Community Support Program: Best Practices in Eastern Mindanao Command AOR

     Since it was founded in 1968, the Communist Party of the Philippines has plagued the country with insurgency. They have not only threatened the security of millions, but they have also impeded the economic and social development of thousands of local communities, particularly in rural areas. The Armed Forces, focusing on warfighting, has been engaging the enemy on the battlefield – not knowing that the key to winning the peace is winning the hearts and minds of our citizens, especially those who are most isolated and marginalized.      The Community Support Program is a first step towards changing our paradigm. We are no longer just focusing on improving our warfighting skills; we are now also facilitating development, reintroducing government services, and bridging the gap between local governments and far-flung communities.      The stories and lessons documented in this manual highlight the importance of convergence, collaboration, and a grassroots, human rights-based approach to development. It shows that the military’s role is evolving. While the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) should continue its role of protecting the people and securing the sovereignty of the Philippines, it should also be open to collaboration with other government agencies and different stakeholders to bring peace. The military cannot do things alone. Peace and development in the community is a collective effort.      The CSP operations of the 10th Infantry Division and the 4th Infantry Division show how respect for human rights and indigenous structures, engaging communities and knowing their key issues is key towards getting the right information and stakeholders’ convergence necessary for peacebuilding. CSP, after all, is a timely combination of information-gathering and civil-military operations (CMO).      Region 10’s Capacity Development (CapDev) Framework, Davao Oriental’s Nagkakaisang Lingkod Bayan ng Davao Oriental – Barangay Outreach Caravan (NLD-BOC) program, and Davao City’s Peace 911 initiative highlight the key role of local governments and strong political will in bringing peace. These programs show that the best way to counterinsurgency is to efficiently address the people’s needs.      Meanwhile, the insights from the 10th CMO Battalion and 66th Infantry Battalion on their White Area Operations show that partnership between the private sector and the military is key to stopping the CNN’s abuse of labor movements.      This publication aims to preserve the lessons of CSP and peacebuilding initiatives so other government agencies and military units can adopt and improve upon these processes. Project Management Team  

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