By Jillian Marielle Tiraña


Malacañang on Tuesday defended its proposed 2022 P28-billion budget for the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) in a Palace briefing.

“Maski po nandyan ang pandemya, alam pa rin natin na ang kagutuman ang dahilan nang pag-aalsa,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque states. The project will give jobs to the poor who resorted to being rebels, he explains further.

According to Roque, this is also in line with the strategy to recover from the pandemic which is to provide more development projects in order to give more jobs and increase the money circulating in the economy.

He also explains that only the funding comes from NTF-ELCAC, implementation is handled by local government units or the Department of Public Works and Highways.

“Mayroon po tayong mga 5th and 6th class municipalities na kahit tumaas ang kanilang IRA ay kakaunti pa rin po ang pondo.” Roque said when asked about why NTF-ELCAC is needed.

He adds that struggling citizens who are forced to become rebels live in these municipalities.

In order to prevent the budget from being used for election purposes, a ban on public works projects is administered through constitutional guarantees.

The spokesperson also denies that the Commission on Audit has found multiple deficiencies in the NTF-ELCAC funds, saying that no reports were made regarding this.