Stakeholders to Boost Peace, Development through Strengthened Convergence

PAMANA (Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan) and Provincial Peace and Development Stakeholders Forum on August 29 held at Baywalk Hotel, City of Mati

DAVAO ORIENTAL – Aiming at strengthening and sustaining peace and development in the province, stakeholders on peace and development here have recently convened to discuss strategies that would boost peace-building interventions through convergence.

During the Davao Oriental PAMANA (Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan) and Provincial Peace and Development Stakeholders Forum on August 29 held in the City of Mati, resource speakers laid emphasis on the enhanced collaboration and proactive participation of all sectors as an effective strategy to shape peaceful and secured communities.

Lt. Col. Jake Thaddeus Obligado, Commander of the 67th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army, presented the salient features of the proposed Comprehensive Security and Development Plan which encourage all key sectors to actively engage in transforming communities, countering violence and conflict and building peace.

Lt. Col. Jake Thaddeus Obligado presents the proposed Comprehensive Security and Development Plan touted to boost peace and development strategies in the province.

Supporting the military’s Community Support Program, he said that the plan also aims at addressing the long-running insurgency problem which is being considered to be on of the main challenges for peace and development, wherein marginalized communities in the far-flung areas are the most vulnerable.

He identified convergence of stakeholders as a main contributory factor that would weaken the insurgency. He said that there must be adequate participatory and inclusive mechanisms and opportunities to address the main causes of insurgency. Stakeholders include Local Government Units, national line agencies, the youth, mass media, and the community.

“This is our challenge as planners,” said Obligado, saying that lasting peace cannot be achieved by the military action alone, but requires the active involvement of all stakeholders. Here in the province, the military is harmonizing its vision with that of the Provincial Government to maximize development interventions.

“It is beyond the capacity of one sector to resolve all needs of the community. We need the collaboration of government and private sector and civil society. We need the cooperation and proactive prevention of conflict through the synergy of action.”

Provincial Governor’s Office Chief of Staff Ednar G. Dayanghirang

Meanwhile, Provincial Governor’s Office Chief of Staff Ednar G. Dayanghirang, emphasized the inclusion of all sectors in the province’s development plan, explaining that this is the current thrusts of the Provincial Government in terms of peace and development which is being harmonized to the national government’s target of building a peaceful and progressive nation.

Promoting and pushing inclusive growth and development, the Provincial Government has incorporated to its Provincial Development Physical Framework Plan the Jama’ah Strategy for the Muslim community as well as the Ancestral Domain Strategy for the Indigenous Peoples’ Sector, which encompasses development interventions for the marginalized sectors who are considered vulnerable to violent conflicts. This would mean implementation of more development programs and projects focused on these minority groups

Aside from the presentation of the plan, the forum also became a venue for the overview and updates of all projects implemented under PAMANA. Since the program’s implementation in 2012 in Davao Oriental, various infrastructure projects have been implemented that made impacts in the communities such as water systems, roads, livelihood projects, among many others.

Also presented during the forum were the updates on the anti-drugs interventions and drug clearing operations in the province by Davao Oriental Provincial Police Office Provincial Director PSSUPT Harry Espela and Provincial Anti-Drug Action Officer Art Benjie Bulaong. Activities on the military’s Community Support Program were also presented by Cpt. Andrew Linao of the Philippine Army’s 701st Brigade.

DILG Provincial Director Yvette T. Sunga

Facilitated by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), participants of the forum include schools supervisors, information officers, municipal local government officers, and chiefs of police of all Local Government Units.    By Karen Lou Deloso

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