Task force kicks in P16.4B for barangay dev’t program
Much of the funds intended to boost the livelihood in barangays where the communists once held sway have been delivered, according to the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict.
At least 822 barangays have benefitted from 98.9 percent of the P16.44 billion funding for the barangay development program, the flagship program of the NTF-ELCAC, which cited a report from the Department of Budget and Management.
According to National Security Adviser and NTF-ELCAC Vice-Chairman Hermogenes Esperon Jr. during the weekly press conference of the task force held last Monday, this important achievement fully realizes the government’s commitment to free our kababayans in conflict zones from the atrocities and clutches of the Communist Party of the Philippines—New People’s Army—National Democratic Front and enable them to become productive members of society.
“If communities are empowered by means of security, necessary infrastructure, education, economic development and livelihood, the CPP-NPA-NDF will become powerless and can no longer exploit their vulnerabilities. This will finally put an end to the 52-year insurgency by bringing sustainable solutions and basic services to war-torn and victimized communities,” Esperon explained.
The 822 barangays were former rebel communities that government security forces have cleared from 2016-2019 by dismantling the CTGs that previously exercised control over them.
He pointed out that the BDP is one of President Rodrigo Duterte’s projects to provide for the “physical needs of the Barangays”.
Esperon said that livelihood, water works and sanitation programs are also being prioritized aside from the construction of farm to market roads and school.
In a report on the status of the Local Government Support Fund to BDP, the tsk force revealed that P16.24 billion was allotted to 812 barangays. “Out of 822 barangays, 80% are IP communities, 75% of which are mostly situated in Mindanao, which received both infrastructure and non-infra projects from BDP,” Esperon explained.
The P16.44 billion budget for the 822 beneficiary barangays were directly released to the Provincial or City Governments and are not coursed through the NTF-ELCAC. The DBM provided the guidelines in the release of funds for hundreds of barangays in nine regions under Local Budget Circular 135 and 135-A.
That P20-million worth of projects will be given to each recipient barangay broken down as follows: P12 million for concrete farm-to-market roads; P3 million for school buildings; P2 million for water and sanitation; P1.5 million for health stations; and P1.5 million for livelihood assistance.
Out of the total 2,276 approved projects, government will be spending some PhP 11.61 billion for farm-to-market roads, PhP 2.4 billion for water and sanitation system, P492 million for health stations, PhP 570 million for school buildings, PhP 482.4 million for rural electrification, PhP 219.4 million for repairs and other infrastructure projects, PhP 329 million for agricultural and vocational trainings, PhP 110.24 million as financial assistance to indigent individuals and families, PhP 16 million for housing, PhP 25 million for Covid-19 vaccination program, and PhP 500,000 for a non-infrastructure project.
The remaining P200 million is to be distributed to Central Luzon, CALABARZON and MIMAROPA, he added.
The NTF-ELCAC was created by virtue of Executive Order 70 issued on Dec. 4, 2018 “to provide an efficient mechanism and structure for the implementation of the Whole-of-Nation Approach to aid in the realization of the collective aspirations for inclusive and sustainable peace.”