DAVAO CITY – The Davao del Norte Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) has approved the PHP1.77-billion Peace and Order and Public Safety (POPS) plan fund for the year 2023-2025.

In a statement Monday, Governor Edwin Jubahib said at least PHP1.3 billion is allocated for the Peace and Order Program while the PHP451 million is for the Public Safety Program.

The POPS Plan budget was approved during the PPOC meeting on Dec. 2, he said.

Jubahib said the PHP1.11 billion funding came from the provincial government, while the PHP661.77 million came from the national government's official development assistance (ODA).

"For 2023, the POPS programs and projects have a budget of PHP709.4 million. The biggest chunk of the three-year POPS plan is the Serbisyo Caravan done in the far-flung areas," Jubahib said.

He noted that the three-year POPS plan contains comprehensive programs which aim at achieving a safe, orderly, peaceful and progressive community.

Jubahib said the plan also serves as a requirement for the approval of the allocation of the confidential fund (CF) of the local chief executive, which will be subjected to review by the Department of the Interior and Local Government for endorsement to the Department of Budget and Management.

"The PPOC will immediately forward the resolution of the POPS plan to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan subject to approval by the provincial government for the provision of sufficient funds," he added.

Aside from using his CF for "surveillance activities" to support his operations and fulfill his mandate as governor, Jubahib said he will also use the funds in situations that require immediate action.

"Even though the province has been declared as an insurgency-free province, it is still necessary to strengthen the programs of peace and order and public safety to ensure that the New People's Army rebels do not return to disturb the province," he said.

Davao del Norte was declared insurgency-free in June this year. (PNA)