KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews / 18 Feb) – The government has allotted P1.7 billion this year for PAMANA projects designed to foster peace and development in areas wracked by armed conflict, Presidential Peace Adviser Carlito Galvez Jr. confirmed Tuesday.
PAMANA stands for PAyapa at MAsaganang PamayaNAn, a government convergence program that extends development interventions to isolated, hard-to-reach and conflict-affected communities across the country.
The Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) oversees the implementation of PAMANA in partnership with other government line agencies.
“PAMANA has been delivering not only socio-economic interventions to conflict-affected communities, but also carrying out other peacebuilding initiatives such as social healing and the implementation of conflict-sensitive and peace promoting (CSPP) initiatives in the past nine years,” Galvez said in a statement.
He stressed that PAMANA projects have been designed to stamp out the root causes of the armed conflicts in the different parts of the country.
OPAPP Assistant Secretary Andres Aguinaldo Jr., who handles the National Program Management Office of PAMANA, said at least P1.2 billion worth of funds have been lodged with the Department of Social Welfare and Development, National Commission on Indigenous Peoples, and Philippine Health Insurance Corporation to implement various socio-economic interventions in beneficiary communities.
The rest of the funds amounting to P500 million will be distributed among local government units situated in conflict-affected areas in the country.
PAMANA is a complementary track to the political track of the peace process in the country.
“Our main mission here is to alleviate the lives of the people affected by armed conflict, and ensure that these social interventions are sustainable for the succeeding generations to enjoy and benefit from,” Aguinaldo said.
Galvez said that PAMANA is anchored on the Duterte administration’s Six-Point Peace and Development Agenda, whose vision “is to bring enduring peace and sustainable development across the nation.”
Controversy marred PAMANA in November 2018 after President Rodrigo Duterte fired two senior executives connected to the program allegedly due to corruption.
They were identified as Ronald Flores and Yeshter Donn Baccay, OPAPP undersecretary for support services and PAMANA national program manager and OPAPP assistant secretary for support services and PAMANA concerns, respectively.
The controversy prompted then OPAPP Secretary Jesus Dureza to tender his resignation, which his high-school classmate and friend Duterte accepted.
Galvez, a former Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief, pledged “to bring greater transparency and accountability in the implementation of PAMANA projects.” (Bong S. Sarmiento / MindaNews)