After 'substantial' cut, Senate raises NTF-Elcac's fund to P10.8B for 2022 | Inquirer News
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After ‘substantial’ cut, Senate raises NTF-Elcac’s fund to P10.8B for 2022

/ 04:42 PM December 01, 2021
After 'substantial' cut, Senate raises NTF-Elcac's fund to P10.8B for 2022

Facade of the Senate of the Philippines building. FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — The funding for the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-Elcac) was increased to P10.8 billion under the Senate’s final version of the proposed 2022 budget after it initially suffered a P24-billion cut.

Before the Senate approved its version of the 2022 budget, finance committee chairman Senator Sonny Angara said that the budget for the NTF-Elcac was instead at P10.8 billion, P10 billion of which is for the task force’s Barangay Development Program.

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Earlier, Angara’s panel slashed by P24 billion the proposed P28-billion budget for the government’s anti-insurgency task force, leaving it with just a P4-billion allocation next year.

READ: Senate panel gives NTF-Elcac just P4B after a P24B budget cut

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“From the initial cut which resulted in the budget for the barangay development fund (under the NTF-Elcac) going down to P4 billion, we’ve raised it now to around P10 billion,” Angara told Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa during Wednesday’s session.

Angara made the statement after Dela Rosa proposed that the NTF-Elcac’s budget be retained at P19 billion, which was the budget allocated to the task force for 2021.

“I would like to reiterate my strong opposition to the substantial reduction of the budget allocated for the support to the Barangay Development Program of the NTF-Elcac in the committee report,” Dela Rosa said.

“I understand that the budgetary cut of P24 billion is due to the failure of the NTF-Elcac to disclose how their budget was spent. However, I appeal to the hearts of my colleagues to give more consideration in order to end this decades-long insurgency,” he added.

“Without our budgetary support, the country’s insurgency problem might resurrect again,” he further said.

Angara said the P10-billion allocation may still be augmented during the bicameral conference committee, where the Senate and the House of Representatives work to reconcile disagreeing provisions on their respective versions of the proposed 2022 budget.

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