BDP deters communities from joining CPP-NPA

By Nef Luczon

September 8, 2021, 4:34 pm

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – An Army official said Tuesday the Barangay Development Program (BDP) is the answer to the primary issues that the Communist Party of the Philippines - New People’s Army - National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) exploit in organizing communities to support their cause.

In a statement, Brig. Gen. Ferdinand Barandon, commander of the Army's 403rd Infantry Brigade, said the BDP is a working mechanism since the creation of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) to dissuade communities in the hinterland areas from joining the communist terrorist group.

The lack or absence of government programs and projects is one of the reasons far-flung villagers are vulnerable to communist recruitment.

"It will surely help us in totally ending this 52-year insurgency problem," Barandon said, referring to the BDP, a hallmark program of the NTF-ELCAC with the end goal of bringing development to former conflict-prone communities.

Meanwhile, the local TF-ELCAC launched a PHP20-million Local Government Support Fund – Support to Barangay Development Program (LGSF-SBDP) in Sitio Malinao, Barangay Cananga-an in Cabanglasan town, Bukidnon on September 3.

The project includes the construction of farm-to-market roads, solar dryers, health stations, and water systems, and the provision of farm implements to the farmers of the six sitios of Cananga-an that were formerly influenced by NPA rebels.

Considered to be Geographically Isolated and Disadvantaged Areas (GIDAs), these sitios are frequently visited by the rebels and most of the populace are members of the underground movement who have surrendered and pledged allegiance to the government after the massive conduct of the Community Support Program by the Philippine Army.

For 2021, a PHP16.44 million BDP budget has been allocated to effect the sustainable rehabilitation and development of 822 barangays formerly established as guerilla fronts of the CPP-NPA-NDF.

According to Lt. Col. Christian James P. Vingno, 88th Infantry Battalion commander, the full support of Cabanglasan for the realization of the BDP projects would further strengthen the ties between the town and the 88IB.

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

The NDF has been formally designated as a terrorist organization by the Anti-Terrorism Council on June 23, 2021, citing it as “an integral and separate part” of the CPP-NPA created in April 1973. (PNA)