The Philippine Army’s 53rd Infantry “Matapat” Battalion (53IB) and 44th Infantry “Agile ‘N Stable” Battalion (44IB) together with Siayan Municipal Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (MTF-ELCAC) braved the storm to grace the groundbreaking of hanging bridge and turnover of farm-to-market road (FMR) in Barangays Macasing and Pange, Siayan, Zamboanga del Norte on April 11, 2022.
The hanging bridge, amounting to 3 million pesos, will be constructed in Barangay Macasing. Meanwhile, the improvement of Barangay Macasing to Barangay Pange FMR was turned over by the LGU to the two barangays in a simple turnover ceremony.
In a statement, 53IB Commanding Officer Lt. Col. Jo-ar Herrera said the ELCAC projects needs to be sustained to prevent the resurgence of NPA terrorists in the barangays.
“Sustainment is crucial now that we eradicated the CPP-NPA in these far-flung barangays. These infrastructure projects are necessary to bring government services to the people of these geographically isolated and disadvantaged barangays,” said Lt. Col. Herrera.
Siayan MTF-ELCAC Chairperson and Mayor Josecor Gepolongca expressed his gratitude to the 53IB and 44IB for restoring peace and order in Siayan, making the construction of said infrastructure projects possible.
“We express our utmost gratitude to the Army for these infrastructure projects. These will be of great help to our people in hinterland barangays,” said Mayor Gepolongca.
In December 11, 2020, Barangays Macasing and Pange were declared “clear” of Communist Party of the Philippines – New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) influence through the Army’s Community Support Program (CSP). — 53IB