TACLOBAN CITY, March 31 (PNA) — The Philippine Army and the local government has jointly declared on Monday the town of Tabango, Leyte as insurgent-free, the 10th town in the province that gained the rebel-free status.

Col. Dinoh Dolina, commander of the Philippine Army’s 802nd Brigade based in Ormoc City, said ending insurgency in some Leyte towns is a joint effort of soldiers and civilians.

“This is also coupled by good governance and convergence of efforts of all stakeholders in moving forward towards a just and lasting peace and security,” Dolina said in a mobile phone interview.

Earlier, the government has placed the towns of Merida, Matag-ob, Palompon, Tabango, Matalom, Bato, Dulag, Inopacan, Tabontabon, and Hindang under the insurgent-free classification.

“The peace we gain will surely pave the way for sustainable development, progress and prosperity in these areas,” Dolina added.

Insurgency in Leyte has been manageable since 2006 and government troops concentrated on community service projects to “win the peace.”

“We even challenged the New People’s Army to join the government’s efforts since we have the same development objectives,” Dolina said

The army official said there are still 50 armed rebels in Leyte, particularly in upland areas of Ormoc City, Burauen, Carigara, and Jaro. The last encounter between NPA and Philippine Army was on November 2014 in Carigara town. (PNA)