“Sa BDP, we are happy to say that two barangays in Ilocos Sur particularly in Barangay Baluarte, Salcedo and Barangay Nagbettedan, Sto. Domingo, are allotted with Php20 million each for the implementation of various development projects,” Medina said during the recent episode of the Kapihan sa Ilocos of the Philippine Information Agency.
Of the 822 barangays cleared of insurgency nationwide from 2016-2019, which were approved by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to be given Php20 million each under the BDP, the said two barangays in Ilocos Region were included as beneficiaries of the BDP 2021.
As per the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) in Ilocos Sur, development projects such as the rehabilitation of barangay health center, construction of public toilets, farm-to-market roads, classroom, assistance to indigent individuals/families, and livelihood, technical-vocational training are programmed to be implemented in the two villages.
These projects are identified by the residents and the local government unit, the DILG said.
Medina recalled during the forum that for the 2020 budget, 30 projects from the Departments of Agriculture, Science and Technology, Social Welfare and Development, Environment and Natural Resources, Public Works and Highways, the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples and the Philippine National Police were implemented.
“Nakikita talaga namin na dahil sa mga projects na nagawa rito, bumaba ang insurgence dito sa atin at kaya noong 2020 ay mayroong 18 na former rebel ang nag-surrender at nabigyan ng assistance worth P1.1 million kasama na rito ang reintegration activities at livelihood projects para sa kanila,” he said.
For the first quarter of 2021, 11 former rebels from Ilocos Sur were also given assistance worth P400, 000.
With the dismantling of the only existing guerilla front of the CPP-NPA-NDF in the Ilocos Region particularly in Ilocos Sur, Medina hopes that Ilocos Sur will be insurgency-free through the whole-of-nation approach to end armed conflict institutionalized through Executive Order 70.
“Kailangan talaga ang mga ito para ipaabot ang serbisyo sa ating mga kababayan na nasa far-flung barangays kasi iyon ang inaasam at hinihintay nila na umabot ang serbisyo sa kanila and through the efforts of the NTF-ELCAC through National Security Adviser at CORDS-1 Hermogenes Esperon, Governor Ryan Luis Singson at mga kapwa ko local chief executives, talagang umaabot na ang serbisyo sa kanila so kung makikita niyo itong mga projects, from education to economic, iyong farm-to-market road to trainings for our farmers, students, at children, malaking bagay talaga ang NTF-ELCAC,” Medina added.
“We are hoping that in the next quarter or two quarters, Ilocos Sur will be insurgency-free,” Medina ended. (JCR/VHS/JMCQ, PIA Ilocos Sur)
By Joyah Mae C. Quimoyog