The Philippine Army’s 53rd Infantry (Matapat) Battalion (53IB) conducted the Launching of ZamboSur Provincial Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (PTF-ELCAC) Strategic Communications Cluster on October 13, 2020 at 53rd IB Headquarters, Camp Sabido, Guipos, Zamboanga del Sur.
The said activity had the Philippine Information Agency Region 9 (PIA-IX) Director Ms. Noemi Edaga as the keynote speaker.
A unit briefing was presented by 53rd to apprise the guests of the unit’s current thrusts, while a lecture on Executive Order 70 was delivered by Mr. Ruel Trobanos from ZDS DILG, the PTF-ELCAC Focal Person.
The Strategic Communications Cluster is one of the twelve (12) clusters and lines of efforts of TF-ELCAC.
It is the cluster that shall conduct strategic communications efforts to effectively disseminate information on government programs and counter the national propaganda of the CTGs, while creating external mechanisms to facilitate public engagement and policy support.
ZamboSur PTF-ELCAC STRATCOM Chairman and Provincial Information Officer Mr. Jeesrel Himang said the Launching of StratCom Cluster is a great opportunity to realign their plans, programs, and activities to help the province address the insurgency.
Also, PIA-IX Regional Director and Region-9 TF-ELCAC STRATCOM CLUSTER Chairperson Ms. Noemi Edaga said the PIA capacitates information officers and the youth to actively support national government endeavors such as ending local communist armed conflict.
53rd IB Commanding Officer Lt. Col. Jo-ar Herrera said the role of StratCom Cluster is very crucial in communicating the government’s efforts to totally end the local communist armed conflict.
“We [the 53rd IB] has a lot of surrenderees. We need to share their stories and how their lives were changed to encourage those who are still in the hinterlands to return to the folds of law and go back to the mainstream society,” said Lt. Col. Herrera.
“To tell the whole world that the government is working very hard to end local communist armed conflict is one of the goals of StratCom,” Lt. Col. Herrera added.
The activity was then followed by a tree planting activity and Funshoot held at the Matapat Firing Range.
Attendees were members of the ZAMBOSUR PTF-ELCAC STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS CLUSTER, Municipal Information Officers in 53rd IB’s area of operations; Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster sa Pilipinas – Zamboanga del Sur (KBP-ZDS) Chairman Mr. Melchor Coronel; and the different station managers in Zamboanga del Sur.