MANILA – The Rizal town in Kalinga province has received around PHP20 million to fund its anti-insurgency projects in Balabag East village.
According to a report by Radio Mindanao Network (RMN), Rizal Mayor Karl Bugao Baac was thankful to the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict’s (NTF ELCAC) Barangay Development Program (BDP) for allotting funds for Balabag East village that is now cleared of infestation of the New People’s Army (NPA).
Of the PHP20 million, around PHP15 million will be used for the rehabilitation of the Barroga-Baggas farm-to-market road, Bugac said.
Baac added that about PHP3 million will be used to improve the water system and the remaining PHP2 million will be allotted for the rehabilitation of the health center building in Balabag East village.
Balabag is one of the 822 villages initially identified by NTF ELCAC to have been cleared of NPA influence.
The Communist Party of the Philippines - NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.
Under the 2021 national budget, a total of PHP19 billion is earmarked for NTF-ELCAC.
Around PHP16 billion of the PHP19 billion budget of the NTF-ELCAC is allocated to its BDP, a hallmark program with the end goal of bringing development to former conflict-prone communities.
The PHP16 billion BDP budget goes directly to local government units from the Department of Budget and Management.
The BDP’s major programs include farm-to-market roads, livelihood, irrigation, and health stations.
The NTF-ELCAC, created by virtue of Executive Order 70 issued on Dec. 4, 2018, is tasked to “provide an efficient mechanism and structure for the implementation of the whole-of-nation approach to aid in the realization of collective aspirations for inclusive and sustainable peace.” (PNA)