Farm-to-market road projects in three insurgency-cleared barangays in San Carlos City, Negros Occidental are in progress under the Barangay Development Program (BDP) of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC).
To check the status of the projects, officials of the Philippine Army together with Mayor Renato Gustilo conducted an ocular inspection of the projects in Barangays Nataban, Codcod and Quezon on Tuesday.
In a statement on Wednesday, Brig. Gen. Inocencio Pasaporte, commander of 303rd Infantry Brigade, said the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ role is to support the NTF-ELCAC through the BDP.
“We are sending out teams to determine the problems in these affected areas to see the needed interventions,” he added.
In the northern Negros city, there are five villages identified as cleared from the influence of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA). The two others are Barangays Buluangan and Guadalupe.
Under the BDP, which is a hallmark program of the NTF-ELCAC with the end goal of bringing development to former conflict-prone communities, each insurgency-cleared village has been allocated a P20-million assistance.
The aid comprises a one-kilometer farm-to-market road worth P12 million; classrooms, P3 million; water and sanitation systems, P2 million; health station, P1.5 million; and livelihood projects, P1.5 million.
In Barangay Codcod, the road concreting covers Sitios Cabagtasan, Natuyay and Bedio; Barangay Nataban, from Nataban proper to Binone Elementary School; and Barangay Quezon, from Sitio Alinga-ob to Balabag Elementary School.
Gustilo earlier said as a leader whose place had been a haven of lawless armed groups, he welcomed the move of the NTF-ELCAC to empower communities.
The funding of projects under the BDP already gained the trust of former mass supporters of the CPP-NPA toward the government’s aim for lasting peace, he added.
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 National Democratic Front has been formally designated as a terrorist organization by the Anti-Terrorism Council on June 23, 2021, citing it as “an integral and inseparable part” of the CPP-NPA created in April 1973.*PNA