Davao del Norte Governor Edwin Jubahib. (Photo courtesy of Davao del Norte PIO)

DAVAO CITY – Unhampered delivery of basic services and other peace-building initiatives enabled Davao del Norte to make significant strides in attaining inclusive development and sustainable peace.

Governor Edwin Jubahib vowed to focus on the needs of far-flung communities that were once neglected and vulnerable to the recruitment and abuses of the New People’s Army (NPA).

 In a statement, Jubahib said his second term would be dedicated to attaining peace by developing isolated areas once influenced by the NPA.

“They now have roads, livelihoods, schools, health centers. They are now taken care of,” he said.

He said his frequent visits to far-flung areas enabled him to see the real problems of the communities.

“I tell you, I don’t mind the discomfort of bumpy rides in visiting isolated communities just to address the needs of our people,” Jubahib said.

Last month, Davao del Norte was declared an insurgency-free province.

The declaration came after the “successful dismantling” of all communist NPA guerrilla fronts (GFs) in Davao del Norte through the government's multipronged counter-insurgency campaign.

At least five NPA guerrilla units operated in the province in 2016—all under the NPA's Southern Mindanao Regional Committee (SMRC)

The number went down to two in 2020, culminating with the collapse of SMRC's GF3—described as one of the oldest guerrilla fronts in the country—early this year.

“Crucial interventions freed the province from the clutches of the communist rebels, as it attained zero recruitment rate and less than five percent visibility rate of the NPA,” Jubahib said.

The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.

The Anti-Terrorism Council also formally designated the National Democratic Front as a terrorist organization on June 23, 2021, citing it as “an integral and inseparable part” of the CPP-NPA that was created in April 1973. (PNA)