TACLOBAN CITY- The resumption of peace talks between the national government and the communist group in the country will be good for the region which is still facing the problem on insurgency.
And with a peaceful environment, projects located in the remote areas can proceed unhampered, Imelda Bonifacio, regional program manager of Pamana (Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan), said.
Pamana, which is under the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace Process (OPAPP), has funded several road projects in the region, mostly in conflict areas in Samar provinces.
President Rodrigo Duterte has again declared his desire for his government and the leadership of the Communist Party of the Philippines-National Democratic Front (CPP-NDF) to resume peace talks, describing it as the ‘last chance’ on this matter setting several conditions which include, among others, no extortion activity or destruction of properties; no expansion or recruitment on the side of the communist group.
According to Bonifacio, this call of the President to return to the negotiation table is being welcome by all and not just by the Pamana and OPAPP.
She said that with a peaceful environment, projects funded by them in Samar provinces can proceed without delay and harassment from the rebel members.
“Everybody is waiting for the (resumption of the) peace talks except of course those who have lost their trust that this effort will not lead to nowhere. But we are progressing (towards this direction),” Bonifacio said.
She added that the conditions set by the President should be followed by the communist group like on no extortion activities “so that the government can pursue the Build, Build, Build program.”
“It’s a big factor to the realization of the construction of tri-boundary roads. This will show the government’s sincerity to address the development gaps in geographically isolated and disadvantage areas-which the CNN (Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front) have been fighting for (ideologically),” the regional PAMANA head said.
“As of the moment, contractors are apprehensive (on the reported) massive harassment (by the communist rebels) if they do not give in,” the PAMANA regional chief said.
Earlier, there were reports that PAMANA-funded projects in different towns in Samar provinces were being harassed by the NPA, the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines, unless they give them money.
Road constructions funded by PAMANA is ongoing in the towns of Las Navas, Mapanas, Lope de Vega and Silvino Lubos, all in Northern Samar; Dolores Maslog, Can-avid and Gen.Macarthur, all in Eastern Samar.
For next year, PAMANA- road projects will also be constructed in Silvino Lubos (Northern Samar)-Matuguinao (Samar); Maslog (Eastern Samar)-San Jose de Buan (Samar); and Las Navas (Northern Samar) – Jipapad (Eastern Samar).

By Joey Gabieta