Lawmakers look into realignment of NTF-ELCAC budget

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For red-tagging community pantries, Deputy Speaker Mikee Romero has hinted about the realignment of the P16.4 billion that Congress allotted this year for the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC).

“The bulk of NTF-ELCAC funds can be rechanneled to giving more direct financial aid to the unemployed workers displaced by the pandemic, upgrading our contact tracing abilities or providing more hospital beds,” Romero said over the weekend.

“No one should get away with red-tagging and unlawful profiling,” he added.

The representative from the 1Pacman party-list has submitted a proposal for a House inquiry on the matter as early as next week even before Congress resumes session on May 17.

“We want NTF-ELCAC officials to give details as to where and how the funds are being used, and how their vilification tactics translate to having more communist rebels turning their backs on insurgency,” said Romero.

“Should the NTF-ELCAC fail to substantiate their claims and justify their use of funds, Congress may realign its budget to more urgent needs,” he added. “Some may also go to upgrading the capabilities of our (Armed Forces of the Philippines) and the Philippine Coast Guard to guard our maritime borders.”