80 Negros Oriental brgys now insurgency-free

Posted by watchmen
December 12, 2023


After struggling with a lack of access to safe drinking water for several years, potable water is now a part of life for the residents of Barangay Lumapao in the mountain city of Canlaon.

Barangay Lumapao earlier received a water system project and water reservoir under the Barangay Development Program (BDP) after it was declared to be insurgency-free by the Provincial Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (PTF- ELCAC).

It is one of two barangays in Canlaon City previously tagged as conflict areas by the PTF-ELCAC due to the presence of communist insurgents.

“The lack of potable water was one of the prevailing issues identified by the community support program team in the area,” said Engineer Armand Mangubat, focal person of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) on the Retooled Community Support Program (RCSP).

In the municipality of Tayasan, the students and the teachers in Barangay Bato are now benefitting from the school buildings that were rehabilitated under the BDP.


BDP projects

Lumapao and Bato are among the 80 villages previously tagged as conflict areas under the BDP that have now been cleared from the influence of communist rebels between 2021 and 2023.

In 2021, the PTF-ELCAC identified 39 barangays that have received funding support under the BDP in 2022.

This led to the implementation of 44 projects under the BDP worth P156 million in the barangays.

“Each barangay was given P4 million to implement infrastructure projects that the barangay identified as priority concerns for them to enhance their way of living,” said Mangubat.

In 2022, seven ELCAC barangays were identified to receive the 2023 funding support under BDP, followed by 34 in 2023.

Each year, a different set of barangays are identified as insurgency-cleared areas.

Each cleared barangay will then undertake different RCSP projects for them to sustain and give them the capability to organize themselves to bring peace to their barangays, Mangubat explained.

The RCSP aims to address the issues identified by the communities by providing them with their identified government projects while ensuring sustainable development and promoting peace.

DILG will conduct capacity development activities and monitor the identified priority projects of the said barangays.

The process of clearing the identified barangays under the BDP follows a whole-of-nation approach involving the barangay residents, barangay and local government officials, national government agencies, and PTF-ELCAC.


Farm-to-market roads

Mangubat explained that most of the priority projects requested by barangay officials were farm-to-market roads.

This is because local farmers struggle with bringing their farm produce to the market due to the lack of road infrastructure.

Residents, especially students, also have to rely on “motorcycle taxis” or habal-habal as their main form of transportation.

“These projects indicate the sincerity of the government to confer with the residents and plan and implement programs in the conflict-affected areas,” Brigadier General Joey Escanillas, commander of the 302nd Infantry Brigade of the Philippine Army, said.

Escanillas said the ELCAC projects will boost barangay resources and speed up efforts to improve the lives of the residents. (PIA-7 Negros Oriental)


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