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25 insurgency-cleared NegOcc villages eye 77 BDP projects

By Nanette Guadalquiver / Philippine News Agency

BACOLOD CITY – At least 77 subprojects have been proposed by the 25 insurgency-cleared villages in Negros Occidental for implementation under the Barangay Development Program (BDP) of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC).

As of Thursday, data from the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG)-Negros Occidental showed that these subprojects are under preparation after the list was submitted to the DILG-Western Visayas on March 25, and following the downloading of funds to the implementing local government units (LGUs) on April 19.

Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson said the funds intended for villages situated in the municipalities have been released to the provincial government while the allocations for those located in component cities were downloaded directly to the city governments.

“There are processes that they (municipalities) have to go through. I reminded them to get in touch with (the provincial engineer) who will help them with the program of works,” he added.

Each of the 25 insurgency-cleared villages in Negros Occidental and another one in Bacolod City has been allocated an assistance of PHP20 million each under the BDP, a hallmark program of the NTF-ELCAC with the end goal of bringing development to former conflict-prone communities.

The assistance will include a one-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.

In Negros Occidental, the 25 recipient villages, which were formerly under the influence of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA), are situated in seven LGUs.

These include Escalante City, with 14 barangays; San Carlos City, five; Victorias City, two; Himamaylan City, Cadiz City, E.B. Magalona, and Manapla, one each.

Earlier, San Carlos City Mayor Renato Gustilo said that as “a leader whose place had been a haven of lawless armed groups,” he welcomes the move of the NTF-ELCAC to empower barangay communities.

“Five of our barangays are already recipients of PHP20 million each for development projects,” he added.

Escalante City Mayor Melecio Yap Jr. said the “peace-loving people” of Escalante “highly commend” the efforts of the NTF-ELCAC in the anti-insurgency campaign and the implementation of programs such as the BDP.

“This will pave the way for the construction of roads, water systems, and facilities that will cater to the needs of the people,” he also said.

The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (PNA)



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