DavOr proposes P15.5-B budget to help address poverty, insurgency

DAVAO CITY – The provincial government of Davao Oriental is optimistic to get huge funding of about PHP15.5 billion from the national government this year for its high-priority projects in barangays identified as conflict-affected areas and geographically isolated and disadvantaged Areas (GIDA), a statement was released Saturday.

The proposed amount is the result of the workshops done by the Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF-ELCAC) in this city recently.

“The Davao Oriental Provincial Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (PTF-ELCAC), along with its counterparts from other provinces in the region, came up with a comprehensive list of proposed priority programs, activities, and projects (PAPs) which bid to alleviate poverty and address the issues on insurgency,” the statement reads.

Davao Oriental’s proposed projects amounting to a total of PHP15.5 billion mainly include infrastructure projects, livelihood, and trainings, among many others.

From the listed projects, the cluster member-agencies will determine the projects to be adopted in their respective 2020 and 2021 budget.

PTF-ELCAC Vice Chairman Ednar Dayanghirang, said for the two districts, Davao Oriental has proposed big-ticket road projects requiring about PHP7.4 billion for barangays Tubaon in the municipality of Tarragona, Taocanga in the municipality of Manay, Pichon in Caraga, Binondo in Baganga, and Simulao in Boston, all in the first district.

While for its second district are Barangays Mahayag in Banaybanay, Sudlon in San Isidro, Marayag and Maragatas in Lupon, and Tagbinonga in the City of Mati, he said, the list was harmonized and aligned with the priority list of the Philippine Army (PA) considering it has the firm grasp on which barangays the government should focus on.

Governor Nelson Dayanghirang, in an earlier interview, disclosed that the national government has earmarked PHP35 billion ready to be tapped by the twelve clusters under the ELCAC.

“Our problem on insurgency basically stems from poverty and the absence of government services in the hinterland areas. So, we really need to harmonize all our efforts to end this problem once and for all,” he said. “I think this is the right time that we address this issue. We have to prioritize livelihood and accessibility. The sooner we address these issues, the sooner we solve the problem on insurgency,” he added. (PNA)