DAVAO CITY – Davao del Sur Governor Douglas Cagas Tuesday declared his support for the continued implementation of the Barangay Development Program (BDP) of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) saying it is a noble program of the government.
“I unequivocally pronounce my strongest support to the continued implementation of BDP funded by the NTF-ELCAC,” he said in a statement.
He added that BDP is geared towards achieving genuine and lasting peace in the country that has “been manifested fruition and has won the heart of misled Filipinos, as evidenced by the number of former rebels returning to the folds of the law.”
“There is no valid reason for disrupting the momentum, much less, halting these noble programs that are intended to benefit our development-deprived villagers by defunding the NTF-ELCAC,” Cagas said.
In Davao del Sur, eight barangays are recipients of the BDP as a development package after having been declared “cleared” of communist presence and influence.
The eight barangay-recipients are: Goma and Balabag in Digos City; Sibayan, Darapuay and Managa in Bansalan; Asbang and Colosabak in Matanao; and Saliducon in Sta. Cruz.
More insurgency-cleared barangays in the province, he said, will also be receiving “similar incentives on the second batch of DBP implementation.”
“The PHP160 million [BDP funds intended for Davao del Sur] in total have been downloaded to our coffers already, and the project pre-implementation phase is now underway,” he added.
He said the Davao del Sur provincial government has been extending financial and livelihood assistance, as well as various skills training for the former rebels through the Tupad Pangako Program.
“The Provincial Government of Davao del Sur joins the Duterte Administration and the NTF-ELCAC in ensuring progressive, just, and peaceful lives to our people," he added.
The BDP, a hallmark program of NTF ELCAC with the end goal of bringing development to former conflict-prone communities, has identified 822 barangays nationwide that were former guerilla fronts of the Communist Party of the Philippines - New People's Army - National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF).
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.
Of the PHP19 billion total budget of the NTF-ELCAC, PHP16 billion is allotted for the development of 822 barangays 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). (PNA)