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Duterte ready to set foot on Red-free areas

President Rodrigo Duterte will personally visit barangays that have been freed from the threat and influence of the New People’s Army (NPA) to make sure that the programs and projects promised to those villages are being properly implemented.

In a statement made available to Congress reporters, the National Security Council said President Duterte, in his capacity as chairman of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), would visit starting Friday Northern Mindanao, followed by Eastern Visayas and Southern Tagalog in the following weeks.

“President Duterte intends to visit each region in the country on a weekly basis for consultations and dialogues, as well as to grace the regional implementation of the Barangay Development Program,” National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. said.

“We are now pushing forward with our barangay-level initiatives, with the President meeting barangay officials and chairmen of the 822 barangays that will be receiving the BDP. As chairman of the NTF-ELCAC, the President shall meet with local chief executives including the barangay-beneficiaries of the BDP to  present to the people of the region the package of projects they are to receive,” Esperon added.

At least 822 barangays that have been cleared of NPA influence, are included in the BDP. Each of the villages will receive P20 million this year to be used on specific projects intended for development.

The release of funds for the BDP is covered by Local Budget Circular 135 and 135-A from the Department of Budget and Management. This circular details the guidelines on the release and utilization of the Local Government Support Fund-Support to the BDP of the NTF-ELCAC this 2021.

Projects earmarked for each barangay include P12 million farm to market roads; P3 million school buildings; P2 million water supply facilities; P1.5 million skills and livelihood training; and P1.5 million sanitation projects.

“These programs are aimed at addressing issues that the CPP-NPA utilize in their propaganda and recruitment, such as poverty, isolation , diseases, hunger and lack of educational and livelihood opportunities,” Esperon, the vice chairman of the NTF-ELCAC, pointed out.

He expressed confidence that with the President leading the program, there will be quick degradation of the capabilities of the CPP-NPA-NDF and eventually the entire country will be  cleared from rebel threats.

During the visit, the President will be accompanied by the Cabinet members whose respective agencies have projects in the identified barangays, governors, city mayors, provincial representatives of the League of Municipalities, provincial representatives of the League of Barangays and the chairpersons of recipient barangays.

“As the flagship program of the NTF-ELCAC, the BDP is an initiative that transcends through the basic requirements that seek to improve the human condition. This administration, in its determination to make significant progress in addressing the decades-long communist armed conflicts, intends to make the BDP its legacy of social justice for the people,” Esperon said.

Topics: New People’s Army , Rodrigo Duterte , National Security Council , Hermogenes Esperon Jr
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