Iloilo City urges sustained funds for barangay dev't
Updated: May 3, 2021
By Perla Lena / Philippine News Agency
ILOILO CITY – Amid some solons’ call to defund the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), the city government here is urging sustained funds for the anti-insurgency body's Barangay Development Program (BDP).
In a statement released on Monday afternoon, Iloilo City Mayor Jerry P. Treñas said barangays can utilize their PHP20 million incentives “to fund buildings and facilities in their areas, and bring much-needed services to their constituents”.
“I firmly believe that the NTF-ELCAC’s budget will be a big boost to the development and infrastructure of barangays, especially those facing problems on the communist insurgency. As mayor of Iloilo City, I strongly oppose the proposed defunding of Local Government Support Fund-Support to Barangay Development Program (LGSF-SBDP),” he said.
He added that by allowing barangays to implement their programs and projects, they are also given “the autonomy to govern their people”.
“I have always believed in empowering the barangays by enhancing their capabilities, and encouraging transparency and accountability at all times,” he added.
Meanwhile, PHP16.5 billion of the PHP19 billion fund of the NTF-ELCAC was appropriated for the development of 822 barangays in the country that have been cleared of insurgency.
Each recipient barangay would receive PHP20 million for the following: 1-kilometer farm-to-market road worth PHP12 million; classrooms (PHP3 million); water and sanitation systems (PHP2 million); health station (PHP1.5 million); and livelihood projects (PHP1.5 million).
BDP is the hallmark program of the NTF-ELCAC with the end goal of bringing development to former conflict-prone communities.
Data furnished by the 3rd Infantry Division Public Affairs Office (3ID PAO) showed that barangays Dungon A, Dungon B, Ingore, Lapuz Norte, Sinikway, and Tacas of Iloilo City were included as among those beneficiaries of the BDP at PHP20 million each.
The six barangays of Iloilo City were among those cleared from insurgency from 2016 up to early 2019.
“Per our last meeting about the BDP about a month ago, the DBM (Department of Budget and Management) said that the funds are available subject to documentary requirements,” Maj. Cenon Pancito III, spokesperson for the 31D PAO, said in a phone interview.
He added that as per DBM guidelines, funds for barangays in municipalities will be released through the provincial government, and allocations for the villages in the cities will course through their city governments.
The utilization of the budget will be based on the needs assessment that was conducted during the conduct of the community support program (CSP).
“It will depend on the barangay development plan that was crafted by the barangay. However, we have allowable projects that will have an impact on ending the local communist armed conflict,” he added. (PNA)