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As of June 2021, 68% equivalent to P340-million of the Support to Barangay Development Program (SBDP) funds have been released to 17 barangays in Occidental and Oriental Mindoro. The fund release was part of the P16.44-billion budget of the BDP for 822 barangays in the country.

The BDP is a program of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) that aims to sustain the government’s effort in achieving peaceful and conflict-free communities by way of incentivizing insurgency-cleared barangays in the amount of P20-million each.

Among the barangays in MIMAROPA that already received their fund allocation include: (Occidental Mindoro) Balao, Abra de Ilog; Cabacao, Abra de Ilog; San Vicente, Abra de Ilog; Udalo, Abra de Ilog; Wawa, Abra de Ilog; Purnaga, Magsaysay; Harrison, Paluan; Mananao, Paluan; and Batasan, San Jose.

For Oriental Mindoro, among the recipient-barangays include: Benli, Bulalacao; Milagrosa, Bulalacao; Nasukob, Bulalacao; San Isidro Bulalacao; Buong Lupa, Gloria; Panaytayan, Mansalay; Bugtong na Tuog, Socorro; and Villa Cerveza, Gloria.

File photo: RD Wilhelm Suyko’s community engagement in one of the Serbisyo Caravans in Socorro, Oriental Mindoro.

“This is a welcome development in the program of the NTF-ELCAC. Being one of the regions with high incidence of NPA-NDF infiltration, we are confident that these incentives for the insurgency-cleared barangays will further motivate our NPA fighters to return the fold of the law and become advocates of peace and development,” said DILG RD Wilhelm Suyko.

Guidelines on the use of the LGSF-SBDP Fund

Under the DBM Budget Circular No. 135, dated January 20, 2021, each cleared barangay shall be allocated with an amount not exceeding P20-million to be used for the following projects:

  1. Farm-to-market roads;
  2. School buildings;
  3. Water and sanitation system;
  4. Health stations;
  5. Rural electrification;
  6. Reconstruction, rehabilitation, repair, and other similar projects in connection with the occurrence of natural or human-induced calamities, epidemics, crises resulting from armed conflicts, insurgency, terrorism and other catastrophes;
  7. Housing;
  8. COVID-19 vaccination, immunization and other health related projects;
  9. Agricultural, livelihood and technical vocational trainings/projects and;
  10. Assistance to indigent individual or families in any of the following forms of assistance: (a) Medical; (b) Burial; (c) Transportation; (d) Food; (e) Cash for work; and (f) Educational.

Prohibitions on the use of the LGSF-SBDP Fund

On the other hand, the local budget circular provides prohibition on the use of the SBDP fund for the following:

  1. For any purpose other than the program/projects, including the location thereof, for which the fund was released, without the prior endorsement of the RTF-ELCAC and approval of the DBM;
  2. To fund projects already fully covered by other sources of funds; and
  3. For the payment of personal services expenditures (i.e., payment of salaries, including honoraria, allowances, bonuses, and similar forms of compensation).

The same guidelines provide that the Provincial Government may directly implement their projects by administration or by contract or may opt to enter in to a Memorandum of Agreement with the concerned national Government Agencies (NGAs).

Meanwhile, the Palawan Provincial Government is already ramping up the endorsement of its remaining eight barangay beneficiaries.

By: LGOO II Whalee Ferrera