BAGUIO CITY – The Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) vehemently belied that it authorized individuals to solicit from concerned government agencies and local officials so-called ‘mobilization funds’ to facilitate the speedy release of the programmed budget for the implementation of various Payapang Pamayanan projects that were approved for different conflict-affected areas in the different parts of the Cordillera.
In her letter to the different local chief executives regionwide, Marilou M. Ibañez, OPAPP Director IV and Closure Agreement Secretariat, said that the solicitation activities being done by individuals representing themselves as OPAPP representatives are not authorized, endorsed, approved allowed or supported by their office, saying that the matter has already reached their attention and appropriate strategies are now being done in order to effect the arrest of the unscrupulous individuals using the name of the OPAPP for their extortion activities.
“The process for endorsements, approval and implementation of projects are guided by joint guidelines and agreements among line and regional agencies and local government units in close coordination with the Cordillera Regional Peace and Order Council through the Department of the Interior and Local Government – Cordillera Administrative Region (DILG-CAR) as RPOC Secretariat,” Ibañez stressed.
The OPAPP official informed local chief executives and regional line agency officials that ‘as you are further aware, the generation and approval of proposals for Pamana follow a process of deliberations by LGUs with their constituents and legislative councils at the municipal and provincial levels, and eventually, with the CRPOC.”
Ibañez added ownership, validation and monitoring of Pamana projects and the responsibility to sustain them rests with communities and not individuals through their respective local government units with the technical support of the regional line agencies.
In July 2011, the Cordillera Peoples Liberation Army (CPLA) and the Philippine government signed a closure agreement for the closure of the armed component of the Mount Data peace agreement and the subsequent conversion of the CPLA into a socio-economic force that would contribute in spurring economic growth in the conflict-stricken communities regionwide.
It was learned that part of the national government’s commitment under the closure agreement was to provide adequate fund support to the implementation of major infrastructure and socio-economic development projects in identified conflict-stricken areas to allow the increase of economic activities that will be instrumental in uplifting the living condition of people who were affected by the decades of armed conflict in the countryside.
According to her, the only authorized OPAPP personnel to deal with regional line agencies and local officials in relation to the completed and on-going projects in their respective places are Nenita Quilenderino – Project Management Office (PMO) Manager; Fr. Adonis Bringas – Project Development Officer (PDO) IV of the PMO-CAR; Jessica Banganan – PDO III of the PMO-CAR; Sheryl Datinguinoo – PDO V of the Closure Agreement Secretariat; Christina Umali – PPO III of the Closure Agreement Secretariat; Zandra Garcia – PDO IV of the Closure Agreement Secretariat and Den Mark Hernandez – PDO III of the Closure Agreement Secretariat. By Dexter A. See