Davao City, the place where President Rodrigo Duterte served as mayor, is considered to be the safest city not only in tje Philippines but also im the world. So the claim goes. With the 2021 budget, the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) has branded it to be the bedrock of communism. Did Sarah Duterte fail to sustain her father’s “legacy” or was there a script that, unfortunately, has gone wrong?
Since 2015, claims that Davao City is one of the safest in the world had been circulating in the Internet. Based on numbeo.com, it ranked 9th early in 2015 and jumped to the 5th spot by June the same year.
Davao continued to be on the Top 5 safest city in the world based on Numbeo’s rankings. At the domestic front, it was even recognized by The Manila Times as a model city and awarded the Safe Haven Award in 2018 and 2019. Among the reasons why Davao City is the safest in the country and one of the safest city in the world are: rules are implemented strictly, locals abide by the policies, criminals have no place in the city, and there is police visibility.
With the Department of Budget and Management’s Local Budget Circular No. 135 series of 2021, Davao City ranked first in terms of allocations for “Support to Barangay Development Program of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict in the FY 2021 General Appropriations Act, Republic Act No. 11518”.
For some reasons, it was given PhP 1.64 billion to support the city’s 215 barangays. Each barangay is given a grant of PhP 20 million each. This begs the question: If Davao City is the safest, why the anti-communist funds?
The top ten areas in terms of the NTF-ELCAC Funds allocation are as follows:
|LGU||Total NTF-ELCAC Funds Allocation|
|Davao City||PhP 1.64 billion|
|Panabo City, Davao del Norte||PhP 400 million|
|Tubungan, Iloilo||PhP 300 million|
|Butuan City, Agusan del Norte||PhP 280 million|
|Leon, Iloilo||PhP 280 million|
|Escalante City, Negros Occidental||PhP 280 million|
|San Isidro, Davao Oriental||PhP 260 million|
|Gingoog City, Misamis Oriental||PhP 260 million|
|Malaybalay City, Bukidnon||PhP 240 million|
|Lupon, Davao Oriental||PhP 240 million|
Meanwhile, the Eastern Visayas Region which have been identified by the Philippine military intelligence unit during the time of President Noynoy Aquino as the haven of communist guerrilas, was only given PhP 120 million.