By Billy Begas
Assistant Minority Leader and Gabriela Women’s Party Rep. Arlene Brosas urged the House Committee on Economic Affairs to realign the P19 billion budget of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) to the proposed P10K ayuda bill.
Brosas wrote a letter to Committee chairperson and Aklan Rep. Teodorico Haresco Jr. on Wednesday. Haresco’s committee is deliberating on the proposed Bayanihan 3, which may include the P10,000 financial assistance per family.
She said the rise of community pantries has underscored the inadequacy of existing government programs to ease the hunger of poor families, and “has likewise emphasized the urgency of immediately approving our P10k ayuda bill as well as the economic stimulus bills.”
Brosas said the NTF-ELCAC has P16.4 billion under the Support to the Barangay Development Program aside from its P3 billion operational expenses.
“We cannot let billions in people’s taxes be wasted in the unrelenting red-tagging spree of the NTF-ELCAC. We hope that this proposal will be reflected in the consolidated version of the Bayanihan 3 bill,” the letter read.
Brosas said the P19 billion fund can provide P10,000 assistance to P1.9 million families.
“P19 B is also enough to ensure the operations of 271,000 community pantries for one week, assuming that daily supplies for each pantry are worth P10,000,” Brosas added.
NTF-ELCAC is being criticized for profiling organizers and volunteers of community pantry.