Gov’t earmarks P207-M initial PAMANA grant to Cordillera under CBA-CPLA peace deal

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Baguio City, Dec.17--The Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) is set to receive an initial funding of P 207 million for livelihood and community projects out of the P 264 million stipulated in the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) forged by the Cordillera Bodong Administration – Cordillera People’s Liberation Army (CBA-CPLA) with the government last July 4.

The government, through the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP), will ceremonially turn over the funds to conduits and implementing partners in CAR during the launching of PAMANA or Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan (Peaceful and Resilient Communities) program this Saturday at the Pines View Hotel in this city.

Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Quintos Deles, Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo and Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda will be present along with National Commission on Indigenous People's Chairperson Zenaida Brigida Pawid and Cordillera local chief executives. Newly-installed Army Chief of Staff and former Northern Luzon Commander Lt. Gen. Jessie Dellosa will be represented by RAdm Miguel Jose S. Rodriguez, Armed Forces Deputy Chief of Staff for Civil-Military Operations.

PAMANA is the government’s program and framework for peace and development. It aims to reduce poverty, improve governance and empower conflict-affected communities. Projects identified in the MOA will be funded under PAMANA to ensure implementation is fast tracked and that communities will directly feel the dividends of peace and improved delivery of basic services.

The P 207 million is broken down as follows: Abra – P 45 million; Apayao – P 35.8 million; Benguet – P 11.1 million; Ifugao – P 47.37 million; Kalinga – P 15.2 million and Mt. Province – P 52.5 million. The first tranche amounting to P 64.62 million will be officially handed over today for infrastructure and livelihood projects in all provinces.

The Joint Committee (JC), composed of members from the government and the CBA-CPLA which oversees and monitors the implementation of the MOA, gave the green light for the fund download after the projects had undergone the community validation process.

For 2012, the JC hopes to receive complete requirements to effect the fund download and implementation of the rest of the identified projects. Funds for inter-municipal projects are likewise programmed for release next year.

Some of the community projects identified in the MOA include construction of bridges, roads, tramlines and irrigation systems; community electrification; and livelihood support through cooperatives and construction of multi-function buildings.