for the need to replicate the R-PSB program all over the archipelago during her recent visit to the Armed Forces Eastern Mindanao Command in Panacan, Davao City where she was joined by Department of National Defense (DND) Officer-in-Charge, Senior Undersecretary Jose C. Faustino Jr., the Journal Group learned.

The National Security Council chair was quoted as saying “I would like the R-PSB mission to infect, be replicated in the entire archipelago, exactly what Sec Boy Faustino wants for the AFP to really do their mandate which is territorial defense and external defense because this is your mandate at the PNP.”

Carlos underscored the need to bring those in the margins to the center so that they will become active participants in the building of a better Philippines. Officials said she was referring to the marginalized sectors of the society including those living in so-called Geographically Isolated and Disadvantageous Areas or GIDAS in the country which are known to be being taken advantage of by the New People’s Army and their recruiters.

Officials said Carlos visited Eastern Mindanao to learn about the progress of the implementation of the government’s effort to end local communist armed conflict and see the best practices of the Philippine National Police headed by General Rodolfo S. Azurin Jr. when it comes to addressing the communist insurgency.

Azurin said they are aspiring for lasting peace under their “Kapayapaan Program.”

The PNP chief said that in partnership with the Armed Forces of the Philippines and various clusters of Executive Order No. 70 NTF ELCAC – or the National Task Force to End the Local Communist Armed Conflict, the PNP shall continue this endeavor with more vigor and enthusiasm and shall ensure that all Barangay Development Programs shall reach its completion, by providing security to its implementers.

Since 2019, around 17,000 indigenous people and other poor folks living in so-called GIDAS in Southern Mindanao are now qualified to avail of different government services, thanks to the birth certificates they have finally acquired thru the help of the R-PSB program of the PRO11.

“Since 2019 to date, our personnel from the PRO11 Revitalized-Pulis sa Barangay have helped thousands of IPs in the region who have no legal identity for so long get their birth registration papers,” former PRO11 Deputy Regional Director for Administration and now PNP Special Action Force director, Brigadier Gen. Edgar Alan O. Okubo said.

The member of PNP Academy Class 1992 previously supervised the activities of the PRO11 R-PSB which was activated to provide basic government service to poor tribesmen in the region and keep them away from the recruitment activities of the New People’s Army.

The PRO11 R-PSB since 2019 has enjoyed the full support of local residents as its personnel have helped construct roads, school buildings, artesian projects and water system for local tribesmen and other poor folks in the region.

The R-PSB personnel also facilitated the mass wedding of dozens of local tribesmen who were previously vulnerable to NPA recruitment, their areas formerly known as ‘insurgent mass base’ since the local folks have difficulty in obtaining basic documents such as birth and marriage certificates.

Without these documents, the tribesmen cannot acquire a driver’s license or simply enroll their children to government schools due to lack of records that will establish their identities.

“This problem had been taken advantage of by the CPP/NPA for so many years. Due to lack of education and the absence of government in GIDAS barangays, the poor villagers are really susceptible for NPA recruitment,” said Okubo.

“In short, the R-PSB personnel have become the true representative of the government in those GIDAS areas. They are there to assist the poor communities,” he added.

The Journal Group learned that for years, these thousands of poor Southern Mindanao residents have been living without any proof of their identities and nationality, a problem which has been taken advantage of by the NPA.

However, with the help of members of the R-PSB conceptualized by former PRO11 director, now Area Police Command-Visayas deputy director, Major Gen. Filmore B. Escobal, these poor folks have received their birth certificates since 2019, the processing of their documentation papers facilitated by the local police.

It turned out that the poor villagers residing in far-flung areas of Southern Mindanao have been living without any government identification papers they need to acquire their Certificate of Live Birth, prompting the PRO11 come up with the noble program to register them.

Since its activation, the R-PSB has not only facilitated the birth registration of the Ips but have also helped build roads, artesian wells and other potable water distribution system and schools where they teach young tribesmen basic primary education with the assistance of different government agencies and local government units.

Last July 18, the PRO11 R-PSB facilitated the transport and registration of 120 more IPs belonging to the Matigsalug tribe to Davao City to enable them to participate in the forthcoming Sangguniang Kabataan and barangay elections.

“We are doing this to help these IPs exercise their right to suffrage since they have no legal identity for so long and thus cannot vote or avail different government services,” Okubo said.

The R-PSB program has been lauded by the national government as it has been instrumental in providing civil registration for people living in remote areas in Mindanao specifically children who, on paper were never born prior to the help they got from the PRO11..

As a result, they now have access to healthcare, education, the government’s conditional cash transfer programs and other financial help.

The R-PSB program of Escobal was continued by Brig. Gen. Benjamin H. Silo Jr. when the latter was designated as Southern Mindanao police head last March 1.