By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
Members of Task Force Buglas will conduct a counterterrorism meeting today at the Negros Occidental Provincial Capitol.
The provincial government previously announced P21 million had been set aside to fund the group, which was formed to prevent any spillover of violence from Mindanao and prevent terror activities in the province.
According to Provincial Planning and Development Coordinator Ma. Lina Sanogal, among those expected to attend the meeting are Negros Occidental Governor Alfredo Marañon, Jr.; Philippine Army 3rd Infantry Division (3ID) commander, Major General Jon Aying; along with various commanders from the Police Regional Office-18 (PRO-18), Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), and the Philippine Navy.
She said they will primarily discuss the current security situation in Negros Occidental, along with a task force level forum where they will talk about various means of stopping Islamic extremism.
There are also plans for a similar forum for local mayors.
“There is still no exact date, but it will probably be finalized during the meeting,” the provincial official pointed out.
Disaster preparedness will also be discussed during the counterterrorism meeting, Sanogal added.
Meanwhile, of the P21 million allocation, Sanogal explained P6 million would be set aside for evacuation center improvements, especially at the Panaad Park and Stadium, which will serve as a primary evacuation point during disasters.
It was earlier reported, according to Provincial Board Member Samson Mirhan, the funding would be divided among various agencies, including the Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office (NOPPO), the Philippine Army, the Philippine National Police (PNP) Maritime Group, and Humanitarian and Disaster Response; along with funding an information education advocacy campaign, a contingency fund, and to procure equipment./WDJ