Members of the Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC), Provincial Anti-Drug Abuse Council (PADAC), Provincial Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (PTF-ELCAC), Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC), Provincial Council for the Protection of Children (PCPC), Provincial Council Against Trafficking and Violence Against Women and their Children (PCAT-VAWC) and Provincial GAD Focal Point System (PGFPS) convened today, December 16, 2022 at Balin Sambali, Iba, Zambales to discuss critical measures in addressing matters concerning peace and order, criminality, illegal drugs, disaster preparedness and social issues affecting the Province of Zambales.
This first joint meeting of the peace and order and public safety (POPS) and social protection cluster was made possible under the leadership of Hon. Hermogenes E. Ebdane, Jr., the Councils’ chairperson in collaboration with the Council secretariats: Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) for the PPOC; Provincial Planning and Development Office (PPDO) for the PADAC and PTF ELCAC; Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) for the PDRRMC; and Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO) for the PCPC, PCAT-VAWC and PGFPS.
CPT James Bilaya of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) underscored the significant updates in terms of the terrorism, insurgency and Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict (ELCAC) in the province which includes the sustainable efforts for the former rebels such as awarding of livelihood kits as a result of the continuous support of the Provincial Government of Zambales and other government agencies.
In peace and order, crime solution efficiency (CSE) went up to 90.07% compared to the 89.40% rate in July-November of 2021 while crime clearance efficiency (CCE) declined to 97.82% compared to 99.65% in the same period last year as reported by PLT COL Nelson Buhong of the Zambales Police Provincial Office (ZPPO).
In the fight against illegal drugs, the province has also been persistent in achieving its whole-of-nation approach towards establishing a drug resistant province, as evidenced by the enormous decline of 19% from January's 27% drug affectation, as presented by IA V Jigger B. Juniller of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).
On the other hand, notable disaster preparedness efforts and accomplishments were showcased by Mr. Peter John Encarnacion of PDRRMO where the province received its first (1st) coveted Gawad Kalasag 2022 Award last December 7, 2022. This award recognizes the outstanding performance of the Local Disaster Coordinating Councils (LDCCs), private/volunteer organizations, local, national and international NGOs,donor agencies, and the communities as major stakeholders in implementing significant Disaster Risk Management (DRM) projects and activities and, in providing humanitarian response and assistance to affected communities.
On the social protection cluster, Ms. Carmela D. Pacis of the PSWDO reported the accomplishments and ways forward of the PCPC, PCAT-VAWC and PGFPS which includes the conduct of various capacity development interventions and provincial congress in line with the celebration of the Children’s month.
Lastly, to conclude the said activity, DILG Zambales Provincial Director Martin Porres B. Moral, CESO V took the opportunity to recognize and commend all local government units (LGUs) that successfully sustained progressive and remarkable local government performance across several areas in the previous year following the recent release of local government unit (LGU) awardees for the said awards.
Among the awards conferred to the different LGUs in Zambales are the Seal of Good Local Governance (SGLG), Peace and Order Council (POC), Anti-Drug Abuse Council, Gawad KALASAG (KAlamidad at Sakuna LAbanan SAriling Galing ang Kaligtasan), Child-Friendly Local Governance Audit (CFLGA) and Local Government Support Fund (LGSF) Best Implementers.
Plaque of Recognition were also awarded to the Provincial Government of Zambales for bagging the Gawad KALASAG Award, LGU San Felipe for the National ADAC Award and LGUs of Botolan and San Antonio for the SGLG.