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Davao City, Philippines

DavOr guv defends NTF-ELCAC programs

April 29, 2021 - Thursday 8:04 PM by PNA

Article Banner Image Davao Oriental Governor Nelson Dayanghirang.

DAVAO CITY – Davao Oriental Gov. Nelson Dayanghirang is fully supportive of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF ELCAC) projects and programs.

In a statement Thursday, Dayanghirang said defunding the ELCAC would be a big disservice to the barangays who fought long and hard to clear their communities of communist influence and insurgency that has brought nothing but fear and poverty aggravated by violence.

Dayanghirang issued the statement after several senators called for the withdrawal of Barangay Development Funds (BDF) funds so that the budget can be realigned to assist Filipinos who are suffering from coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.

“We appeal to those who are calling to defund the ELCAC to open their hearts and minds to the plea of our people. The BDP program under the NTF-ELCAC will sustain the peace in communities already cleared from the Communist influence through development projects and programs that will ultimately improve the lives of the people in these hinterland barangays,” the governor said.

He said it was "sensible to finish what was started, to deliver the last stroke, to give what our people truly deserve an insurgency-free community.”

He also pointed out that through the NTF-ELCAC programs, the national government is determined to end the communist insurgency.

“For us in the provincial government, it is not only of utmost necessity and urgency that we share the national government's commitment but most importantly that we respond to the very root cause of the problem,” he said.

He said the problem of communist insurgency persisted primarily because the people in the hinterland barangays did not feel the government’s presence and care.

“Their abject poverty and longing for government support are exploited by these communists,” Dayanghirang said, adding that it is the first time the government has invested so much in a program bent to end the communist armed conflict.

“We need to take advantage of this rare chance to pour down our support to these once-neglected communities and prevent them from being swayed back to the side of the enemy,” he added.

BDP is a hallmark program of NTF ELCAC with the end goal of bringing development to former conflict-prone communities.

BDP has identified 822 barangays nationwide that were former guerilla fronts of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF).

Of the PHP19 billion total budget of the NTF-ELCAC, some PHP16.5 billion is allotted for the development of 822 barangays cleared of insurgency.

The NPA, which has been waging a five-decade armed struggle against the government, is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.  Prexx Marnie Kate Trozo