A total of P16.44 billion worth of projects were allotted to the barangays previously infected by the communist rebels, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).
The allotment was through the Barangay Development Program (BDP), the main development project of the National Task Force to End Local Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC).
DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said that from 2016 to 2019, a total of 822 barangays were declared by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) as free from the terrorist strongholds.
Año revealed that each concerned barangay will receive P20 million allocation for their respective development projects in the infrastructure and non-infrastructure program categories.
In the infrastructure projects, Año reported that 928 farm to market roads amounting to P11.6 billion were constructed in 747 barangays while 157 health station projects in 150 barangays valued at P498,726,376 were finished.
He added that 150 school building projects worth P600,678,016, 518 water and sanitation system projects worth P2.3 billion and 173 rural and electrification projects worth P491 million were completed in 157 barangays.
A total of P129,200,000 were spent for the reconstruction, rehabilitation, repair and 32 other projects pertaining to natural or human induced calamities while seven housing projects amounting to P22,400,000 were done in seven barangays.
Thirty other infrastructure projects like agricultural, evacuation, communication, coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) facilities were completed at a cost of P78,400,000.
For non-infra projects, Año reported that P283 million was earmarked for 177 agricultural livelihood, technical and personal training projects while P17 million was budgeted for eight COVID-19 vaccination, immunization and other health related projects.
He added that 103 assistance to indigent individuals or families were provided costing P119,046,019.
As of Sept. 2, Año stated that 182 projects are in the implementation stage, 782 projects are in the procurement stage and 1,319 others are in the pre-procurement stage.
With having the most number of isolated and poor barangays, Año explained that Regions 10, 11 and 13 have been given the most projects.
He stressed that the barangays in these regions, specifically in the Indigenous People (IP) ancestral domain areas have long been exploited by the CPP-NPA due to the lack of basic services and development.
Año also pointed out that 2,318,892 poor individuals will now benefit from barangay development projects in these regions. (Chito A. Chavez)