BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
The Armed Forces of the Philippines has declared San Carlos City in Negros Occidental, which had hinterland barangays that used to be the “hotbed of insurgency” in the late 1980s, as “insurgency-free”.
Following its declaration of insurgency cleared barangays, Brig. Gen. Inocencio Pasaporte, commander of the Army’s 303rd Infantry Brigade, yesterday said that the five hinterland barangays of Codcod, Nataban, Quezon, Bulwangan and Guadalope, all in San Carlos City, received P100 million worth of infrastructure projects TF-ELCAC (Task Force – Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict) Barangay Development Program.
Pasaporte said each of the barangays declared insurgency-free got P20 million worth of infrastructure projects from TF-ELCAC.
Mayor Renato Gustilo yesterday said that there is no NPA armed group existing in those areas, except some of their mass-based supporters, who are silently extending support to them.
Gustilo however admitted that those hinterland areas are used for passage in going to other places.
Gustilo, who along with Pasaporte recently visited those hinterland barangays, disclosed the 1.4-kilometer road concreting project in the sitios of Cabagtasan, Bedio and Natuyay in Brgy. Codcod, has already been completed, while those in Brgy. Nataban is about to finish.
On the other hand, the road concreting project in Brgy. Quezon is about to start, to be followed in two other barangays, all in San Carlos City, he added.
Hopefully, we will be able to complete the road concreting project in those five barangays, soon, Gustilo further said.
After its completion, then the city government will appropriate funding for another kilometer every year, until the road concreting project reaches to the furthest sitio of San Carlos City, he added.
Through farm-to-market roads, it will be easier for farmers to bring their goods to the poblacion, or the nearest traders, Gustilo said.
The Barangay Development Program (BDP) is the hallmark program of the NTF-ELCAC established with the end goal of bringing development to formerly conflict-ridden communities.
The BDP is directed to the sustainable rehabilitation and development of 822 barangays in the country formerly established as guerilla fronts of the CPP-NPA-NDF.*