PEACE-KEEPING efforts are not limited to the work of the military and police, Pampanga Peace and Order Council (PPOC) announced during its meeting.

Governor Eddie Panlilio, chair of the PPOC, emphasized that all agencies of the government carry out their duties to ensure the safety and protection of the population.

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The governor agreed with the statement of the representatives of member-agencies that “people who are well provided for are not prone to committing or being victimized by crimes and live their lives in an orderly manner”.

The agencies concerned with food production, infrastructure and environment are just as important in maintaining the peace and order situation in the province, he said.

Marietta Ocampo, chief Crop Production Section, said their office has distributed 12,500 bags of certified seeds worth P15 million as part of the El Niño rehabilitation program for farmers. She added: “there is 50-50% equity, half of which is subsidized by the local government.”

“We have also been emphasizing the importance of using organic fertilizer, conducting the Farmers Field School, a season-long training to increase the production of high value crops especially mango, and the provision of post-harvest value added technologies,” she said.

In the area of fisheries, Ocampo said the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist distributes tilapia fingerlings to small fisherfolk, do smoked house for tinapa making, and provides a complete package of services from farming, fisheries, post-harvest to marketing, trainings on livelihood for families.

Joseph Meneses of the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office reported the efforts on reforestation and maintenance of mangrove plantation.

He said that the areas in Floridablanca and Porac are “being taken care of by the Aetas in order to minimize the occurrence of forest fires, especially as we are into summer already”.

He also called attention to the presence of many species of birds in coastal areas of Pampanga, which he said could be harnessed for the eco-tourism efforts of the province.

“Those in Candaba are bigger in number but those that can be found in other coastal areas represent more species of birds,” Meneses said.

Odilon Patawaran of the Pampanga Provincial Engineering Office disclosed their continuing repair, rehabilitation and construction of roads, bridges to make travel safe and efficient for the people of Pampanga and other travelers.

He added that their work also includes the clearing of areas, especially along main roads, of “talahib” to prevent fire and the possible harm that snakes and other dangerous animals lurking in these areas could do to people.

The agencies concerned, including those from the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO) and the Provincial Health Office (PHO), were unanimous in saying that people who are “well fed, and are free and safe to move from place to place, are given opportunities to expand their skills” are happy and well equipped to meet life’s challenges.

The governor commended the commitment of these workers in government and urged them to work non-stop in the service of the Filipinos in general and Kapampangans in particular. (Eloisa P. Galang/Pampanga PIO)