The move by the Senate Finance Committee to cut the Barangay Development Program (BDP) budget by PHP24B shows their lack of appreciation of the plight of our folks in the remote barangays. Their act was supposed to punish the NTF, but in effect they are punishing the poor people who would have benefitted from the infrastructure and social services projects under the BDP. The previous BDP funds were all disbursed through the LGUs.
On the other hand, the proposal by VP Robredo to abolish NTF-ELCAC because it could be used like Tokhang is misplaced. The NTF has been implementing its mandate for the past two years and we have not received any complaints from the target barangays. Likewise, the NTF is already implementing a whole-of-nation approach to address the “root causes" of insurgency. VP Robredo may consider inviting the NTF-ELCAC for a dialogue so she can be enlightened on the inter-agency body's mission.