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(Speech delivered  by Gov. Jayvee Tyron L. Uy during the Appreciation Night of the Regional Peace and Order Council XI held last June 27, 2019 at Ritz Hotel, Oases Garden, Davao City)

Usa ka malinawong gabii kaninyong tanan!

I am grateful that you came here today, in this humble tribute we prepared- our Regional Peace and Order Council XI Appreciation Night. I thank all of you from taking a break from your long schedule to grace this night’s occasion. I speak in behalf of the peace-loving people of Davao Region, from the bottom of our hearts, we say thank you very much.

Since this will be the culmination of our efforts in the last three years, allow me to recollect some memories. It was December of 2016, just six months after I assumed office as governor of Compostela Valley, when President Rodrigo Duterte appointed me as the new Chair of the Regional Peace and Order Council. I was surprised with the appointment considering that I am a newcomer in politics in comparison to my counterparts in other local government units.

When I started my work as RPOC Chair, I soon understand and saw the position not only as a mere duty we are bound to fulfill but an opportunity. It became a chance for me to share thoughts with other leaders who face the same problem that I am. It became an opportunity for me to listen the thoughts, initiatives and progresses that other local government units are doing to address the different peace and security challenges. Now, I use what I learn from other leaders in also addressing our own problems in Compostela Valley.

I cannot help but think that perhaps this is the reason why RPOC was made. It provides a unique platform for leaders from different localities to exchange ideas, share their views and together, propose common solutions. Right in this very council, we made significant strides and achievements such as the emphasis and institutionalization of the whole of nation approach as a primary mechanism in addressing the decades-long insurgency in our provinces. We also created the Davao Regional Peace, Development and Security Roadmap, the region’s guidepost in the next decade or so.

Our local government units are also shining in their own ways. To address insurgency and facilitate the return of our communities back to the government, Compostela Valley launched Oplan Liwanag and Davao Oriental have their famous Happy House and other initiatives. Tagum City is leading the way in drug rehabilitation for their STAND Program, joined by Compostela Valley’s Oplan Liwanag and Davao Oriental’s strong Provincial Anti-Drug Abuse Council, hailed as gold awardee in the entire nation. Of course, Davao City remains to be a model to be reckoned with its strong public safety programs and projects that address security issues brought by urbanization. These are only few of the programs that our LGU’s have. To get a more comprehensive view of our achievements, we also crafted a magazine entitled, Convergence: Towards a Peaceful and Progressive Davao Region. I hope you enjoy reading may this achievements further fuel our peace-building efforts.

On this note, allow me to thank each one of you for your support in the last three years. To all governors and mayors who dedicated a bit of their precious time to sit down with the council, to all National Government Agencies, non-government organizations and the our colleagues in the civil society, thank you very much.

This is hardly a goodbye because the work for enduring peace never stops. So as long as there are still rebels not reunited with their family and community, so as long as there are still drug dependents that still can’t access the necessary help, so as long there are still students that can’t go to school because of armed conflicts, and so as long as there are communities disturbed by lawless elements, the work of RPOC never ends.

The last three years has truly been memorable. I must say, RPOC 2016-2019 is truly convergence in action.

Daghang salamat sa inyong tanan!

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