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DILG vows completion of NTF-ELCAC-sponsored projects in cleared barangays

JG July 06, 2023

An official of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) has vowed to finish all the identified, approved and funded projects under the Barangay Development Program (BDP) even as he urged all stakeholders, especially local government units (LGUs), to intensify efforts through the whole-of-nation approach to end the New People’s Army’s (NPA) reign of terror in far-flung communities.

“We make sure that all the projects will be implemented based on the national standards and timelines,” Assistant Director Rene Valera from the DILG’s Office of Project Development Services said during a virtual press conference earlier this week hosted by the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC).

This despite intermittent disruptive terror attacks by NPA remnants even to the extent of killing innocent civilians employed to farm-to-market road projects.

“Sama-sama po tayo para ma-implement po ng ating mga proyekto ‘yong national program ng NTFELCAC. Itong mga pangangailangan ng ating mga komunidad sa mga barangays na pinagkaitan ng 54 years dahil sa kagagawan ng ating mga kapatid sa ilabas. Sana po makinig din tayo tingnan natin ano ‘yong ganda ng ating programa kasi ito ay gagamitin ninyo balang araw,” added.

Aside from farm-to-market roads, other basic social services pushed by the task force are water and sanitation, health stations, school buildings, rural electrification, infrastructures, and livelihood.

“Patuloy pa rin po ang ating pagmamatyag lalo na ang ating municipal local government officers na nandun po sa mga munisipyo natin, sa lahat po ng kasama po dun sa SBDP (Support to Barangay Development Program) barangays as well as ‘yung ongoing RCSP (Retooled Community Support Program) target barangays po natin,” Valera said.

Valera said the interior department will continue to work with Congress to support the task force that synthesizes inclusive local peace engagements (LPEs) with all stakeholders from the national to the local level.

Even with the decreasing funds, Valera said the task force was rapidly gaining ground since its creation through Executive Order No. 70 in 2018 with the decimation of dozens of terror fronts of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP)-NPA.

In Tuesday’s command conference at Camp Aguinaldo, Armed Forces Chief of Staff General Andres Centino said only one active NPA front left, which means the military is now ready to transition from internal security operations (ISO) to external security operations.

Last May, National Security Council (NSC) Assistant Director General Jonathan Malaya and NTF-ELCAC secretariat Executive Director Jun Torres Jr. had pitched the demolition of all NPA fronts on or before December of this year.

With all these gains on the ground, Valera said the decreasing budget from 2021 to present did not frustrate the resolve of the NTF-ELCAC to sustain the fight at the grassroot level to put an end to the senseless war being waged by the obsolete Maoist-inspired NPA.

For 2024, he said the proposed budget is P10 million for 864 barangays for a total of P8.640 billion. For the current year, the task force is working on a P6.1B at P6.6 million for 559 barangays.

In retrospect, 82.07% of the 2021 SBDP projects was completed and this translated to 1,904 out of the 2,320 projects implemented in 822 barangays. In detail, these are 763 farm-to-market roads, 415 water and sanitation, 132 health stations, 116 school buildings, 163 rural electrification and 53 other infrastructures.

“And, meron din tayong mga non-infra. Anong ibig sabihin dito? Itong mga livelihood assistance sa ating mga komunidad na in total ay 262,” Valera said.

The completed projects were located in Regions 1, 3 and 4-A and the others are in Regions 5 and 6 where some of these were under disruptive attacks by the NPA.

“Iyong 2021 tuloy-tuloy pa rin ‘yung implementation natin kahit maraming challenges. Ito pa rin ‘yung sinusubaybayan natin. ‘Yung pondo na nakalaan diyan, nandiyan pa rin. Wala pong kinukuha ang NTFELCAC, wala rin ang DILG and other stakeholders dito. Buo po ‘yung pera na nandun po sa kaban ng munisipyo at saka probinsiya na implementing partners natin,” Valera said.

For 2022, ito naman po ang ating talaan. 41% na po ‘yung nakumpleto natin, translated to 690 projects out of the 1,719 proposed projects of the 1,406 barangays,” Valera said.

This includes 397 farm-to-market roads, 80 water and sanitation, 50 school buildings, 61 health stations, and 102 rural electrification.

“Isang pagkakataon din para mapabilis po ang ating pa-implementa ng 2021, 2022, and 2023 ang DILG po ay para sa management action naman pagdating sa monitoring and evaluation ng Department of Interior and Local Government.

We conducted ‘yung regional dialogue with the local chief executives. Napakaganda po ng nangyari during talakayan kasi the local chief executives committed to fast track, to complete the implementation of these projects,” Valera said.


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