• GILBERT P. BAYORAN
A former insurgency affected barangay in Isabela, Negros Occidental, is a recipient of a water system project from the Philippine Army Finance Center Producers Integrated Cooperative (PAFCPIC), as facilitated by the 62nd Infantry Battalion, regional Army spokesperson Lt. Col J Jay Javines disclosed yesterday.
The ceremonial turnover of the Elevated Water Tank to Sikatuna barangay officials, led by its barangay captain, Dionaldo Asuncion, was held yesterday by Col. Marces Gayat, deputy commander of the Army’s Civil Military Operations Regiment, also witnessed by Isabela Mayor Irene Montilla and Lt. Col. William Pesase, 62IB commander, and representatives of PAFCPIC, among others.
Javines said the realization of establishing a potable water system in the barangay was accomplished with the assistance of the Community Support Program (CSP) Team of the 62IB, noting that the lack of potable water was among the prevailing issues identified by the CSP Team in the area.
A mountainous barangay, Sikatuna used to be a haven of New People’s Army rebels in Isabela town.
Asuncion thanked PAFCPIC and the Philippine Army for providing them with a water system project. “Despite the mountainous terrain of our barangay, the project still reached us. You did not abandon us, and you found a way to provide us with support,” he said.
Brig. Gen. Orlando Edralin, 303rd Infantry Brigade commander, in his message read by Lt. Col. Pesase, thanked the PAFCPIC, Isabela municipal government, CMOR, and 62IB for their compassion and support for the initiative.
“Our collective effort and cooperation have yielded significant success for our community. This project is a major step towards enhancing health and progress in the barangay. Through our collaboration, we are not only creating a water system but also laying the foundation for hope and positive change for our people, Edralin said.
In a statement, Maj. Gen. Marion Sison, 3rd Infantry Division commander, also commended the 303rd Infantry Brigade, 62IB, and partner stakeholders for their collaborative effort that resulted in the completion and turnover of the said project.
Sikatuna is one of eight insurgency-cleared villages in Isabela, and also a recipient of the Local Government Support Fund-Support to Barangay Development Program (LGSF-SBDP) of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC).*