News Release

New N. Samar coastal road boosts Army’s morale to end rebellion

TACLOBAN CITY – The completion of Samar Pacific Coastal Road (SPCR) phase 1 has raised the confidence of the Philippine Army to address insurgency in Northern Samar province within the year.

Maj. Gen. Camilo Ligayo, commander of the Army’s 8th Infantry Division, in a statement Tuesday said the new road network has opened access to some areas in the province previously influenced by the New People’s Army (NPA).

The official thanked the central government for its continued support in putting initiatives in places considered critical and vulnerable, which will be of help in defeating the remaining armed rebels in Northern Samar.

“We believe that infrastructure development is key to ending the insurgency. The SPCR project will benefit the communities by offering a much safer and easy access to transportation and the delivery of the much-needed government services,” Ligayo added.

Ligayo pointed out that areas in the Pacific towns of Northern Samar will provide residents better access to transport their agricultural products to the town center.

The fast delivery of government services in remote areas will negate the NPA’s propaganda of the lack of government services in remote areas.

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on July 14 led the inauguration of the Korean-funded SPCR project phase 1 in Simora village in Palapag, Northern Samar. It was completed after five years of construction.

The PHP1.12 billion SPCR project phase 1 has opened and concreted 11.6-kilometers of road stretch, including three bridges. The project is funded by the South Korean government through the Export-Import Bank of Korea.

Northern Samar is the most insurgency-affected province in Eastern Visayas with the operation of two active NPA guerrilla fronts.

The military said although front committees 1 and 15 are still active, they are not in control of any village in Northern Samar.

Front committee 2 operating in the boundary of Samar and Northern Samar has been dismantled this year after the capture and surrender of some of its combatants and the recovery of several firearms.

The NPA front committee 3, which operates near the boundaries of Northern Samar and Eastern Samar provinces, has also been weakened after the series of operations by government forces. (PNA)