By Quian Vencel Galut


The National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) is having a ₱28.1-billion proposed budget in 2022 despite its abolition due to politicians’ red-tagging activities and government's harassment.

The ₱28.1 billion proposed budget in 2022 is said to have increased from last year’s budget, which was up to ₱19 billion.

Being the chair of NTF-ELCAC, President Rodrigo Duterte’s message about the 2022 budget said that the continuing problems that arise from the activities of the “communist terrorist” will continue to be addressed by the government.

“We have done so much more than any other previous administration to end this 52-year-old conflict and our latest achievement is the designation, by the Anti-terrorism Council, of the National Democratic front as a terrorist group,” Duterte stated.

He said the NTF-ELCAC’s accomplishments are now creating an easier Barangay Development Program implementation, in which 1,406 barangays in conflict-affected areas will undergo rehabilitation.

“It is high time that the NTF-ELCAC be abolished, amid allegations that it mishandled funds,” Bayan Muna Rep. Ferdinand Gaite said on Monday.

"Mula sa pagkuha ng napakalaking generals pork barrel na ₱16.4 (na bilyong) na Barangay Development Fund, paglagak nito sa mga balwarte ng administrasyon lalo na sa Davao City, hanggang sa pagkuha ng ₱160 milyon sa Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), at mahigit isang milyong piso mula sa National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), makikita na umaaktong akala mo'y superbody itong task force na ito," Gaite added. 

“As it is, the NTF-ELCAC is essentially like a civilian-military junta manipulating taxpayer's money for their ill intents,” stressed by the lawmaker. 

“Mas mabuti pa ay i-abolish na talaga ang NTF-ELCAC na ito at ilaan na lang ang bilyong-bilyong pondo dito sa direktang Covid response ng pamahalaan tulad ng bakuna, ayuda, libreng mass testing at dagdag na contact tracers,” he also pointed out.

Report source: ABS-CBN News