QUEZON CITY -- The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) today confirms that a total of P16.24 billion or 99% of the funds for the Barangay Development Program (BDP) targeting 822 barangays cleared of Communist Terrorist Groups have already been released to the recipient local government units (LGUs) as of June 30, 2021.
DILG Secretary Eduardo M. Año said that the P16.24-billion will finance 2,276 projects in 812 barangays whose allocations have already been approved and released by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).
“With the P16.24-billion fund downloaded to the recipient Local Government Units nationwide, we will implement some 2,276 projects which will benefit our kababayans in the sitios and barrios that were formerly influenced by the Communist terrorists. These projects are tangible proof of the government’s desire to bring development to far flung areas that have not seen government projects in a very long time,” he said.
According to the DILG Secretary, majority of the projects identified by the recipient barangays are infrastructure projects which compose the biggest bulk of the LGSF with 926 farm-to-market roads; 516 water and sanitation projects; 156 health stations; and 135 school buildings.
“It is apparent na malaki ang pangangailangan sa mga komunidad ng mga proyektong pang-imprastraktura kaya tayo po ay natutuwa na sa tulong ng BDP ay napaglaanan ang mga proyektong tulad nito,” he said.
He said that P11.611-billion has been earmarked to farm-to-market road projects; P2.386-billion for water and sanitation system; P569-million for school buildings; P491-million for health station; P482-million for rural electrification; and, P328-million for agricultural, livelihood and technical vocational projects.
He further said that P170-million are for other infrastructure projects; P110-million cost of assistance to indigent individuals and families; P49-million for the cost of reconstruction, rehabilitation, repair and other similar projects; P16-million for housing; and, P22.5-million COVID-19-related projects.
The top five regions which received the biggest allocation are Regions 7, 10, 11, 12, and 13.
As for the remaining 10 barangays, whose allocations have not yet been released yet, Año said they are in the process of completing their documentary project requirements as prescribed in the policies and procedures under the Local Budget Circulars issued by the DBM for the implementation of the 2021 Local Government Support Fund – Support to Barangay Development Program (LGSF-SBDP).
The BDP is a flagship program which was conceptualized to finally address insurgency by bringing sustainable solutions and basic services to communities in need. The total budget of P16.44-billion for the 822 barangays, which were formerly communist strongholds, is directly released to the Provincial or City Governments and not coursed through the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC).
Monitoring of BDP projects
Meanwhile, DILG Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya, who is also the NTF-ELCAC spokesperson on BDP, said that the Department shall conduct stringent monitoring of the more than 2,000 BDP initiatives to ensure the progress of each project and that they are adhering to the set guidelines and standard of the law.
“These projects are relevant to the people and utilize hard-earned tax money of our working force kaya naman titiyakan natin na ang mga BDP initiatives na ito ay maisasakatuparan at magtatagumpay,” Malaya said.
As provided in the Special Provision No. 4 of Republic Act No.11518 or 2021 General Appropriations Act, the DILG shall monitor and evaluate the projects covered by the LGSF, which includes the SBDP. This process shall include the monitoring and evaluation of the preparation and submission of documentary requirements and actual project implementation.
Furthermore, Malaya said that the DILG shall also use a portion of its budget for third party monitoring to be conducted by an accredited non-government entity.
Meanwhile, he likewise urged the public to monitor the progress of these projects by regularly visiting https://www.ntfelcac.org/bdp-dashboard and demand transparency in the implementation of the barangay development projects. (DILG)