Bicam sets NTF-ELCAC proposed budget for 2022 to P17-B

The bicameral conference committee has set the proposed budget for the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) under the proposed 2022 national budget to P17.1-billion.

Senate Finance Committee chair Senator Sonny Angara disclosed this after the Senate and House of Representatives signed the bicameral conference committee report on the proposed P5.024-trillion budget for next year.

Angara initially said the committee restored the NTF-ELCAC's budget to P16-billion, but later clarified it was set to P17.1-billion.

According to Angara, 95 percent of the NTF-ELCAC’s budget would be allocated for its Barangay Development Program.

The Senate finance panel initially slashed the proposed budget of President Duterte’s controversial task force by P24-billion and leaving it with only a P4-billion for 2022.

Senators wanted to realign the NTF-ELCAC’s budget to fund more COVID-19 pandemic-related programs and fund health workers’ benefits for next year as they complained that the task force has been notorious in red-tagging civilians, institutions and perceived government critics.

The bicameral report on the proposed national budget is expected to be ratified this afternoon.