TURNED OVER. Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas and Department of the Interior and Local Government Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr. (3rd and 4th from left) lead the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the turnover of projects funded under the Support to Barangay Development Program (SBDP) in Barangay Dungon B in Jaro district, Iloilo City on Wednesday (Jan. 18, 2023). The barangay is a recipient of PHP20 million worth of projects in 2022 after it was declared insurgency-free in 2014. (PNA photo by PGLena)

ILOILO CITY – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has given PHP20 million worth of projects to Barangay Dungon B in Jaro district here under its Support to Barangay Development Program (SBDP).

Interior Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr. who was in this city for a series of engagements on Wednesday turned over the projects consisting of water and sanitation system, a school building, and a three-story health center to the city government through Mayor Jerry Treñas and the barangay.

The city mayor committed to provide manpower for the health center.

“We identified and implemented priority projects that fit the needs of our people. We always give priority to their protection and development with the full support of our city government,” said village chief Haydee Mabaga in her message during the turnover ceremony held at the project site.

She added that the New People’s Army (NPA) used to hold house-to-house visits in their barangay in the 1980s.

However, the rebels left when troops of the Philippine Army were deployed in the village, which was eventually declared insurgency-free in 2014.

Secretary Abalos, in his message, said the SBDP has been instrumental in the series of surrenders by rebels, including the Abu Sayyaf, because of the economic activity it brings.

“It’s not only about economic development but most importantly, the acceptance of the community, the spirit of 'bayanihan' (cooperation), of loving, sharing,” he said, as he urged barangay officials to put into good use the projects for their constituents.

Dungon B, with a population of around 3,000, is one of the six barangays in the city receiving the SBDP in 2022.

Treñas said the implementation of projects in other barangays has been completed and utilized. (PNA)