Army launches ‘Community Support Program’ in Masbate
By Luis Eli San Jose Pili, Camarines Sur—The Philippine Army, together with the local government units formally launched its Community Support Program (CSP) in the province of Masbate in two separate kick-off ceremonies held in the towns of Aroroy and Baleno last Monday, February 12. The events signify the start of the CSP that aims to build resilient communities, especially in areas affected by conflicts and disasters. Initiated by the 2nd Infantry Battalion, the program is poised to transform the conflict-affected areas into progressive and sustainable communities. Through the collective and collaborative efforts of the 9th Infantry Division, LGUs and line agencies, the program will be integrated to help spur economic growth and address the problems haunting several barangays. Mayor Arturo B. Virtucio of Aroroy town who graced the kick-off ceremony expressed his full trust and confidence to the soldiers with whom he expects to work as their partner in community development and peace building. Meanwhile in Baleno, Acting Mayor Marites Dela Rosa likewise warmly received the CSP teams and assured them of the local government unit’s support. Recognizing the importance of the delivery of the basic services to help alleviate the plight of Masbatenos, the Army’s 2IB is determined to collaborate with key stakeholders in uplifting economic conditions and achieving sustainable peace in the towns by putting into motion the various programs of the government available. The effort also aims to address the security threats being perpetrated by communist terrorists. Currently, six CSP teams are deployed in the said areas, specifically the six barangays of Aroroy, namely: Concepcion, Capsay, Pangle, Balite, Manamok, and Managanaga, as well as the four barangays of Baleno, namely: Potosan, Eastern Capsay, Banase, and Gabi. As the CSP creates significant headway in reaching out to communities, the Command under the leadership of Maj. Gen. Jesus A. Manangquil Jr, vows to continue to play its role as catalyst of socio-economic development in the region. According to him, “CSP deployments are designed to expedite government’s development programs by unveiling prevailing issues and concerns within the localities that are needed to be addressed. We are geared to facilitate solutions for those identified problems through the convergence of efforts of different government agencies. Basically, peace and development as well as sustainability and resiliency of communities are core purpose of the program.” Along this line, he calls out for the support of every Masbateno to be part of the initiative as it has already been proven to be effective in other areas of Bicol Region.