Artisan and farm-to-market products from communities in the Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan (PAMANA) program were the focal point of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) booth during the recently concluded 2016 Kabisig Government Trade and Expo, providing needed exposure to local businesses in conflict-affected and poverty-ridden communities.
"The purpose of the Kabisig Government Expo and Trade Fair is actually to inform the public of so many government agencies that are not known," Kabisig Mindanao Foundation Chairperson Daniel Guillen said, adding that the expo acts as a one-stop information exhibit featuring government agencies and their profiles, service facilities, programs, projects and accomplishments, as well as products and services.
Products featured by the OPAPP included Maguindanao native delicacies and water lily handicrafts; Yakan weaving and handicrafts such as table runners, coin purse and malong; traditional Tausug textile product called Pis; accessories made of Pili shells; bayong bags made from Karagumoy plant; Agsam and Abaca handicrafts; and processed pineapple delicacies.
They were produced by PAMANA beneficiaries in the areas of Sorsogon, Compostela Valley, Davao Oriental, Agusan del Sur, Surigao del Sur, Camarines Norte, Butuan City, Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi.
PAMANA is the national government's program that extends development interventions to isolated, hard-to-reach and conflict-affected communities, ensuring that they are not left behind. It is the people's peace and development program that empower communities through community-driven projects that address people's needs and, at the same time, promote peace.
With the theme Pamahalaan at Mamamayan: Kapit-bisig sa Kaunlaran, the government expo, which ran from 10 to 12 October at SM Manila, provided an opportunity for the government to promote public awareness and participation in national development. "We encouraged everyone to participate because it is an event to inform the people of the projects of the government," Guillen added.
In a message sent by the Office of the President, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte noted that "this kind of activity would inspire our leaders in government to do [their] best in restoring the faith of our countrymen in our institutions and in bringing back trust in our public servants."
"I also ask every Filipino to participate in nation-building by supporting our advocacies and initiatives. Let us all be positive as we rise to the challenge of national renewal and embody excellence, dedication, accountability, and integrity in all our pursuits," the President continued.
PAMANA public service caravan makes stop in Masbate
In partnership with the municipality of Cawayan and various government agencies, the peace process agency through its PAMANA program conducted a public service caravan in order to bring closer government services to communities in the 3rd district of Masbate.
Frontline public services that were made available for free to the public included application for police clearance by the Department of Interior and Local Government; processing of birth certificates by the National Statistics Office (NSO); tax declaration payments by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR); medical checkup and dental services by the Department of Health; and conditional cash transfer program by the Department of Social Work and Development (DSWD) among others.
The provincial government of Masbate as well as the Cawayan local government also offered other services including the processing of identification cards for senior citizens and deworming and vaccination of carabaos. Other government agencies such as the DOH and the Department of Agriculture also provided additional provisions and supplies such as medicines, rice, seedlings, fertilizers, and pregnancy kits.
The annual caravan, dubbed this year as "Peace Ta sa Komunidad" coincided with the recently concluded celebration of the 2016 National Peace Consciousness Month.
Beneficiaries of the caravan were residents of Masbate barangays Taberna, Lague-Lague, Pulot, Cabayugan, Mactan, San Vicente, Pena Island, Guinluthangan, San Jose and Mambucay. Similar activities were also conducted in the last few weeks in Lapinig, Northern Samar; Jabonga, Agusan del Norte; Tipo-Tipo, Basilan; and the regions of South Cotabato and Lanao del Sur.
The highlight of the caravan was the ceremonial turnover of the completed nine-million pesos PAMANA Phase 1 Project to rehabilitate the provincial road connecting barangays Mactan and Malbug.
OPAPP Director for Peace Accords Completion Unit Susan Mercaida also updated Masbate residents and other peace partners present during the caravan on the six-point peace and development agenda of the Duterte administration, as well as other PAMANA implementation schedules still in the pipeline.
Other government instrumentalities present during the caravan include: the Provincial Agriculture Office; the Municipal Social and Welfare Development; the Provincial and Municipal Health Offices; the Philippine National Police; the Armed Forces of the Philippines 9th Infantry Battalion; the Municipal Assessor's Office; Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office; the Provincial Planning and Development Office; the Provincial and Municipal Engineering Offices; the Department of Environment and Natural Resources; the Department of Public Works and Highways; the Philippine Dental Association; the Office of the Municipal Administrator, and the Office of the Governor.
Source: Philippine Information Agency