A total of P13.064 billion of the P16.44 billion barangay development fund of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) has already been released, Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary Wendel Avisado said Friday.
In the online meeting of the House committee on appropriations, Avisado said more or less P3 billion was left, noting that the amount has already been earmarked.
"As of the latest data that we have, out of the P16.4 billion barangay development fund, we have already released a total of 13.064 billion... there's only about P3 billion left and these are all earmarked already," Avisado said.
"We're just waiting for the completion of the requirements. We wanted to release [the money] in accordance with the timetable because we need to report back to Congress what has happened to the approved budget for the barangay development fund under NTF-ELCAC," he added.
There have been calls from lawmakers to realign the budget of the anti-communist task force to programs that will help individuals and families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Budget realignment calls came after the task force's alleged red-tagging spree against organizers of community pantries who intend to assist those in need amid the health crisis.
However, the task force has repeatedly denied it is red-tagging individuals, but only warning people against groups who are supposedly using the community pantries for their own agenda. —LBG, GMA News