by Irma A. Guhit
SORSOGON CITY, October 7 (PIA) — The Regional Development Council (RDC) of Bicol, chaired by Albay Gov. Joey Salceda, has approved and endorsed last August this year Resolution No 28 S of 2011, known as ‘creating the Sorsogon PaMaNa Convergence Unit (SPCU), to mainstream the peace and development initiatives of government, particularly in the province of Sorsogon.
In the meeting held here this week, Aileen P. Jose of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP), explained the essence of the SPCU in consonance with the programs and projects to be implemented by OPAPP under the PaMaNa program as spelled out in the resolution.
To underscore the Resilient Communities Program or Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan (PaMaNa), Jose said that programs and projects of the OPAPP within the PaMaNa framework has been piloted in the province of Sorsogon.
The PaMaNa serves as the peace building program of government focused on the development of conflict-affected areas under the OPAPP.
Under the SPCU, OPAPP has entered into a Memorandum of Agreement with the province of Sorsogon and the seven identified municipalities in the province for the release of funds already provided last August and the projects to be implemented by the local government units until December 2011.
The OPAPP has allocated a P30 million fund for calendar year 2011 and another P30 million for the succeeding year, 2012 to the same municipalities to develop the barangays identified needing infrastructure, livelihood programs and peace development.
The SPCU will ensure that government line agencies in environment, agriculture, agrarian reform, social welfare and development, peace and security agencies and communication will effectively contribute their services and funds focusing on the peace building initiatives of government, address poverty reduction and manifest development in areas affected by conflict.
The need to communicate these initiatives of government for the awareness of the constituency, according to Jose should be highlighted and well-articulated as the primary tool to build the culture of peace and development.
Members of the SPCU Provincial Technical Working Group composed of the Provincial Planning and Development Office, Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, PENRO-LGU, Office of the Provincial Agriculturist, Department of Agrarian Reform, Philippine Army, Philippine National Police and the Philippine Information Agency met last October 3 to synergize mandates and functions for the implementation of the PaMaNa.
OPAPP will serve as lead agency while RDC to provide secretariat support to the SPCU. (MAL/IAG, PIA Sorsogon)