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Military to tap NSCB to assess Bayanihan impact

- Alexis Romero -

MANILA, Philippines - The military will tap the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) to help assess the impact of its Bayanihan security plan.

Bayanihan, which took effect last Jan. 1 and will be in force until 2016, seeks to curb armed rebellion through development of security programs with the participation of civilian sectors.

It replaced Oplan Bantay Laya, which lapsed when the Arroyo administration stepped down last June 30.

Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) public affairs chief Col. Arnulfo Burgos Jr. said they would work with the NSCB’s Technical Working Group on Defense and Security Statistics to determine the effectiveness of the Bayanihan.

The board is a state agency that gathers social and economic statistics for the formulation of policy.

Its technical working group reviews data on defense affairs and presents recommendations to state agencies.

AFP chief Gen. Eduardo Oban Jr. said their partnership with the NSCB shows the aim of Bayanihan to involve all sectors in promoting peace and development.

“The recently published Bayanihan assessment plan last April will guide us in evaluating the progress and effectiveness of its performance,” Oban said.

The assessment will obtain data through reports from subordinate military units, and surveys.

“Our security forces tasked to maintain lasting peace affect a wide variety of areas such as tax revenues, poverty index, peace index data, these among others,” Oban said.

He said the evaluation also seeks to determine how the public has responded to Bayanihan, which gives emphasis on the role of civilians in addressing rebellion.

“We want to see how our stakeholders share a common understanding and desire to resolve the conflict and the confidence of the people in our combined effort to attain peace,” Oban said.

Burgos said military officers and key officials of the NSCB have started conducting meetings to discuss ways to implement the assessment.

He said the military leadership has created a technical working group to craft the evaluation plan.

The group, headed by Col. Jefferson Omandam, executive officer of the AFP deputy chief of staff for Civil Military Operations, is composed of representatives from the Civil Relations Service, Judge Advocate General, Office of the Civil Engineer, and the Deputy Chief of Staff for Reservist Affairs.

Bayanihan also emphasizes respect for human rights and compliance with the international humanitarian law.

Under the plan, the government will hold peace talks with the communist rebels and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and isolate terrorists and lawless groups.                              

ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES

ARNULFO BURGOS JR.

BAYANIHAN

CIVIL MILITARY OPERATIONS

CIVIL RELATIONS SERVICE

DEFENSE AND SECURITY STATISTICS

DEPUTY CHIEF OF STAFF

EDUARDO OBAN JR.

JEFFERSON OMANDAM

JUDGE ADVOCATE GENERAL

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