October 2, 2023

The the 1,406 barangays included in the list of beneficiaries of the proposed P28.1 billion budget for the Barangay Development Program (BDP) of the in 2022, underwent stringent validation process before they were declared cleared of communist presence and influence, the Department of the Interior and Local Government said.

Contrary to the claims of Gabriela Rep. Arlene Brosas, DILG Sec. Eduardo Año said the process of clearing and identifying the beneficiary-barangays involve the residents, barangay and local government officials, national government agencies, and the National Task Force-Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-Elcac).

DILG data show that most of 1,406 barangay-beneficiaries  are located in the Bicol, Eastern Visayas, and Caraga regions.

In the proposed budget, beneficiaries this year will receive a package of programs, activities, and projects not exceeding P20 million.

During the budget hearing, Brosas questioned how the government identified if a barangay is cleared from insurgency which makes it eligible for funding under the BDP.

Año explained the process starts with the conduct of a community support program (CSP) by the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police in barangays influenced or infiltrated by the NPA.

Following the clearing, validation, and evaluation by the AFP and PNP, the list of cleared barangays is submitted to the NTF-Elcac which reviews the list and endorses the same to the DILG and other agencies.

Año said the barangays identified by the AFP/PNP are validated by the DILG this time through the five-step Retooled Community Support Program (RCSP), starting with the organization of the RCSP team and RCSP core teams which shall be immersed in the barangays to identify governance gaps and development interventions, implement priority programs, projects and activities, empower LGUs and the communities, and sustain measures already implemented.

After the RCSP, preparations for the projects and programs for funding under the BDP are then developed with the participation of the residents, stakeholders, and other national government agencies.

It is then endorsed to NTF-Elcac through the municipal, provincial and regional Elcac task forces for funding. – Press release