The government will allot over P45 billion worth of various projects to thousands of villages cleared of communist threat, National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon has said.
He said 1,431 barangays would receive programs and projects amounting to P45,935,704,998, a development program of the government to alleviate the sufferings of communities whose livelihood had been severely affected by the presence and harassment of New People’s Army.
“President Rodrigo Duterte, in his State of the Nation Address on July 27, underscored the government efforts in attaining internal peace and security, citing the endeavor as an intervention, and implement projects already cleared of influence of Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army,” Esperon said.
Aside from the 1,431 barangays, some 2,379 threatened barangays will also receive government projects, a package which is part of the government Barangay Development Program.
The DBP projects include farm-to-market roads that will be implemented both by the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Public Works and Highways; and school buildings by Department of Education; water and sanitation by the Local Government.
The other projects include national greening and reforestation program by the Department of Natural Resources; health stations by the Department Health; raising of livestocks, crops, and fisheries by the Agricultural Department.
Esperon said communities freed of NPA influence would be accorded electrification by the DOE; internet connectivity; and capacity-building activities by the Department of Trade, Department of Labor and TESDA.
The funds intended for the projects will be sourced from the budget of the agencies spearheading the projects in coordination with local chief executives.
“The DBP aims to sustain the government’s successes in clearing barangays threatened and influenced by the Communist Terrorist Group through the implementation of grassroots development initiatives,” Esperon said.
“The Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) and its regional task forces have identified programs and projects that need to be delivered in 1,431 barangays cleared of CTG influence, as well as 2,379 threatened barangays,” Esperon said.
Esperon said the DBP would be pursued at full speed, and with prioritization, alongside the government’s initiatives in managing the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This will bring about an environment for peace and progress and insurgency-affected as well as geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas. As these programs are being implemented expeditiously and thoroughly, the CPP-NPA will lose the support of its mass base, to whom it has made empty promises,” Esperon said.