P640 million peace and development projects set to be implemented in 32 hinterland villages in Davao Oriental

DAVAO ORIENTAL — Development projects amounting to a total of P640 million are set to be implemented in 32 priority barangays in Davao Oriental under the Barangay Development Program.

Funded by the national government through the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), each of these 32 barangays will receive P20 million intended for various projects that will help address the issues of peace and order and to finally end the long-running Communist insurgency here.

PTF-ELCAC Vice-Chairman Mr. Ednar Dayanghirang, during the workshop meeting held on Tuesday, January 26, at the Honey’s Hotel in the City of Mati, clarified to the barangay officials that the projects that will be included in their list must be in accordance with the Local Budget Circular No. 135 issued by the Department of Budget and Management. The said budget circular specifies that the P20 million allocated budget will only be used for projects such as:

  1. Farm-to-Market Roads;
  2. School buildings;
  3. Water and sanitation system;
  4. Health stations;
  5. Rural Electrification;
  6. Reconstruction, rehabilitation, repair, and other similar projects in connection with the occurrence of natural or human-induced calamities, epidemics, crises resulting from armed conflicts, insurgency, terrorism, and other catastrophes;
  7. Housing;
  8. COVID-19 vaccination, immunization and other health related projects;
  9. Agricultural, livelihood and technical vocational trainings/ projects; and
  10. Assistance to indigent individual or families in any of the following forms of assistance: (a) Medical; (b) Burial; (c) Transportation; (d) Food; (e) Cash for work; and, (f) Educational.

These 32 villages that will receive the P20 million funding are those barangays declared by the Philippine Army and the Philippine National Police as cleared from the Communist influence between 2016 and 2019 through the Community Support Program and other peace and order campaign of the government.

“The implementation of the program is the government’s way of keeping its promise to give benefits and incentives to the barangays who cooperated with the government in shooing away the CPP-NPA-NDF in their villages,” he said.

These villages that were declared as cleared are: Barangays Causwagan, Mahayag, Maputi, Panikian, San Vicente, and Mogbongcogon in the municipality of Banaybanay; Barangays Cabadiangan, Calapagan, Cocornon, Don Mariano Marcos, Limbahan, Macangao, San Isidro, New Visayas, Lantawan, San Jose, Magsayasay, and Tagboa in the municipality of Lupon; Barangays San Roque, Dugmanon, Iba, Lapu-lapu, Baon, Maputi, Cambaleon, San Miguel, Sudlon, Santo Rosario, Maag, Talisay, and Batobato in the municipality of San Isidro; and Barangay Don Enrique Lopez in the City of Mati. All of these barangays will receive the P20 million funding.

City of Mati Mayor Michelle Rabat

Governor Nelson Dayanghirang who chairs the Provincial Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (PTF-ELCAC) emphasized the urgency of coming up with the final list of priority projects as the national government has mandated the LGUs to fast track the implementation in order to benefit the intended beneficiaries the soonest time possible.

He urged the barangays to be prudent in listing their priority projects and to maximize the funds in order to deliver more.

LGU Banaybanay Mayor Adalia Lopez

“These projects that you are going to implement should be felt by the people. Let us not waste this opportunity because this is rare,” said Governor Dayanghirang. “We need to deliver these projects to our people who long-dreamed to feel the government’s presence in their villages,” he added, as he urged the barangay officials to prioritize the needs of the people especially of those from far-flung sitios and puroks.

As soon as the barangays complete the list of projects, it will be submitted by the Governor to the Regional Task Force ELCAC and consequently to the NTF-ELCAC and to the DBM who will release the funds to the provincial government.

The provincial government targets to accomplish at least 60-70 percent of these projects by October 2021.

Meanwhile, all other barangays that are not included in this year’s list of priority barangays which are still being influenced by the Communist-Terrorist Group will be placed under the “super-priority” barangay list. The funding for the projects for these barangays will come from the national agencies for implementation next year.

While this huge funding is a big opportunity for the barangays to once and for all end the long-running problem of insurgency, Vice-Chair Ednar Dayanghriang urged the members of the community to stop giving support to the CPP-NPA-NDF which has done nothing but bring chaos to the community. He encouraged the public, instead, to give their whole support to the government. By Karen Lou Deloso