Downloading of Pamana funding to LGUs urged-A A +A
Thursday, August 29, 2013
BONTOC, Mountain Province -- Local officials are requesting the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) that funding for Pamana or Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan (Peaceful and Resilient Communities) projects for next year be downloaded to the local government units to optimize the very purpose which is to strengthen peace and security in the province.
Governor Leonard Mayaen voiced out this concern during the turnover of some 38 assorted firearms by former Cordillera Peoples Liberation Army (CPLA) members and the signing of a memorandum of agreement with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources for the employment of 70 former CPLA members as forest guards or to work in other forest protection projects.
Gracing the affair, which was held at the Mt. Province Provincial Office, Camp Lt. Geronimo Montes, here were OPAPP staff headed by Director Alexander Umpar, police personnel headed by Provincial Director Police Superintendent William Vetino, First Lieutenant Ben Cawa of the Philippine Army, Department of Environment and Natural Resources Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer Manuel Pogeyed, Provincial Social Welfare Development Officer Rosalinda Belangan, former CPLA members led by Sadanga Mayor Gabino Ganggangan and some representatives from the national line agencies in the province.
Under the 2011 MOA between the Government of the Philippines - Cordillera Bodong Administration/CPLA, the full transformation of the group, now called the Cordillera Forum for Peace and Development, into a socio-economic, unarmed force include the, final disposition of arms and forces, economic reintegration of the members, community development and development projects, among others.
Batting that the next funding for the OPAPP-Pamana projects be given directly to the LGUs, Mayaen said this will insure that local contractors will do the project, local residents will be employed and whatever gains in the project will redound to the people.
He observed that some Pamana contracted projects were awarded to contractors from outside Mt. Province and their workers are also not from the province.
Presently, Pamana funds are downloaded to conduit agencies who either implement the projects or download funds to LGUs for their implementation.
Mayaen requested Umpar to the bring such concern to the OPAPP central office so that direct downloading of funds to LGUs be considered for 2014 projects. He assured OPAPP officials that these Pamana projects will be implemented in accordance with the program and to the LGUs’ best ability. He added that the LGUs will be making a commitment that if they fail to implement the projects properly, they will no longer be given Pamana projects in the succeeding years.
The governor explained that the Pamana is a special program of the national government aimed to address the very source of insurgency saying that behind the giving of infra projects or employment are better reasons which are all related to the promotion of peace and security in the province. (Juliet Saley)
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on August 30, 2013.