SAN JOSE DE BUENAVISTA, Antique –The construction of local access road projects funded under the Barangay Development Program (BDP) of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) in two municipalities of Antique is underway.
The BDP is a flagship program of the NTF-ELCAC with the end goal of bringing development to former conflict-prone communities.
Antique Provincial Engineer Inocencio Dajao on Friday said construction for the two projects started early December last year, although groundbreaking was held on December 15.
Drainage system has been installed to prevent flooding on the roadside, which is done before the road pavement.
The farm-to-market road (FMR) covers the stretch of Sitio Apong in Barangay Cabladan, Sibalom to Barangay Aningalan in San Remigio worth PHP12 million and from Barangay Aningalan to Barangay Bulan-bulan in the amount of PHP20 million.
“The road from Sitio Apong, Barangay Cabladan in Sibalom to Barangay Aningalan in San Remigio has a total length of two kilometres. Given the PHP12-million budget the concreting could only be up to 800 meters,” he said.
Dajao added that the remaining kilometers will only be made as feeder roads until such time that there would be an additional budget for its concreting.
Of the PHP20 million allocation, the municipality of Sibalom only apportioned PHP12 million for the FMR construction while the remaining funds were for the electrification of 33 households in Sitio Costan, construction of two-unit school building in Sitio Apong and Sitio Tiguidan, and construction of Level II water system in Barangay Cabladan.
On the other hand, only two of the five-kilometer road from Barangay Aningalan to Barangay Bulan-bulan will be concreted using the PHP20-million fund.
“The provincial government is also allocating an additional PHP2.5 million so the concreting of the road from Barangay Aningalan to Barangay Bulan-bulan could be further extended,” he said.
Both road projects are expected to be finished within March to April this year, Dajao said.
Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Antique provincial director Cherryl Tacda, in a separate interview, said the two recipient barangays in the municipalities of Sibalom and San Remigio were downloaded with PHP20 million funds each by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) on April 19, 2021.
“The budget for the two municipalities was directly downloaded by DBM to the Antique provincial government that will implement the projects,” she said.
The two barangays are part of the 822 barangays formerly established as guerrilla fronts of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP)- New People's Army (NPA)- National Democratic Front (NDF) in several parts of the countryside that had been allocated a total of PHP16.44 billion funding.
The ELCAC program is the government‘s whole-of-nation approach in fighting the insurgency in the countryside.
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 Anti-Terrorism Council also formally designated the NDF as a terrorist organization on June 23, 2021, citing it as “an integral and separate part” of the CPP-NPA that was created in April 1973. (PNA)