ZAMBOANGA CITY – The national government, through the Barangay Development Program (BDP), is implementing PHP40 million road projects in two barangays of Sergio Osmeña in Zamboanga del Norte.
The recipient barangays – Bagumbayan and Nazareth – will each receive PHP20 million worth of projects, to be carried out under the supervision of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC).
Oliver Ombos, Zamboanga del Norte provincial director of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), said in a statement on Tuesday both projects involved the construction of a four-kilometer, two-lane paved road that will benefit 350 households from Barangay Bagumbayan and 405 from Nazareth.
“This project will be implemented by the provincial government of Zamboanga del Norte, and on 2022 additional five barangays in Sergio Osmeña Sr. will also receive the same assistance from the national government,” Ombos said, adding the projects started this month.
The BDP is a hallmark program of the NTF-ELCAC with the end goal of bringing development to former conflict-prone communities.
Maj. Rodolfo Lamban, Jr. of the 97th Infantry Battalion (IB) said in a statement the projects were identified and validated by their Community Support Program (CSP) teams after a series of engagements with the municipal and provincial governments.
Lamban said the primary issue raised during the series of engagements from both barangays was the farm-to-market road.
“With this, we are very happy because your request comes to reality. We also urge each and every one to be vigilant to protect this project against to those who do not want prosperity and peace,” he added.
Nazareth and Bagumbayan were identified as communist New People’s Army (NPA)-affected villages in the year 2018 and were declared cleared last 2020 after government troops deployed CSP teams to identify issues of the community and endorse it to concern local government unit for further actions.
The CSP is the Army's people-centered program to bring peace and development to conflict-affected barangays.
The CSP is the Army's answer to breaking the influence wielded by the Communist Party of the Philippines-NPA, which is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.
Zamboanga Del Norte Gov. Roberto Uy, who chairs the Provincial Task Force (PTF)-ELCAC, thanked the national government for allocating funds to resolve issues in isolated areas.
“I believe that if there's a road everything will follow, thus the construction of this road project was not only a road for one's vehicle but it can bring more opportunity for lives of many,” Uy said. (PNA)