Palace amenable to proposals to use portion of NTF-ELCAC budget for typhoon assistance –Roque

Published November 4, 2020, 4:42 PM

by Genalyn Kabiling

Malacañang is amenable to the proposal to use a portion of the government’s anti-insurgency funds for the rebuilding of areas hit by typhoon Rolly.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque (OPS / MANILA BULLETIN)

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said spending funds in typhoon-hit areas like Bicol region would be within the mandate of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC).

“I think that is the objective of ELCAC. The objective of the ELCAC is to promote development in areas with ongoing insurgencies because we know that poverty is the root cause of insurgency,” he said over CNN Philippines Wednesday. 

“So I don’t think there is any inconsistency with the proposal to actually spend funds in the typhoon damaged areas because, it’s I think, a fact that Bicol also is a hotbed for insurgency so that would be within the mandate of ELCAC,” he added.

Senator Risa Hontiveros earlier urged the government to realign P16-billion of the NTF-ELCAC’s P19 billion budget to help storm-hit areas recover from the latest calamity.  

Under the proposed 2021 national budget, the anti-insurgency task force has set aside P16 billion for its barangay development program. 

Hontiveros said the budget for NTF-ELCAC is “questionably astronomic” compared to the proposed budgets of key agencies.