GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/10 June) — The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) in Region 12 has allocated P258.5 million for the implementation of additional peace and development projects in the region under the PAyapa at MAsaganang pamayaNAn (PAMANA) program.
Reynaldo Bungubung, DILG Region 12 director, said the funds comprise the region’s allocation this year for the program, which is a flagship peace-building initiative implemented by the DILG.
He said they allotted a total of P187.2 million for the second congressional district of South Cotabato, P58.8 million for the lone district of Sarangani Province and P12.5 million for the first, second and third districts of Cotabato Province.
The official said the funds will mainly be utilized for the concreting of barangays roads in Maasim town in Sarangani as well as Lake Sebu and T’boli in South Cotabato.
He said the other projects are the construction of community peace centers, day care centers, trading centers and multipurpose buildings.
“We’ve been actively encouraging our local government units to submit their detailed project proposals the soonest possible time to facilitate their early approval,” he said.
Bungubung said the agency will immediately conduct an onsite validation upon the approval of the submitted project proposals.
The approved funds for the projects will be released after the conduct of the onsite validation, he said.
PAMANA is the government’s program and framework for peace and development in areas affected by conflict and communities covered by existing peace agreements.
The program intends to provide communities with projects funded under the government’s stimulus fund to bring genuine peace and development.
It also aims to “reduce poverty, improve governance and empower communities in situations of conflict,” a project briefer said
A complementary track to the peace negotiations, it said the program’s main strategy is to bring the government closer to the identified PAMANA areas, “ensuring that the communities benefit from improved delivery of basic social services and are served by responsive, transparent and accountable government units.”
The projects that may be funded by the program include connectivity systems, basic services for economic development, agricultural services and industry investments, economic investments in indigenous people’s areas, disaster-preparedness and climate change adaptation interventions.
The fund may also be used as a source of subsidy for major projects of local government units with similar objectives and to finance detailed engineering design costs. (MindaNews)