TACLOBAN CITY- Samar Governor Sharee Ann Tan has proposed for the national government to set a ‘peace fund’ for areas that are still affected by insurgency.
The peace fund will be a common fund that will be used in implementing projects intended to priority areas that are affected by conflict and insurgency, the governor, who is also the chairperson of the Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC), said.
“If we have a common fund, it will be easier for us to have access rather than if it is delegated to national line government agencies that sometimes takes time to release because of prioritization,” Tan explained.
The governor, however, clarified that she has nothing against national line government agencies funding and implementing projects because they can easily work with the local government units.
“The only problem is it take some time before the project is implemented by the agency and it takes away the sense of urgency,” she said.
Tan said that at least P12 billion will be needed for her proposed peace fund which will be used for funding projects that are identified by the residents.
Tan added that the amount will not only focus on funding infrastructure projects but must also include livelihood support to make the project more integrated.
During the RPOC meeting, held last August 15, the intelligence division of the 8thInfantry Division cited 33 areas in the region as affected by insurgency.
Ten of the areas are located in the province of Samar, namely, Matuguinao, San Jorge, San Jose de Buan, Jiabong, Motiong, Hinabangan, Calbiga, Pinabacdao, Basey, and Marabut.
The problem of insurgency remains a top concern especially in areas that are not easily accessible or isolated resulting for residents to be easily persuaded to join rebel groups. (ROEL T. AMAZONA)