FOR the past four years, the government has completed a total of 535 or 68 percent of the 787 projects in conflict-affected areas under the Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan (Pamana) program, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said Monday.

Local Government Secretary Ismael Sueno said the department, which is implementing the program, is continuously monitoring the 252 remaining projects which are on various stages of implementation.

The Pamana program, which started in 2012, provides subsidy and technical assistance for infrastructure projects such as roads, water, bridges, and public market to alleviate the plight of people living in conflict-affected communities and to strengthen peace efforts in these areas.

“Armed conflict is ignited when people’s clamor for socioeconomic development is ignored and marginalized. There can’t be peace where there is no development. Over the years, this is being addressed and healed by Pamana,” said Sueno.

Through Pamana, the DILG addresses sub-regional development interventions covering economic structures, local roads, evacuation centers, water supply systems and community infrastructure subprojects.

The Department also builds the capacities of DILG field offices and local government units (LGUs) on conflict-sensitive planning and investment programming. It also implements or formulates policies addressing issues on good governance relative to conflict-affected areas.

The DILG further provides advisory and technical assistance to Regional Offices in project appraisal; and assists LGUs in the preparation of project proposals and detailed engineering design including program of work as well as operation and maintenance of completed projects.

“Real development, real change is inclusive and does not leave behind areas affected or vulnerable to armed conflict,” said Sueno. (SDR/Sunnex)