ELCAC PROJECTS. Zamboanga del Sur Governor Victor Yu (2nd from right) leads the groundbreaking ceremony on Saturday (Oct. 30, 2021) for a PHP20-million development project in one of the two insurgency-cleared barangays in Guipos that will receive funding from the government. The projects to be carried out in Barangays Dalapan and Datagan are part of the Barangay Development Project, the flagship program of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict. (Photo courtesy of 53IB)

ZAMBOANGA CITY – Some two insurgency-cleared barangays in Guipos, Zamboanga del Sur will each receive PHP20 million worth of Barangay Development Program projects from the government.

Lt. Col. Jo-ar Herrera, Army’s 53rd Infantry Battalion commander, in a statement Monday, identified the two barangays as Dalapan and Datagan, which were previously conflict-affected and declared clear from the communist influence in September 2019 through the Army's Community Support Program (CSP).

Herrera said the BDP is the flagship program of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC).

“The NTF-ELCAC was conceptualized to finally address insurgency by bringing sustainable solutions and basic services to communities in need,” he said.

The BDP, meanwhile, is a hallmark program of NTF-ELCAC with the end goal of bringing development to former conflict-prone communities.

It is directed to rehabilitate and develop 822 barangays formerly established as guerilla fronts of the Communist Party of the Philippines – New People’s Army – National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) in several parts of the countryside.

Under the BDP, each barangay is allotted PHP20 million for their respective projects, for a total of PHP16.44 billion in allocated funds.

The BDP budget goes directly to local government units from the Department of Budget and Management.

Groundbreaking

Herrera said Zamboanga del Sur Gov. Victor Yu led the groundbreaking ceremony Saturday signaling the start of the implementation of the ELCAC projects in Barangay Dalapan.

He said the projects included the construction of an access road from Purok I to Purok III; construction of a solar dryer and storage at Purok 1B; and, construction of a Level II portable water supply reservoir, pipes distribution line, intake box, and tap stands.

He said that the projects for Barangay Datagan have yet to be identified based on the needs of the constituents.

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.

The NDF was 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)