BAUKO, Mountain Province – Presidential Peace Adviser Carlito Galvez, Jr. disclosed that the Cordillera will be receiving more than P711.5 million of Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan (Pamana) projects next year as part of the government’s interventions to spur socio-economic development in the countryside.
Galvez, who served as guest of honor and speaker during the celebration of the 37th anniversary of the Mount Data peace accord between the Philippine government and the Cordillera Bodong Administration–Cordillera Peoples Liberation Army (CBA-CPLA), said that the projects will be composed of educational assistance, health insurance, livelihood, roads and bridge projects.
“The Cordillera Administrative Region is one of the seven geographical zones which had been selected and prioritized to compliment peace process lines under the Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan program of the government,” Galvez stressed.
The Secretary of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unification (OPAPRU) pointed out that the agency’s support to the Cordillera’s quest for meaningful regional autonomy is anchored on the Philippine Development Plan 2023-2028.
“Our agency also has a parallel framework in which it works closely with stakeholders as we continue to strengthen the foundations where long lasting peace and sustainable development can take root and flourish here in the Cordillera.,” he added.
Secretary Galvez expressed the agency’s gratitude to all its peace partners in the government and the private sector for their active participation in the celebration of the peace agreement’s 37th anniversary as they are among the most trusted and reliable allies of the government in achieving the collective vision of building a more peaceful, progressive and resilient Cordillera.
The OPAPRU joined the people of the cordillera in the celebration of the 37th anniversary of the September 13, 1986 peace accord. In recognition of the said historical event, President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. issued Proclamation No. 324, series of 2023 that gave the Cordillerans the opportunity to celebrate and actively participate in the momentous occasion by declaring September 13, 2023 as a special non-working holiday in the Cordillera.
According to him, the Mount Data ‘sipat’ has paved the way for the sincere and peaceful negotiations between the government and the CBA-CPLA leading to the establishment of the CAR, thus, Executive Order No. 220, series of 1987 symbolizes the end of decades of armed conflict in the region and it has also become the mechanism in which Cordillerans have demonstrated their steadfast commitment to peace, and unwavering resolve to push for genuine and meaningful autonomy in the region.
With this year’s peace month theme, ‘Kapayapaan, Responsibilidad ng Mamamayan’ or ‘Kappia; Akem ti Kada Umili,’ Secretary Galvez explained that the people should be reminded that peacebuilding is a collective effort where all sectors of society must be involved and that it is a clarion call for everyone to take part in supporting and sustaining peace in the country.
“We can do this in our own little way, and create a ripple effect that will radiate within our families, communities and beyond. As we commemorate this landmark occasion, we also commend Cordillera’s elders and other community leaders who played a key role in the forging of the 1986 sipat. Your contributions had been invaluable, as you have championed the Cordilleran’s journey towards a more peaceful and progressive region,” Galvez emphasized.
The OPAPRU official asserted that the Cordillera has gone a long way since the government and the CBA-CPLA signed the peace agreement and that 37 years after, the government continues to support the Cordillera people’s march towards peace and development through the implementation of the various programs, projects, and activities of the different line agencies in collaboration with local government units, civil society organizations and grassroots organizations.
He underscored that the ‘sipat’ stands as a testament of the iron-clad partnership of cooperation, trust and respect between the government and the Cordillerans and to sustain the gains that the peace agreement has achieved, the OPAPRU has continued to carry the peacebuilding interventions to the CBA-CPLA communities.
Secretary Galvez also recognized the 19 grantees of the OPAPRU – National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) Special Educational Assistance Program (SEP) who were able to graduate from their chosen courses. Under the said program, CBA-CPLA members of their next of kin will be provided with educational assistance for them to pursue a higher level of education.
Galvez explained that this education program is among the socio-economic interventions that the government promised to be given to CBA-CPLA members or their next of kin as they embark on a new journey for the youth to be able to fulfill their dreams for themselves and their families and become agents of peace in the Cordillera and the nation.
He stipulated that the OPAPRU is also committed to help uphold the integrity of the 2022 peace covenant signed between Mountain Province gov. Bonifacio C. Lacwasan, Jr. and Kalinga Gov. James Edduba as it is the agency’s hope and prayer that through the said covenant, they can create the conditions where genuine peace and sustainable development can be achieved by building a stronger and more meaningful partnership between the two provinces.
He assured the people of Mountain Province and Kalinga that the two provinces will be prioritized in the programs, projects and activities that will be funded by the agency under the Pamana program.