TACLOBAN CITY – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) 8 (Eastern Visayas) is eyeing PHP786.21 million in funds to implement the Support to Barangay Development Program (SBDP) in 119 villages under the 2023 allocation.

The funds will be used for the 165 projects in the provinces of Eastern Samar, Leyte, Northern Samar, and Samar. It is intended for the construction of farm-to-market roads, health stations, rural electrification, school buildings, and water and sanitation system.
“The allocation this year is P6.6 million for each village. This is higher compared to the 2022 allocation of only P4 million,” DILG-8 Director Arnel Agabe said in a press briefing.
Projects have been identified by residents during the retooled community support program, a convergence mechanism for local governments in the village to identify issues and needed government interventions.

Of the 119 villages, 34 are in Northern Samar, 15 in Eastern Samar, 65 in Samar, and five are in Leyte province.

These communities were previously influenced by the New People’s Army, according to Agabe.

The 119 villages belong to the third batch of areas covered by SBDP.
The first batch, covering six villages in Northern Samar, was awarded a PHP120 million budget in 2021.

In 2022, the region’s 200 villages covered listed as SBDP recipients got P800 million.
Last year’s allotment financed 266 projects, of which 48 have been completed, 132 are ongoing, 76 are under procurement, and 10 are still preparing documents. The budget is up for spending until the end of 2023.

The SBDP, a hallmark program of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), brings progress to former conflict-prone communities. (PNA)