PAMANA project helps residents of Nona-devastated town rebuild their lives

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NORTHERN SAMAR, Feb. 22 -- One of PAyapa at MAsaganang PamayaNAn (PAMANA) Program's project is helping residents Silvino Lobos to start all over again after Typhoon Nona devastated their town.

Known locally as Little Baguio, the town sits in the slope of hills and mountains. Before PAMANA built a bridge and a concrete road linking the town proper to two barangays, people in the community needed a day to get to the town from their villages.

Lorenzo Anterio, one of the oldest residents of the community, recounted with a joke that he had been walking on the muddy, rocky and slippery hills of Silvino Lobos for 83 years of his life.

PAMANA oversaw the need to construct of a 50-meter bridge and a 3.1 kilometer road that will connect Brgy. Santonio with Brgy.Sulong in Silvino Lobos.

“Matagal ko nang pangarap na makapaglakad sa sementadong kalsada (I had been dreaming all my life to walk on a cemented road),” he said in an interview.

The construction of concrete road between the two barangays cut the transportation cost in the area, thus easing the flow of goods to and from Silvino Lobos. From a solid 24-hour travel by foot, residents can now reach the town proper in less than an hour.

After typhoon Nona’s wrath, the people of Silvino Lobos now find it easier to rebuild their lives with the concrete-paved roads built by PAMANA helping them transport goods to and from the town proper.

Business in the once isolated route has also flourished with farmers setting up small stores and habal-habal terminals along the way, creating new jobs and income opportunities for the residents.

“Mas mabilis kami makabangon ngayon kasi may daan na nakarating na ang tulong sa amin dito (Now we can recover faster with the because now we have a road where help can come to us),” said Anterio.

This year, the Department of Interior and Local Governments (DILG), an implementing agency of the PAMANA program, will build an 8-kilometer concrete road and two more bridges in Silivio Lobos for P295 million.

PAMANA is the government’s program and framework for peace and development in areas affected by armed conflict and communities covered by existing peace agreements. It seeks to help address the root causes of conflict through programs to reduce poverty, improve governance and empower communities.

To date, PAMANA has reached 48 provinces and has implemented more than 10,000 projects nationwide. (PAMANA)