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BAGUIO CITY – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) continues to conduct activities in villages to strengthen the resiliency of community members against violent extremism and to prevent any future involvement of citizens in harmful activities, an official said.

“These activities aim to provide village leaders with adequate knowledge that will encourage them to create preventive measures against violent extremism,” said Mary Jheama Canullas, DILG-Cordillera Local Government Operations Officer (LGOO) V and focal person on Prevention and Countering of Violent Extremism (PCVE).

The Department has 191 target barangays (villages) in the region for the said series of activities. Of the 191 barangays; 15 are from Abra, 24 in Apayao, 16 in Kalinga, eight in Mountain Province, and 128 in Baguio City.

Vulnerable sectors in the community

Meanwhile, JR Tenebro, LGOO IV of DILG CAR explained that women, ethnic minorities, young people, religious groups are the identified sectors of the community that are vulnerable to radicalization and violent extremism.

“Despite being identified as members of the vulnerable sector, each still has a role in preventing and countering violent extremism. They should also be included in the decision-making processes of the barangay in order to prevent them from getting involved in violent extremist activities,” he said.

Adding, “They should be empowered to speak as credible voices, be involved in policy-making in their respective areas, and be politically active not only at the local but also on the national level.” (PMTG-DILG-CAR)