Tap NTF-Elcac’s P19B-budget to fund proposed P10K subsidy, Bayanihan 3 – lawmaker
MANILA, Philippines — The P19-billion budget of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-Elcac) can be used to fund the proposed measures seeking to provide financial assistance to those affected by the coronavirus pandemic, a lawmaker said Wednesday.
Gabriela Women’s Party Rep. Arlene Brosas made the suggestion in a letter sent to the House committee on economic affairs chairperson, Aklan 2nd Dist. Rep, Teoderico Haresco Jr.
Brosas is the author of House Bill 9089, which seeks to provide P10,000 cash aid to families affected by the pandemic, crisis, and calamities. The proposed measure is now being consolidated with the proposed Bayanihan 3 bill, which is up for approval by the House committee on economic affairs.
“We strongly propose that the P16.44 billion budget currently for the Support to the Barangay Development Program of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict, which is under the Local Government Support Fund (LGSF), and around P3 billion in operational expenses of the NTF-ELCAC in various agencies, be considered as among the sources of funding for the provision of P10,000 cash aid for poor and low-income families,” Brosas said.
According to Brosas, the P19 billion NTF-Elcac budget will be adequate to provide P10,000 financial assistance to 1.9 million families. She even pointed out that the rise of community pantries “has deeply underscored the inadequacy of existing government programs to ease the hunger of families.”
“P19 B is also enough to ensure the operations of 271,000 community pantries for one week, assuming that daily supplies for each pantry are worth P10,000,” Brosas said.
“We cannot let billions in people’s taxes be wasted in the unrelenting red-tagging spree of the NTF-Elcac. We hope that this proposal will be reflected in the consolidated version of the Bayanihan 3 bill,” she added.
The NTF-Elcac has been linked to a number of controversies involving red-tagging. Just recently, NTF-Elcac was criticized for sharing posts saying that community pantries are being used for propaganda of communist groups.
NTF-Elcac spokesperson Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr. has said they were “just checking” the background of those behind the highly popular community pantries to make sure that organizers do not have any other agenda.
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