OPAPP eyes stronger link with donors on program for conflict areas

A February 10, 2011 press release by the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process

Manila – Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Quintos-Deles on Wednesday expressed hopes for a stronger collaboration with the donor community in winning the peace and narrowing the gap between negotiations and realities on the ground through the Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan (PAMANA) Program.

PAMANA, which stands for “peaceful and prosperous communities,” is the government’s flagship program that seeks to empower conflict-affected areas in the country.

It aims to promote community resilience to conflict by reducing poverty and vulnerability in conflict areas; improving governance; and strengthening capacities of communities to address issues of conflict and peace through activities that promote social cohesion.

“We hope to be a constructive partner to you. We also hope that you decide to travel the road of leaving an important legacy of resilience, peace and prosperity in areas now troubled by war,” Deles stated in her welcome remarks during a forum attended by representatives from donor agencies at the Astoria Plaza in Pasig.

The peace adviser said that this is the second time that donors have convened to discuss PAMANA. It was last presented to the donor community in October last year.

Deles reported that the government, through the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP), has recently completed the PAMANA roadmap for 2011.

“It has been good because in the work that we have done to complete that roadmap, I think we have come up with a more strategic operational plan for PAMANA. We are presenting clearer target areas that were strategically selected,” she said.

OPAPP Undersecretary Luisito Montalbo presented the latest updates on the program, including the 2011 roadmap.

For this year, PAMANA will be implemented in various conflict-affected barangays in the following regions:

  • Samar
  • Surigao del Sur-Compostela Valley Corridor
  • Central Mindanao and Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM)
  • Zamboanga, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi (ZamBaSulTa) and Region IX
  • Negros Island
  • Bicol
  • Cordillera

Montalbo discussed how official development assistance can complement the work of PAMANA by specifying possible areas of collaboration with donor agencies, such as the European Union (EU), Australian Agency for International Development (AusAid), United States Agency for International Development (USAid), World Bank (WB), United Nations (UN), and the Japanese Embassy, among others.

He added that OPAPP is currently working on a PAMANA website to update partners on program developments, particularly funding.

On implementation and coordination arrangements, Montalbo said that the OPAPP is set to create a steering committee that would involve the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Health (DOH), Department of Education (DepEd), ARMM government, and civil society groups.