Esperon bares ‘weakening’ rebel influence in Southern Tagalog amid BDP implementation


National Security Adviser and National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) Vice Chairman Hermogenes Esperon on Wednesday revealed “there are only three guerilla fronts remaining in Region 4A, two of which were already considerably weakened by the administration’s security forces.”

He also announced the scheduled visit of President Duterte to the region today, Thursday, October 21, to put emphasis on the development programs implemented in support to counter-insurgency operations in the area.

With P28.1-billion proposed budget for the Barangay Development Program (BDP) under the 2022 national budget, there will be a total of 1,406 barangay beneficiaries. This year alone, 822 barangays were included in the program.

In Region 4A, according to Esperon, there will be a total of 72 projects to be implemented under  BDP in at least 30 villages.

Esperon added that a total of 35 local government units in have issued their resolutions or statements of support for the 2021 implementation of the BDP.

Under the BDP, every barangay that has been freed of New People’s Army presence or influence will be getting P20 million worth of development projects like farm-to-market roads, health centers, school buildings, water sanitation and livelihood projects.

Through BDP, a program initiated under the Duterte administration, Esperon said the government enacts its vision that progressive communities arise from a peaceful and stable environment.

“A strong proponent of local government development, President Duterte has pushed for several development initiatives aimed at poverty alleviation and rural progress. These national development programs for bolstering community-based approaches are the cornerstones of the President’s legacy of inclusive and bottom-up approach in attaining our country’s progress,” Esperon stressed.

Meanwhile, joining the President in visiting Region 4A are Cabinet members and other high level officials from national government agencies, senior officers of  the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National  Police, and various officials from the NTF-ELCAC and member-agencies of the Regional Task Force-ELCAC. Members of Congress will likewise be in attendance. Beneficiaries of the BDP will be represented by barangay heads.

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