55% of ELCAC projects in Iloilo completed; over P172-M unused funds returned to nat’l gov’t

DG file photo

By John Noel E. Herrera

The Iloilo Provincial Government reported that 55.15 percent or 91 out of 165 proposed projects under the National Task Force To End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) program have been completed, while 69 are still ongoing and five were not implemented as of Dec 31, 2022.

Data from the provincial government indicated that the national government downloaded P720 million in funds for the implementation of proposed projects in 36 barangays that had been “cleared” of alleged communist rebels in the province on April 2021.

Defensor noted that out of the said budget, over P172 million in unutilized funds would be returned to the national government.

“Ang project, basically by virtue of EO (Executive Order) 70, ma-end gid siya Dec 31, 2022, so ang mga fund of projects that have not been disbursed shall have to be returned back to the national coffers, amu na ang guidelines,” Provincial Planning and Development Office head Mario Nillos also explained.

Defensor stressed that he had already personally sent a letter to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), asking if they could still give the funds to the province for the continuation of the remaining projects in Iloilo towns this year.

“Amu man na gin ayo ta sa DBM because that will become savings. Amu na gin ayu ta, gin sulat naton the amount and the detailed report of all the projects,” he said.

When asked why there were some towns that were not able to implement the projects, Defensor explained that there were challenges in the implementation of contractors, while other projects “have no takers.”

“May iban nga wala ma-procure, wala madayon ang procurement. Halimbawa mga projects nga wala sang takers, wala sang nagabaton,” the governor said.

The provincial government said that these four identified projects in Tubungan town and one from Igbaras, Iloilo were not implemented:

-Farm to Market Road (Brgy. Igcabugao, Igbaras, Iloilo)

-Additional Working Capital for Business Sector (Brgy. Igpaho, Tubungan, Iloilo)

-Rehabilitation of Barangay Health Center (Brgy. Igpaho, Tubungan, Iloilo)

-Construction of Additional Building for Grade 7 (Brgy. Igpaho, Tubungan, Iloilo)

-Construction of Storage Room for Farm Products (Brgy. Igdampog, Tubungan, Iloilo)

Meanwhile, as to the 69 ongoing projects, the provincial government clarified that if the budget was not fully disbursed before the Dec. 31, 2022 deadline, then the funds still need to be returned.

“But we are preparing to continue with the projects except nga ginahimo ta ang tanan nga mapangayo ta liwat. Like other projects from national government, we are allowed extension. Ti diri may delay gid man kita eh, nadelay kita sa implementation, naubusan kita tyempo and what we want is makapangayo ta liwat,” Defensor added.

The NTF-ELCAC was created to institutionalize a “whole-of-nation” approach, supposedly to end the conflict with communist groups, particularly the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA).


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here