By Martin Sadongdong
The Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) on Friday announced the distribution of four Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan (PAMANA) projects in Camarines Norte which it said would boost the province’s development and uplift the lives of the local people.
Handled by OPAPP, PAMANA is the national government’s convergence program that extends development interventions to isolated, hard-to-reach and conflict-affected communities.
Sherwin Vizconde, PAMANA national program director, said thousands of residents and farmers will benefit from the distribution of four PAMANA projects including a potable water system in Barangay Talobatib, Labo, Camarines Norte; an agricultural mechanization project; large cattle disposal project and the concreting of Mahawan-hawan Road also in Labo town.
The said projects were given to the beneficiaries in a livelihood and infrastructure projects awarding program held in Camarines Norte on Thursday.
Aside from that, different farming equipment including hand tractor trailers, palay (grain) threshers, brushcutters, shallow tube wells, mechanical rice transplanters and drilling rigs were also given to several farming associations.
Vizconde noted the said projects is aimed at contributing to the government’s goal of establishing a just and lasting peace in the country by means of developing interventions to conflict-vulnerable communities.
Camarines Norte Gov.r Edgar Tallado said PAMANA projects will enable the poorest communities to feel the government’s program to end poverty.
“These national government programs under [the] OPAPP are a [big] help to [our most remote] barangays. With our partnership, they now realize [that the] government is indeed [here] to help them,” he said.
Edita Bellen, president of Santol Irrigators Service Association Inc., one of the beneficiaries of the PAMANA projects, said they received a rice combine harvester machinery which would improve the quality and quantity of their rice harvest.
“Noon ang isang ektarya mo, aabutin ka ng dalawang linggo [sa pag-aani.] Ngayon, kaya na ng isang araw (Before, it took us two weeks to harvest [grain] in a one-hectare land. Now, we can do it in one day),” she said.
Meanwhile, Barangay Mahawan-hawan chairman Rebecca Canaria said the concreting of the village road would solve a number of problems of the farmers in the community.
She shared that crops and other goods often go to waste, especially during the rainy season, since farmers could not transport it to markets due to the unpaved roads.
But this would soon change because they now have easier access to the public markets because of the concreting of the Mahawan-hawan road, she said.