Groundbreaking held for Bicol’s P1 billion anti-insurgency program
By Romina Cabrera / The Philippine Star MANILA — The National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) led the groundbreaking for barangay development programs (BDP) worth almost P1 billion in Bicol yesterday.
National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon, NTF-ELCAC vice chairman, who led the ceremony in Casiguran, Sorsogon, said 26 barangays in Masbate, eight in Camarines Norte and 15 in Sorsogon, which were declared free from the influence of communist rebels, would each receive P20 million in development packages.
”We recognize that the radicalization of vulnerable communities and recruitment into the armed insurgency can be traced in part to poverty, hunger, lack of access to education and economic opportunities, inadequate healthcare and infrastructure and injustice. Our goal at the NTF-ELCAC through the BDP is to address these fundamental factors,” Esperon said.
Under the program, barangays cleared of communist rebels will receive a P20-million package for infrastructure and assistance.
The NTF-ELCAC said the budget would be used to build farm-to-market roads, school buildings, water and sanitation systems and health stations as well as provide livelihood assistance.