Army braces vs rebels' return

September 29, 2010 10:31 am 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, Sept. 28 — The 2nd Special Forces Battalion and the 802nd Infantry Brigade continue guarding the boarders of Bohol against reentry of armed communist rebels.

SF commander Lt. Col. Romeo Brawner Jr. recommended the strengthening of the Bohol Local Integrated Security System (BLISS), “to preempt the re-entry of the communist terrorist movement in the province”.

“Let us be vigilant of strangers who are out to organize sectoral groups in the guise of legal organizations. Let us also be involved in collecting information on the presence of armed groups in the province,” according to Brawner.

The military conducts security patrols at areas frequented by tourists.

“These patrols will not just be inland but it will also include Shoreline and Inter-Island Patrols to ensure the security of foreign and local tourists along the beaches and Islands,” he said.

The Task Force Carmen, a joint security force composed of local government unit, Armed Forces and Philippine National Police, has also been launched to address the security, and peace and order concerns in the municipality of Carmen.

It will take charge of proactive measures to preempt the occurrence of crimes and other lawless activities and will be reactive to any crisis that may arise in the area, especially around tourist destinations.

The military also supports the development agenda of the provincial government, represented by the acronym HEAT which stands for Health and Sanitation, Education and Technology, Agriculture and Food Production, and Tourism and Livelihood.

To complement, the 2nd Special Forces Battalion launched the “SUPPORT HEAT Bohol Program which stands for Soldiers United for Peace, Progress and Other Reforms Through HEAT Bohol.

“This advocacy program by the 2nd Special Forces Battalion will be implemented through projects that are within the scope of the mandate of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. Each of these projects falls under a specific area under HEAT.

For health and sanitation, the military conducted medical missions in coordination with the provincial government, other local government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and other stakeholders.

They also conducted cleanliness drives in conjunction with the provincial and municipal governments.

For education and technology, the military conducted the Youth Leadership Summit (YLS), a program of the AFP in coordination with the LGUs that began in 2005.

“In this summit, student leaders as well as out-of-school youths gather for a period of three days to interact, be educated on the programs of the government and formulate their action plans to help our country and our countrymen,” said Brawner.

He said they conduct information and awareness campaigns in schools to “prevent the youth from being misguided by unscrupulous individuals or organizations into joining groups that have adverse intentions such as those that are against national stability and sovereignty”.

The military also participated in the Brigada Eskuela program of the Department of Education.

For agriculture and food production, the 2nd Special Forces Battalion launched the Backyard Garden and Farm in their various camps and detachments wherever viable.

“These gardens will be planted with vegetables and other staples that will not only provide food for the soldiers, CAAs and members of their families but also members of the community whenever possible. Farm animals such as chicken, duck, goat, pig, cattle, and others may also be reared at these camps,” Brawner said.

The military also continued supervision on the Kauban sa Reporma (KR) farms being tilled by rebel-returnees at the military reservation in Carmen, Bohol.

For tourism and livelihood, 2nd Special Forces continues implementing the Sub-contracting for Innovation (SPIN) Program for Rebel Returnees.

“The SPIN program, in coordination with the Department of Trade and Industry, was launched in order to provide the rebel returnees and members of their family as well as the other members of the barangay with livelihood through the manufacture of baskets and other products for export,” according to Brawner.

The military also participated in Environmental Protection programs of the provincial government such as tree planting activities, “SCUBAsurero” drives and the like, “in furtherance of the promotion of Eco-Tourism in the Province of Bohol”.(PNA) RMA/Angeline Valencia/mec

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