News Release

Improving CARAGA’s road network, vital to defeating communist insurgency – President Duterte

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Tuesday vowed to help Surigao del Sur improve its infrastructures particularly barangay roads to defeat communist insurgency in the region.

During a situation briefing in Tandag City, Surigao del Sur Gov. Alexander Pimentel asked President Duterte to provide them with equipment to rehabilitate the province’s barangay roads, which were affected by the previous typhoon.

The President said he backed Surigao del Sur’s initiative to improve its barangay roads, noting it is vital in the administration’s counter-insurgency campaign.

“I need the barangay roads to improve the insurgency problem sa lahat. Dito lalo na sa Mindanao,” President Duterte said. “The pinakamalakas is sa CARAGA, sa Eastern Visayas. Ang CARAGA ang pinakasakit sa ulo.”

The President noted that he is paying special attention to the region’s insurgency problem and has requested the agrarian reform department to speed up land distribution to qualified beneficiaries particularly idle state-owned lands.

“Kaya si Castriciones, sabi ko, ang land reform kasi niya it covers only the — iyong mga hindi nga agricultural eh. Sabi ko sa kanya, ‘Ibigay na ninyo ‘yong lupa. Lahat nang makita mo sa gobyerno, ibigay ninyo sa tao,’” he said.

“Wala naman ‘yang… Naka-ano lang ‘yan diyan, hindi naman nagagamit. It’s not being utilized for productivity.”

A local public works official, who was present during the situation briefing, assured the President that the DPWH would coordinate with Surigao del Sur government to rehabilitate its road network.

For his part, the President has assuref that there are enough resources from the national government to address the request of the local officials.

“So hindi naman masyadong mahirap talaga ang gobyerno. Sabi lang ng iba. It’s just a matter of communication. At saka kung may pera, I can buy one, two,” the President said. “Hindi naman masyadong mahal ‘yan. It would not make us poor. I can buy one, two, three equipment.”

The President, however, told the officials that once the national government has provided them with equipment, these must remain in the province and should not be used or transferred to other locations. PND