TACLOBAN CITY – A top official from the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) visited Samar province this week to conduct a four-day monitoring on the projects being implemented by the Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan (Pamana) in the province.
OPPAP national program management department director Cesar De Mesa visited Pamana projects in Basey, Sta Rita, Hinabangan, Paranas, Calbiga, San Jorge, Calbayog City and Catbalogan City.
“We received invitation from the governor to visit Pamana projects so we deem it necessary to accept because we intend to follow-up the completion of Pamana projects from 2020 and earlier,” De Mesa said.
In Basey town, De Mesa and his team visited and met the Basiao Native Weavers Association, Loog Tikog Weavers Association, Sitio Rizal Farmers Association, and the Basey Farmer Rainfeed Producer Association.
In the Sta Rita town, he met the members of the Sta. Rita Food Processors Association that produces ‘karlang’ chips.
In Paranas town, De Mesa had a meeting with members of the Apolonia Samahan ng Magsasakang Nagkakaisa who are beneficiaries of cacao intercropping livelihood project; the Basaran nga Organisasyon han San Isidro (Bosis), recipient of the enhanced peanut production; and officials at the 801st Infantry Brigade where there is an ongoing construction of animal shelter for integrated farming within the compound of the Halfway Village for former members of the New People’s Army (NPAs).
In Calbiga town, they visited the Borong Active Farmers Association that produces ube, and the Malabal Lowland Farmers Association.
In Catbalogan City, De Mesa’s group meet with the top officials of the 8th Infantry Division and inspected the halfway house inside Camp Lukban.
De Mesa also visited the Bulao-Guindapunan Irrigators Farmers Association and the people’s organization Solid Dapdap Farmers and Fishermen Association who are beneficiaries of a bamboo production project.
In Calbayog, they visited the Spark Samar Hybrid Rice Production managed by the Bayo Pilar Roxas Irrigators Association Inc.
During his meeting, Pamana projects’ beneficiaries informed De Mesa some of their concerns that could help increase their income productivity, like the banana producers of Sitio Rizal Farmers Association who informed him that they need a truck to deliver their product to the market.
At present, they rely to the availability of truck of the provincial government that delivers their crops to Catbalogan City.
The tikog producers of Loog village also sought help from the official on their problem in the marketability and pricing of their products.
Pamana beneficiaries with concerns are advised by the official to make a proposal which they promised to forward to concern agencies like OPPAP.
“What we can commit is we will work for the approval of the project proposal,” De Mesa said.
Although most of the Pamana beneficiaries whom he met relayed their concerns, there were also who made a positive impact during his visit, like the Basey Farmer Rainfeed Producer Association, who are recipient of more than P3 million assistance for rice production.
The group with 106 members received the assistance in 2019 wherein the fund was used by the members in rice production. They then expanded their business last year into a small grocery store and bought a truck which they uses in delivering palay to their buyers.
“They can be cited as example for best practice, from a small business, they have now big store and a truck,” De Mesa said.
The official added that with the help of other government agencies, OPPAP through Pamana will work together for the peace and development of areas that are benefiting from projects funded by their agency.
“Our approach in the project implementation is through the CSPP or conflict, sensitive, and pace promoting. Meaning it will contribute to the peace process and address issues or the basic needs of the community in the conflict affected areas especially those that are geographically isolated and depress areas, “he said. (ROEL T.AMAZONA)