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BAGUIO CITY— The active involvement of the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) is critical in attaining an “inclusive and sustainable peace” and to address the decades-long communist rebellion in the country, an official said.

The unequivocal support of the youth to the national government’s whole-of-nation approach in eliminating insurgency reflects on their important role in peace-building,” said Marlo Iringan, Regional Director of Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Cordillera.

Among the topics discussed during the orientation were: NTF-ELCAC Joint Memorandum Circular 2019-01, Communist Terrorist Group (CTG) Youth and Student Recruitment Strategies, and Retooled Community Support Program (RCSP).

Of the 188 SK officials who attended the orientation, 74 are from Abra, 19 in Apayao, 68 in Baguio/Benguet, 17 in Ifugao, six in Kalinga, and four from Mountain Province.

Meanwhile, a total of PHP3.3-million worth of assistance has been given so far in 2020 to Former Rebels (FR) in the region under the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (ECLIP).

Further, RD Iringan said that there are three on-going construction of E-CLIP Halfway Houses located in Apayao, Baguio, and Ifugao.

These are in addition to the Halfway Houses constructed in Abra, Kalinga and Mountain Province.

On the sidelines of the orientation, National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA) Regional Director Alden Masagca said they will continue to provide and disseminate timely and accurate peace and security situations.

“We will also continue to conduct Orientation on the Youth and Students Recruitment to boost awareness of the youth on what is really happening in our society—that no one is gaining good in joining the rebel groups,” he said.

He also urged the parents of the youth to be more vigilant with the different propaganda of terrorists’ groups posing as organizations on a daily basis. (With a report from Tricia Marie Dogup) PMTG/DILG-CAR