EO 70-target community to spend P20-M gov't support on FMR, water system

Residents of Libertad receive assorted vegetable seeds and other farm support from the municipal and provincial agriculture offices and the Department of Agriculture 12.

qCOLUMBIO, Sultan Kudarat, Nov. 30 (PIA) -- If the proposal of the Duterte Administration to allot P20 million to each target barangay of the Retooled Community Support Program (RCSP) pushes through, officials of Barangay Libertad in Columbio, Sultan Kudarat are definite where the funds will be spent on. 

The fund will be used to open new farm-to-market roads and construct a water system in a sub-village populated by a Blaan community, according to Libertad punong barangay Rene Sorolla. 

Barangay Libertad is one of the 12 barangays in Columbio included in the target communities for the RCSP, a strategy to promote inclusive and sustainable development in areas affected by local armed conflict as mandated in President Rodrigo Roa Duterte's Executive Order No. 70. 

Josephine Leysa, regional director of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) 12, said in several occasions that RCSP-target communities could receive P20 million support as Barangay Development Program appropriation for projects of their choice. The funding is included in the 2021 proposed national budget being deliberated in Congress. 

Barangay Captain Sorolla told Philippine Information Agency during the Serbisyo Caravan on November 25 that they have already laid down plans for the said fund. 

"The Barangay Development Council in consultation with sectoral leaders have decided that we will spend the money on farm-to-market roads, box culverts, and water system particularly in Sitio Balnate," Sorolla said. Majority of the residents in Sitio Balnate are Blaan indigenous people. 

The barangay chairman explained further that farmers in the interior areas of Sitio Balnate bring their produce, mostly corn, on horseback, which lately became a major concern after several horses in the area died from surra disease. 

Although surra infestation is being addressed, the community believes that opening roads will be more sustainable for farmers in the interior areas of Sitio Balnate because this will provide access to motorized vehicles, which in turn could reduce transportation cost, he said. 

He added that P1 million from the said fund will be spent to construct a potable water system in Sitio Balnate, which currently sources its drinking water from a spring. 

"Dahil sa ELCAC, nararamdaman namin na ang gobyerno lumalapit na sa mga tao.  Ito rin ang dahilan kung bakit   priority namin sa project ang farm-to-market road kasi ito talaga ang main problem ng mga farmers sa aming barangay," Sorolla said. 

(Because of ELCAC, we feel the government getting close to the people. This is also the reason why we prioritize farm-to-market road as project because this is what our farmers in the barangay really need.)

Punong Barangay Rene Sorolla

Sorolla noted that the prospect of receiving P20 million from the national government in 2021 is great news for the people of Libertad considering that the barangay only enjoys P2.9 million in annual internal revenue allotment. 

In his message at the Serbisyo Caravan, Mayor Edwin Bermudez emphasized that the community in Libertad are blessed because apart from the funding through the General Appropriations Act, the barangay will also receive assistance from the municipal and provincial local government units and the regional line agencies as their commitment in the implementation of EO 70. 

Mayor Bermudez urged the community to support the initiative of the Duterte administration to "end the influence of the communist terrorist group that has hampered the development in our communities." 

The Serbisyo Caravan in Libertad on Wednesday was participated by the municipal government of Columbio, the provincial government of Sultan Kudarat,  regional line agencies, the Philippine Army, Philippine National Police and other government entities. 

For a day, residents here enjoyed basic services such as mobile civil registration, distribution of assorted vegetable seeds and farm inputs, health insurance, distribution of livelihood starter kits, supplemental feeding, circumcision, distribution of hygiene kits, among others.

Residents were also oriented on the the services they may access and how to avail of such services from the national line agencies. 

The caravan also formally introduced the implementation of the Retooled Community Support Program as a convergence initiative of the government in their barangay. (DED-PIA XII)

At least 4 residents of Libertad can begin their livelihood  after they received starter kits to put up vulcanizing shops and barber shop from DOLE during the Serbisyo Caravan on November 25. 



Source: Philippines Information Agency (pia.gov.ph)

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