LEGAZPI CITY---“The Department of Agriculture in Bicol will no longer be the implementing arm of the Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan (PAMANA) projects starting this 2017 but we still hopes that there will still be a strong partnership with OPAPP especially on agriculture and livelihood projects.”

This was disclosed by Paul Escober, Head of the Southern Luzon (Bicol-Mimaropa-Calabarzon) Area Management Team of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) during the PAMANA Project Implementation Review and Assessment in Bicol held recently at Venezia Hotel, Legazpi City.

 

Escober also said that Undersecretary for Support and Services Ronald I. Flores is the new in-charge of PAMANA projects and initiated the re-organization of the Area Management Team.

However, Escober said that proposed and fund-approved by PAMANA for 2017 will be implemented. Projects not presented in 2017 will automatically be included in the 2018 presentation and assessment of new PAMANA projects.

Attended by the different Provincial and Municipal Planning and Development Officers from Camarines Sur, Albay, Masbate, and Sorsogon, the one-day activity assessed the relevance, efficiency, convergence and sustainability of PAMANA in terms of conflict-sensitivity and peace-promotion (CSPP) to come-up with a catch-up plan to complete their projects.

According to ASec Rolando B. Asuncion, the present administration needs to check the compliance of LGUs in terms of CSPP. The issues and challenges encountered by the LGUs will determine whether the government’s support to PAMANA since 2012 is enough or not.

Asuncion also hopes that since PAMANA is the new peace and development project of the government, it should be included in the Ambisyon Natin 2040.

According to Christopher Azucena of OPAPP, Bicol University and De La Salle University came up with a positive review of PAMANA implementation in Bicol, Mimaropa and Calabarzon.

Municipal Project and Development Council (MPDC) Noel Mercado II of Irosin, Sorsogon said that the communities of Juban, Gubat and Irosin were involved and participative in the implementation of Kalahi-PAMANA projects in their municipalities.

MPDC Larry C. Deinla of Uson, Masbate however said that some national projects being implemented in their area were not according to the needs of municipality. MPDC Ruth Parro of Bula, Camarines Sur suggested that national projects should be based on community’s needs so as not to waste government fund and support.

Escober said that OPAPP received 702 project proposals nationwide this year. OPAPP is now accepting infrastructure project proposals for the next three years. Project proposals should be consulted with the mayor, MPDC, the municipal agriculturist and the barangay council and should include program of work to avoid delay.

DA-5 PAMANA Focal Person Florentino Ubalde said that the Bicol Region was the first to submit completed 51 reports out of 53 completed projects. To date, the DA has 36 projects with 9 sub-project components in Sorsogon province.

The present PAMANA Program covers peace agreement, conflict-affected and conflict-vulnerable areas in three areas--- those included in the Bangsamoro peace process, areas affected by the presence of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP)/New People’s Army (NPA)/ National Democratic Front (NDF) which include Sorsogon, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Masbate, Quezon, Oriental Mindoro, Northern Samar, Eastern Samar, Samar, Davao Oriental, Davao del Norte, Davao del Sur, Compostela Valley, Agusan del Sur, Agusan del Norte, Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur, and Bukidnon; and those areas covered by Closure Agreements.

PAMANA is a peacebuilding program that shall be enhanced to better align with the new comprehensive peace and development framework with four core messages---Peace Process (PP) with CPP/NPA/NDF; PP with the Cordillera Forum for Peace and Development; PP with the BANGSAMORO, and PP with RPMP/RPA/ABB.

Ubalde ended his discussion with the message of Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Secretary Jesus Dureza during the Turn-Over Ceremony last July 2016--- “Enabling peace is a work for a lifetime, a continuous work.” (jaysonmgonzales)