NTF-ELCAC’s Barangay Development Program is fund for military corruption, electoral preparations

Read in: Iloco

This 2021, the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF ELCAC) was allotted more than P16 billion for their “barangay development programs” (BDP), which include construction of farm-to-market roads, building of schools and clinics, and reforestation. 823 barangays nationwide which are considered as “NPA-free” will be given P20 million each. These funds have nowhere to go but to the pockets of the military and government officials who are political allies of Duterte. More than 75% of these funds is allotted for Mindanao. Particularly, more than P1 billion is allotted for Davao, the hometown of Duterte and his political dynasty family.

One of the 823 barangays where BDP is to be implemented is Barangay Tamboan, Besao here in Mountain Province. There are several barangays in the province which are considered as “priority area” of the NTF ELCAC but only Barangay Tamboan was given fund. Moreover, there was no actual project implemented except the establishment of a cooperative store with a capital of P300,000, which was funded by the Enhanced Community Livelihood and Integration Program (E-CLIP), not from NTF ELCAC’s BDP. Even in the other barangays which are considered as “priority area,” no actual project was implemented. If Barangay Tamboan is already considered as “NPA-free,” then why did the AFP and PNP dropped bombs and conducted strafing in the mentioned barangay last February 11? Why do the AFP and PNP continue to conduct military operations there, which will only disturb the lives and livelihood of the village folks? Being an “NPA-free” barangay should not be a requisite in receiving services from the government. If the NTF ELCAC is really genuine in solving poverty here in the countryside, all barangays of MP should receive social services as needed by the people.

These deceitful projects will not really solve poverty and lack of livelihood here in the countryside. Farm-to-market roads have no use if the peasants have no product to sell due to the pandemic and recent calamities. New schools and clinics have no use if there are no additional teachers and doctors. Reforestation has no use, if the forests are destroyed due to AFP and PNP’s bombings, and environmentally destructive projects like geothermal and large-scale mining. These projects have no use if our fellow iMontanyosa are being harassed and threatened by the AFP and PNP only because they are standing for the people’s rights and welfare. We should not be deceived by NTF ELCAC’S BDP. We are calling on the people of Mountain Province to expose and oppose the corruption happening inside the NTF ELCAC, AFP, and PNP, and continue to fight for our rights and welfare as a people.

NTF-ELCAC's Barangay Development Program is fund for military corruption, electoral preparations