KIDAPAWAN CITY – A top official of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) here has expressed optimism in fully implementing all projects funded by the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) in North Cotabato province this year.
DILG-North Cotabato Director Ali Abdullah said Wednesday the province has a total of 36 NTF ELCAC-funded projects for 2021.
Seven of the projects, all comprising farm-to-market roads, have been completed and launched in barangays La Esperanza and New Cebu in President Roxas town; Din Panaca and Bantac in Magpet; Luayon in Makilala; and Batang in Tulunan.
“All the remaining projects are for bidding procedure, or are for the completion of needed requirements for implementation,” Abdullah said.
Under the NTF-ELCAC program, each village recipient is entitled to a PHP20 million fund under the Barangay Development Project.
The NTF-ELCAC was formed on Dec. 4, 2018 under Executive Order 70 issued by President Rodrigo Duterte that institutionalized the government’s “whole-of-nation” approach in tackling the communist insurgency in the country.
Abdullah has commended local chief executives, officials, and barangay leaders for their full support of the program, starting from consultations to the identification of projects needed by their constituents.
“I am confident that we can achieve the objective of this program, which is to eliminate communist influences in communities, particularly those in the remote areas,” he said.
Abdullah said funds for the remaining projects had been downloaded to the respective local government units.
Across the province, Abdullah said 29 projects are still up for implementation in other villages considered as former communist-influenced areas in Kidapawan City, and the towns of Arakan, Antipas, President Roxas, Magpet, Makilala, and Tulunan.
A total of 57 villages in the province are set to be added to the ELCAC program next year, he said. (PNA)