DAVAO CITY (PIA) - A total of 822 barangays nationwide which were cleared from the influence of the CPP-NPA-NDF (Communist Party of the Philippines-New Peoples Army-National Democratic Fund) will be receiving a development assistance of P20-million each under the Barangay Development Program (BDP) .
Of the 822 barangays about 215 of these villages are located in Davao Region. Davao City has 82 barangay beneficiaries followed by Davao de Oro with 65 barangays, 32 barangays in Davao Oriental, 23 in Davao del Norte, and eight barangays in Davao del Sur.
The funds can be used by the barangays for their projects which are specifically for road-building, schools, health centers, water and sanitation and projects under the national greening program.
A budget of P16.84-billion has been allocated for implementation this year under the BDP of the National Task Force on Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF ELCAC).
According to National Security Adviser Sec. Hermogenes Esperon Jr., concurrent vice-chair of NTF-ELAC, the BDP was approved by President Duterte in January of last year when it was presented to him. It follows the President's emphasis in providing government intervention and development projects to Geographically Isolated and Disadvantaged Areas or GIDAs.
These GIDAs, due to their remoteness, have been vulnerable to insurgent influence and the bulk of recruitment for the NPAs comes from these areas.
"We intend to curb this recruitment through holistic development projects that bridge the need of the communities and accessibility," Esperon said.
The Secretary added that projects under the BDP were determined through multi-stakeholder, multi sectoral consultations, needs assessment studies and close cooperation with the local government units.
"In its entirety, the BDP intends to eradicate the root causes of insurgency- poverty, disease, lack of education and opportunities and finally social injustice," Sec. Esperon said.
The BDP were vetted through stringent measures and the implementation of the BDP will be through the LGUs and the regional offices of national government offices.
The barangay beneficiaries have been cleared of communist influence from 2016-2019 and are now ripe for the package of development projects," Sec. Esperon added.
Meanwhile the Department of Budget and Management under Sec. Wendell Avisado has released Local Budget Circular 135 which issues guidelines on the release of the budget for the BDP.
Under the circular, the funding will only be released after it has been approved by the Regional Task Force- ELCAC of which the 822 barangays belonged.
This is following the President's veto message to the 2021 national budget where the budget of the Local Government Support Fund- Support to the Barangay Development Program (LGSF-SBDP) is placed under conditional implementation subject to the conditions of the DBM in coordination with NTF-ELCAC.
During the presscon DBM Secretary Wendell Avisado hopes that Region-XI will be the showcase of the BDP implementation in the country.
"Dapat ipakita natin na tayo manguna sa implementasyon nito ( We must show that we will lead in the implementation) in the most honest and the most appropriate, and legal in accordance with the law of the government," Sec. Avisado said who also serves as the Cabinet Secretary for Regional Development and Security (CORDS) for Region-XI
"After the more than 50 years of this problem (insurgency), we want to end it. We can only end it by and through an honest-to-goodness delivery of services to the people," Sec. Avisado said of the BDP implementation. (PIA/RG Alama)