DAVAO CITY—The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Regional Office XI (Southern Mindanao) has cautioned barangay officials against persons introducing themselves as contractors “wanting to clinch a memorandum of agreement (MOA) on solar light projects.”
A news dispatch by the state-run Philippine Information Agency (PIA) cited a DILG warning aired during the recent meeting of the Regional Task Force (RTF) on Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict (Elcac), which said barangays would soon be receiving their share of the budget allocated to villages that have been cleared of New People’s Army presence or influence.
Charito L. Cinco, DILG XI Project Development and Management Unit (PDMU) chief, said “these contractors are convincing the barangays to change their priority or proposed projects to solar lights,” noting that electrification project was among the priority areas for expenditure of the upcoming budget share for the barangays.
Cinco said these spurious contractors would be presenting themselves as representatives from the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) or the DILG.
Alex C. Roldan, DILG XI regional director, has advised barangay officials to seek the assistance of DILG or other pertinent government agencies to check on the legitimacy of the individuals claiming themselves as contractors.
The DILG told the ELCAC meeting on the second week of March that the Support to the Barangay Development Program (SBDP) has a fresh fund of P6.336 billion that was “due for release” to cities and municipalities to implement the identified SBDP priority projects of 959 cleared barangays.
A National Task Force-ELCAC memorandum dated December 22, 2022, mandated the fund allocation per barangay to be spent to farm-to-market roads, school buildings, water sanitation systems, health stations and electrification projects.
Cinco said Davao Region was appropriated P508,729,927 for 77 cleared barangays, each of which would be receiving P6,606,882.17. Davao City has one recipient barangay; Davao Occidental, 10; Davao Occidental, 10; Davao del Sur, three; Davao del Norte, four; Davao Oriental, 15; and, Davao de Oro, 44.
Meanwhile, Roldan said the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-Clip) would continue under the Marcos administration and the delay in fund compensation for surrendered weapons was delayed “because the budget for 2022 has been exhausted.”
“We already requested a new budget,” he said. “So they no longer have something to worry about that; [unlike some who say] the project is dissolved, [I would like to say it] is continued.”
Roldan said P2.021 million was downloaded in February this year to Davao de Oro for 26 former rebels; P1.706 million for 39 firearms in Davao del Sur; and, P3.727 million for 51 firearms in Davao de Oro.
“On process for downloading in March is P2.666 million for 31 firearms in Davao Oriental,” he added.
He said Davao de Oro has requested P1,722,000 for E-Clip funding for 27 firearms surrendered. It remained pending at the Central Office as of this month.
He said there were also other requests that were still subject for evaluation as of March. These were the requests from Davao del Norte (P2,415,000 for 115 firearms); Davao Oriental (P6,010,570) and Davao Oriental (P774,000).