P67-M ELCAC projects up in NoCot
By John Andrew Tabugoc / Philippine News Agency
KIDAPAWAN CITY, North Cotabato – Government and military officials here broke ground the past two days some PHP67 million worth of infrastructure projects funded under the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF ELCAC) program.
The projects, composed of four farm-to-market roads (FMRs), are implemented under the Barangay Development Project (BDP).
The BDP is a hallmark program of NTF-ELCAC with the end goal of bringing development to former conflict-prone communities.
The ELCAC program is the government‘s whole-of-nation approach in fighting the insurgency by the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) in the countryside.
On Friday, Department of the Interior and Local Government-Region 12 Director Josephine Leysa, North Cotabato Governor Nancy Catamco, Provincial Police Director Col. Henry Villar, and Brig. Gen. Potenciano Camba, the Army’s 1002nd Brigade commander, led the ceremonial groundbreaking of two FMR projects in Magpet town.
Both are FMR projects in remote Barangays Don Panaca and Bantac, each amounting to some PHP19.9 million.
“This will give access to all our agricultural products harvested from stiff mountains down to the town proper”, Bantac Chairman Hercules T. Elequin said during the program in his village.
Leysa commended the village officials of Panaca and Bantac in fully supporting the program through swift submission of requirements and consistent coordination to concerned sectors.
“This is a corroborative effort of amplifying our objective which is to deliver peace as well as development in rural, formerly rebel influenced areas”, she said.
Meanwhile, in her message, the governor also assured the commitment of the provincial government in facilitating all initiatives to attain peace in the province.
“We will be all together on these projects for development,” Catamco said.
On Thursday, the officials also broke ground similar FMR projects in Barangays New Cebu and La Esperanza in the adjacent town of President Roxas with each undertaking costing some PHP13.4 million each.
The BDP is directed to rehabilitate and develop 822 barangays formerly established as guerilla fronts of the CPP-NPA-NDF in several parts of the countryside.
Each barangay is allotted PHP20 million for their respective projects, for a total of PHP16.44 billion allocated funding.
The BDP budget goes directly to local government units from the Department of Budget and Management.
Leysa said the FMR projects are expected to be completed by the end of this year. (PNA)