Philippines: Drawing inspiration from internally displaced persons (IDPs) recovering from war in Central Mindanao, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Quintos-Deles on Saturday stressed that they serve as a “testament that it is not impossible to rise above any conflict situation, and it does not need big and complicated steps to do it.”
The peace adviser addressed the representatives of IDP communities from Talayan, Aleosan and Midsayap towns, as well as local government officials, agency heads and development partners during the grand launch of the PAMANA or Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan (Peaceful and Resilient Communities) program held at the Shariff Kabunsuan Auditorium a
t the Office of the Regional Government Compound in this district.
Also present were Social Welfare and Development Secretary Corazon “Dinky” Soliman, Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Acting Governor Ansaruddin Adiong and Maguindanao Gov. Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu, among others.
Deles said that there has been a big improvement in the situation of the IDPs since the outbreak of hostilities in August 2008 when rogue Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) forces attacked some communities in Central Mindanao following the failed signing of the Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD) between the government and the Moro group.
“But there is still a lot to be done to help those affected return to their normal lives,” she added.
PAMANA, which is the government’s peace and development framework and program, is a response to the needs of communities all over the country that have been affected by armed conflict.
“In your situation as IDPs, we can say that you have more needs compared to other communities. Thus, services should be delivered faster and more complete. Under PAMANA, the government will do its best not to leave behind any community, sector or group,” Deles stated.
Led by the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, PAMANA adopts a convergence strategy in which all government agencies as well civil society organizations and donor groups pool their efforts and resources to help empower families in conflict areas.
Under PAMANA, the situation of an area is studied and analyzed to determine the appropriate interventions. “Not all projects are the same because it would depend on what the people exactly need,” the peace adviser related. “It would depend on the results of the consultations with you.”
To help displaced families in Central Mindanao, the government launched the IDP Shelter Assistance Project. To date, there are 170 shelters that are being constructed in Barangay Limunan and Talayan in Maguindanao, while 53 are being completed in Barangay Libungan Toretta in Pigcawayan, North Cotabato. Ten units have been finished in Talayan and 23 in Pigcawayan.
“All in all, the government has released P 10.7 M for the building of these shelters,” Deles said. “By 2012, there will be 4,000 shelters already constructed by the government.”
Photo Credit: Office of the President’s Advisor on Peace Process