Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon said that the controversial anti-insurgency funds amounting to P16.3 billion has been released by the Duterte administration, “up to the last centavo”. This is in light of the government trying to secure funding to financially assist those that will be affected by the upcoming enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) from August 6 to 20.
It only took four months for the P16.3 billion under the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) to be fully released, with a fourth (P4 billion) going to the Davao region, Drilon said. “It’s sad that there are funds for anti-insurgency but no funds for ayuda,” he told dzBB in Tagalog.
At P4,000 per family, the fund could have benefitted up to four million Filipino families when Metro Manila and other regions go under ECQ to control the country’s COVID-19 surge in cases. Drilon pushed for the inclusion of emergency assistance funding in the 2021 national budget, but the government did not see it as a priority.
“The government did not listen,” he said. “It is obvious that the government is giving priority to anti-insurgency over the need for ayuda, and other health and social needs of our country necessary for us to move forward with our pandemic response.”
Photo: TNT Abante