GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/18 July) — The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) has approved the release of a P2.7 million grant to the municipality of Tupi in South Cotabato for the implementation of various community-based projects.
Tupi Mayor Reynaldo Tamayo said Friday such funding forms part of the area’s initial allocation under the agrarian reform area component of the national government’s PAyapa at MAsaganang PamayaNAn (PAMANA) program.
He said nine barangays in the area were earlier adopted by DAR as beneficiaries of the PAMANA agrarian reform area initiative for the next three years.
“Each beneficiary (barangay) will receive P300,000 to fund the implementation of their proposed community projects,” he said.
The mayor said five barangays — Crossing Rubber, Kalkam, Lunen, Palian and Tubeng — had have proposed for the renovation and construction of multi-purpose buildings.
He said Barangays Acmonan, Bunao and Simbo pushed for the rehabilitation of their potable water systems while Barangay Cebuano proposed for the replacement of the submersible water pump in one of its communities.
Julgen Dajay, Tupi Municipal Planning and Development Office head, said they are currently waiting for the release of the grants, which would be downloaded directly to the barangays.
Once the funds are released, he said they would immediately proceed with the bidding of the contracts for the identified projects.
“The implementation phase for these projects will likely begin within the third quarter of the year,” he said.
The municipal government of Tupi and DAR signed a memorandum of agreement in April last year for the implementation of the PAMANA program’s agrarian reform component in nine barangays in the area.
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)