Esperon defends ELCAC-BDP budget

SAN FERNANDO CITY, May 4 (PIA) – – National Security Adviser Hermogenes C. Esperon Jr. vows to defend the 2021 fund of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) amid calls of lawmakers to realign it for other purposes.

 

Esperon said the major chunk of the NTF-ELCAC budget amounting to P16.44 billion is for the implementation of the Barangay Development Program (BDP) wherein villages that were cleared of insurgency threats will each receive PhP 20 million.

 

“Sa isang Cabinet Meeting inaprubahan ni Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte and BDP na isang konsepto na nagbibigay sa bawat barangay na natanggalan natin ng impluwensiya ng CPP-NPA-NDF ng pondo na aabot sa PhP 20 milyon,” Esperon, also the Cabinet Officer Responsible for Development and Security for Region 1, said in the recent episode of the Kapihan sa Ilocos of the Philippine Information Agency.

 

Regional Director Jennilyne C. Role of the PIA Region 1 moderates the Kapihan sa Ilocos with National Security Adviser Hermogenes C. Esperon Jr. as the main guest along with other regional key officials. (JPD) 

 

From 2016 to 2019, Esperon said 822 barangays nationwide which were cleared of communist influence will be the first batch of recipients of the BDP for this year.

 

Barangays Baluarte in Salcedo town and Nagbettedan in Santo Domingo, both in Ilocos Sur province, were two of the identified recipients.

 

Specifically, Esperon said the incentive for each barangay will provide residents basic services and infrastructure projects namely farm-to-market road, classroom, health sanitation, water works and sanitation, and rural electrification or livelihood.

 

“Ang mga project na ‘yan ay hindi natin gawa-gawa lamang kundi rekomendado ng local governments at mga residente ng barangay,” he said.

 

Further, he said that defunding or realigning the approved BDP fund would have an impact to the anti-insurgency efforts of the government.

 

“Kung tatanggalin ang pondong iyan, mawawala na naman ‘yung pangako natin mula pa ng 2016 hanggang 2019 na bibigyan natin ng programa ang mga barangay na pinamugaran ng NPA dahil napapabayaan natin sila. Ibig sabihin, magtutuloy-tuloy ang insurgency,” he said.

 

In closing, he said: “I defend the NTF-ELCAC and the BDP. Sila naman kung ide-defund nila ay tututol ako.”

 

Meanwhile, Esperon shared that 27 barangays from Ilocos Sur were also cleared of communists this year and are lined up to receive the second batch of BDP. (JCR/VHS/JPD, PIA La Union)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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https://pia.gov.ph/news/articles/1074144
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