More opportunities await residents of Barangay Alimango in Escalante City, Negros Occidental with the improvement of the village’s farm-to-market road funded through the Barangay Development Program (BDP) of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC).
The P17.5-million concreting of the Alimango-Lawis Road is ongoing, but the ceremonial groundbreaking was held in Sitio Lawis only on Wednesday after several delays due to restrictions posed by the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic.
Mayor Melecio Yap Jr. thanked President Rodrigo Duterte anew for the implementation of the BDP in insurgency-cleared villages as he expressed high hopes that Escalante will be finally free from communist armed conflict.
The mayor’s message and details of the event were released to the media yesterday.
Yap commended the efforts of the national government as well as the troops of the Philippine Army in their commitment and resolve to end the insurgency.
Alimango councilwoman Merlyn Patigas urged village residents to take care of the concrete road as it will make transportation easier for them and their children.
Brig. Gen. Inocencio Pasaporte, commander of the 303rd Infantry Brigade, said the improved road will be beneficial especially for farmers in transporting their agricultural products.
“It will provide residents faster and better access to nearby barangays and also farmers will be able to deliver their produce directly to the market,” he added in a statement.
Pasaporte said in the past, Barangay Alimango was the center of insurgency, but its people now have hope for change.
“Since the beginning of this project, the Army was there and I can say this project opens huge opportunities to everyone here,” he added.
During the event, Yap and Pasaporte were joined by Lt. Col. J-Jay Javines, commander of the 79th Infantry Battalion, whose troops are closely working with the insurgency-cleared villages in northern Negros in the implementation of the BDP, and by representatives of the Department of the Interior and Local Government-Negros Occidental and Escalante City Police Station.
Alimango, one of the 14 insurgency-cleared villages in Escalante, is a recipient of the P20-million funding from the NTF-ELCAC’s Local Government Support Fund-Support to Barangay Development Program.
Aside from the road concreting project, the village will also avail of the installation of solar street lighting worth P1.5 million and a water system project amounting to P1 million.
The BDP, with the end goal of bringing development to former conflict-prone communities, has a total of P16.44 billion allocated funding to rehabilitate and develop 822 barangays formerly established as guerrilla fronts of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA).
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.*PNA