Zubiri wants stricter reporting requirement for NTF-ELCAC

Sherrie Ann Torres, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 06 2022 06:58 PM

Senate President Juan Miguel Zubri on Thursday pushed for stricter reporting requirement for National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict's (NTF-ELCAC) budget spending.

This, after some of senators expressed concerns about the NTF-ELCAC’s failure to present a regular report on how it has been spending its yearly budget allocation.

“Maybe reportorial issues. But this should be subject to of course COA (Commission on Audit) findings and investigations or rather audits… The COA should double time efforts to audit these particular agencies but to remove it completely I'm not in favor,” Zubiri said.

For accountability, those who err must be immediately charged, Zubiri said.

“It takes a while, it takes one year. If you see na may kalokohan eh di kasuhan. That's why we have the office of the Ombudsman. If they see that for example P1 million allotted for this barangay for DOLE funds for TUPAD ang naibigay lang P500,000 kasuhan ang implementor,” the Senate President pointed out.

Hours before Zubiri’s news briefing, the Department of Budget and Management presented before the Senate finance committee its proposed 2023 funding for National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) amounting to P10 billion, with an aimed P4 million allocation per barangay.

The NTF-ELCAC this year was allotted a P5.624 billion, lower than its year 2021 allocation of P16.44 billion, with P20 million per village budget allotment. 

The DBM, however, failed to present any report regarding the NTF-ELCAC’s accomplished projects.

Still, Zubiri maintained the advantages that NTF-ELCAC projects claims to bring into the countryside, citing his home province Bukidnon.

“In many areas of Eastern Mindanao where there is problem on insurgency. Marami sa mga barangay ngayon ang kumpleto na sa health centers, kumpleto po ang kanilang imprastraktura, may ilaw na, fully funded ang kanilang lighting projects. Mga kalsada sa kanilang barangay, inaayos na. So I think it's a good thing,” Zubiri said.