ZAMBOANGA CITY – A village in Zamboanga Sibugay is a beneficiary of a PHP15-million farm-to-market road (FMR) concreting project from the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict’s (NTF-ELCAC) Barangay Development Program (BDP).
Engr. Romel Duran, Zamboanga Sibugay Provincial Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (PTF-ELCAC) focal person, on Thursday identified the recipient of the road concreting project as Barangay Lacnapan in the town of Kabasalan.
Duran said the implementation of the project will start in September and is expected to be completed by early 2022.
The groundbreaking ceremony was held Wednesday with officials from the local government and the military in attendance, Duran said.
Before the groundbreaking, a pre-construction conference was held and attended by Kabasalan Municipal Mayor Katrina Balladares; Lacnapan Barangay chairperson Dominador Medrano Jr.; Maj. Cyril Atis, 44th Infantry Battalion executive officer, police officials, and villagers.
Duran said the PHP15 million FMR concreting project is part of the PHP20 million BDP fund downloaded to local government units as a development package for barangays cleared of New People’s Army (NPA) influence.
“I have been first deployed here in Zamboanga Sibugay in 1991, and for the past 30 years, I have seen how this barangay had progressed and broke free from the influence of the CTG (communist terrorist group),” Brig. Gen. Leonel Nicolas, Army 102nd Infantry Brigade commander, said.
“I urge everyone to continue protecting our community from the threats brought about by the CTGs for the future generation,” Nicolas added.
Reynaldo Dangcal, Alsa Masa Association president, said they are thankful to the government for giving them an FMR concreting project in their village.
The Alsa Masa Association members are former supporters of the NPAs and have surrendered to the government.
Dangcal said the completion of the project will surely spur development in Barangay Lacnapan.
The BDP is a hallmark program of NTF-ELCAC with the end goal of bringing development to former conflict-affected communities
For 2021, the NTF-ELCAC has identified 822 barangays nationwide that were former guerilla fronts of the Communist Party of the Philippines – New People’s Army – National Democratic Front.
Of the PHP19 billion total budget of the NTF-ELCAC, PHP16 billion is allotted for the development of 822 barangays cleared of insurgency.
The PHP16-billion BDP budget goes directly to local government units from the Department of Budget and Management. (PNA)