OPAPP turns over P12.9M for Pamana projects in North Cotabato

COTABATO CITY, Feb. 12 (PNA) — More farm to market roads are expected to be constructed in the province of North Cotabato after the office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) turned over the initial tranche of the peace and development funds to the provincial government Wednesday, officials said.

The funds, amounting to P19.2 million, will be used to finance a farm-to-market road in the towns of Matalam and Tulunan, North Cotabato under the Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan (Pamana) program of OPPAP.

In a simple turnover ceremony held at the office of Provincial Governor Emmylou Mendoza, Interior and Local Government 12 Regional Director Reynaldo Bungubung gave four checks with a total amount of P12.9 million to Vice Governor Gregorio Ipong who represented Mendoza.

Ali Abdullah, DILG-North Cotabato provincial director, Department of Trade and Industry provincial director Anthony Bravo and employees of the provincial governor witnessed the turnover ceremonies.

Bungubung said the funds will be used for a farm to market road concreting project that will connect Barangay Salvacion to Kibudoc in Matalam and Barangays Damawatu and Galidun sa Tulunan, North Cotabato.

The fund was about 80 percent of the P24-million funds set aside by OPAPP-PAMANA for the province of North Cotabato.

Bungubung said several other peace and development projects are already in the pipeline to be implemented in the next months.

PAMANA (PAyapa at MAsaganang PAmayanan or Peaceful and Resilient Communities) program, is the national government’s peace and development framework for empowering conflict-affected areas in the country, special in Mindanao.

Spearheaded by OPAPP and supported by concerned government line agencies, local government units (LGUs) and civil society groups, PAMANA follows a convergence strategy to close the gaps in development and bring progress to areas, particularly conflict-affected ones, where they are needed the most.

A complementary track to peace negotiations, PAMANA ensures that communities benefit from improved delivery of basic social services and are served by a responsive, transparent and accountable government.

Among the first communities which benefited the program were Talayan in Maguindanao and Pigcawayan, North Cotabatowhere thousands have been displaced due to violent clashes between government and rogue Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) forces following the failed signing of the Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD) in August 2008.

PAMANA has been keen on addressing the plight of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Central Mindanao through the construction of IDP core shelters. (PNA)