The Philippine Army’s 551st Engineer “Kasarigan” Battalion (551EBn) and 53rd Infantry “Matapat” Battalion (53IB) formally turned over the Barangay Datu Tutukan-Labangon Farm-to-Market Road (FMR) to Dumingag Municipal Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (MTF-ELCAC) in a ceremony held yesterday, March 17, at Barangay Labangon, Dumingag, Zamboanga del Sur.
Completed on March 1 this year, the 6-kilometer road rehabilitation project was received by Dumingag MTF-ELCAC Chairperson and Mayor Joan P. Abejuela.
“We express our utmost gratitude to the Army Engineers and the 53IB for the road project. Surely, this will be remembered for generations to come,” said Mayor Abejuela.
551EBn Commanding Officer, Lt. Col. Lorvina expressed her gratitude to the LGU Dumingag and to the 53IB for the collaboration and support in the realization of this project.
“We also express our optimism that this road project will bring hope to the people of Barangays Labangon and Datu Tutukan. This is a tangible proof of the government’s sincerity to end the insurgency and bring its services to far-flung barangays,” said Lt. Col. Lamug.
Also, 53IB Commanding Officer Lt. Col. Jo-ar Herrera said the road project sustains ELCAC gains in the town of Dumingag as it will translate to the delivery of basic government services such as food security, health, education, and job opportunities for the people.
“This engraves our ELCAC gains here in Barangays Labangon and Dumingag because this road project will bring better services to the people we have sworn to protect,” said Lt. Col. Herrera.
Barangay Labangon is included in the government’s Barangay Development Program (BDP). The BDP is the flagship program of Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict (ELCAC) which was conceptualized to finally address insurgency by bringing sustainable solutions and basic services to communities in need.
In May 19, 2020, Barangay Labangon was declared “clear” of Communist Party of the Philippines – New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) influence through the 53IB’s Community Support Program (CSP).