Bong Go rejects NTF-ELCAC 2022 budget cut

Published November 14, 2021, 10:58 AM

by Hannah Torregoza 

Presidential aspirant Senator Christopher “Bong” Go on Sunday, Nov. 14 assured he would not support any funding cut in the budget of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC)

Go, who is seeking the presidency in the upcoming May 2022 elections, reaffirmed his support for the NTF-ELCAC’s budget, which the Senate slashed by P24-billion due to the unexplained spending. Go said the government’s anti-insurgency task force plays a central role in ending insurgency in the country.

He said it is crucial for the said task force to sustain momentum in its various programs and projects it have generated in addressing the root causes of the insurgency, such as poverty and social exclusion.

“Hindi po ako pabor sa pagbawas ng budget ng NTF-ELCAC dahil masasayang lang ang nagawa ng gobyerno sa pagpapanatili ng kapayapaan sa ating bansa (I am not in favor of cutting the NTF-ELCAC budget because we will just waste the government’s efforts in maintaining peace and order in our country),” said Go.

“I fully believe in the NTF-ELCAC and in the anti-insurgency campaign nito. Now is not the right time to make such a drastic move considering that the government’s campaign to end armed conflict is gaining momentum,” he stressed.

Sen. Sonny Angara, who chairs the Senate Finance Committee, earlier said majority of the senators have agreed to slash the budget of the NTF-ELCAC due as its officers fail to properly liquidate its budget.

Angara stressed the funds would be realigned to boost the government’s COVID-19 response efforts which the country badly needs at this time of a pandemic.

Go, however, reiterated the importance of the task force and appealed to the Senate to restore the budget of the NTF-ELEC to ensure all returning rebels have the support they need to improve their lives and be productive members of mainstream society.