DREAM COME TRUE. Davao Oriental Governor Nelson Dayanghirang acknowledges Tuesday (June 7, 2022) the efforts of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict's Barangay Development Program (BDP) for ushering progress among the 32 villages freed from insurgents in the province. He describes the NTF-ELCAC as a long-time solution to address insurgency problems in the conflict-affected areas. (PNA photo by Che Palicte)

DAVAO CITY – Davao Oriental Gov. Nelson Dayanghirang has lauded the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) for the economic development of the province's 32 insurgency-free villages under the Barangay Development Program (BDP).

In an interview Tuesday evening, Dayanghirang said the BDP projects in his province have been valuable in ridding the recipient villages of communist New People's Army (NPA) influence.

“It (BDP) is very successful here in Davao Oriental. We are already on the finishing touches (on the projects),” Dayanghirang said in an interview Tuesday evening.

Thirty-two barangays in Davao Oriental that were cleared of New People’s Army (NPA) rebels from 2016 to 2019 were identified as BDP beneficiaries in 2020, receiving PHP20 million funding each.

“Only a few are (now) ongoing as the majority (of the projects) were already completed,” Dayanghirang said.

He also thanked President Rodrigo Duterte for the projects poured into former NPA-influenced barangays, saying “we did not expect that the dream of the residents in these barangays will be realized.”

A hallmark program of NTF-ELCAC with the end goal of bringing development to former conflict-prone communities, BDP forms part of the government’s whole-of-nation approach to fighting the communist insurgency.

The program aims to eradicate the root causes of the insurgency, poverty, disease, lack of education and opportunities, and social injustice in far-flung communities across the country identified to have been influenced by the communist ideology.

The BDP is directed to initially rehabilitate and develop 822 barangays formerly established as guerrilla fronts of the Communist Party of the Philippines-NPA-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) in the countryside.

Dayanghirang described BDP as a “long-time solution” to address insurgency problems in conflict-affected areas.

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