Gov’t releases P1.8B additional funds for peace process programs

October 21, 2011 9:37 pm 

By Joann Santiago

MANILA, Oct 21 – The government has released an additional P1.8 billion to boost programs for lasting peace.

Budget and Management Secretary Florencio Abad said the additional budget for the Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan (PAMANA) program was part of the government’s P72-billion disbursements acceleration plan to further push growth of the domestic economy.

He said that one way to address armed conflict was “through the negotiating table and through the implementation of various targeted interventions that will address the root cause and exacerbating factor of conflict: poverty.”

“This fund release supports the improvement of basic services delivery and the establishment of transparent and responsive governance. Ultimately, we want to make communities resilient amidst armed conflict,” he said.

The additional PAMANA budget will cover several programs like the Support for Peace and Development Communities with the Moro National Liberation Front, support for the Reintegration Program for Former Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army rebels and livelihood assistance, community infrastructure and production support under peace agreement with the Cordillera Peoples’ Liberation Army (GPH-CPLA)

Infrastructures like farm to market roads, potable water system, solar dryers, health center, multi-purpose halls, livelihood and agriculture production as well as water supply, sanitation and hygiene facilities for internally-displaced persons will also be financed by the additional budget.

Abad said PAMANA, which is being implemented by the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) in coordination with the local government units (LGUs) and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), the Bangsamoro Development Agency and the ARMM Regional Government, “is the government’s flagship program for peace and development, complementing its pursuit of lasting peace through negotiated political settlement.”

It covers 218 municipalities in 43 provinces, with 3,500 conflict-affected barangays and some 400,000 households benefitting from the program.

The additional funding from the accelerated disbursement program will augment the P525.7 million that was given for PAMANA last June.

Abad said they had increased to P1.9 billion the allocation for the program under the proposed 2012 national budget. (PNA) RMA/JS/utb

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