THE Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) qualified recently the Municipality of Cabugao, Ilocos Sur to implement certain peace projects totaling P429 million in the area under the government’s Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan (PAMANA) Program.
PAMANA is under the Office of the Presidential Adviser of the Peace Process (OPAPP) which handles the peace process between the government and leftist rebels.
It was OPAPP which formally filed the request with the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to fund the projects in Cabugao. DBM granted the request and the funds were downloaded to DPWH.
Since it was the one that requested the budget, OPAPP would identify its implementing local government unit partner (LGU), subject to the evaluation of DPWH under the joint memorandum circular (JMC) signed between OPAPP and DPWH.
Tasked to identify its implementing LGU partner, OPAPP chose the Municipality of Cabugao. Under Department Order 62, the DPWH had to evaluate and qualify the LGU’s capability. Department Order No. 62 Series of 2018 is also known as the Revised Guidelines for the Implementation of DPWH Projects by Local Government Units.
DPWH Regional Director Ronnel Tan, CESO IV, of DPWH Regional Office No. 1, conducted an evaluation of the Municipality of Cabugao regarding its capacity to undertake the infrastructure projects and took consideration of the track record of the town of Cabugao in implementing various infrastructure projects.
The evaluation showed that the Municipality of Cabugao had implemented various infrastructure projects from year 2010 up to the present totaling to P477.4 million and ranging from farm-to-market roads, construction of bridges, and construction of water impounding.
The DPWH concluded that the Municipality of Cabugao was qualified to implement the road projects.
“With the foregoing track record and pursuant to criteria set by Department Order No. 62, Series of 2018, this Department, the Municipality (of Cabugao) is capable of implementing the subject PAMANA road projects,” the DPWH declared.
With the findings of DPWH that Cabugao was qualified to implement the projects, OPAPP advised and gave clearance for DPWH to already proceed with the project.
The DPWH then sent a memorandum of agreement (MOA) to the Municipality of Cabugao for the downloading of funds and implementation of the projects. Cabugao Mayor Josh Edward S. Cobangbang already signed the MOA.
Mayor Cobangbang expressed gratitude for this decision that according to him will greatly help in uplifting the lives of Cabugaoenos and effect lasting peace not only in the municipality but in the entire Ilocos Sur.
The idealistic Mayor Cobangbang is the youngest elected mayor in the history of the Philippines, having won the election for mayor at age 21. He is now 23 years old. Mayor Cobangbang finished on Nov. 11, 2018 his masters in Public Management with special track on Local Governance at the Ateneo School of Government.
Mayor Cobangbang thanked Pres. Rodrigo Roa Duterte for his sincerity in promoting peace and the uplifting of lives of Filipinos, not only with mere words, but with concrete actions such as the PAMANA projects in Cabugao, and DPWH Sec. Mark Villar, for qualifying Cabugao to implement the projects.
“Finally, the development projects much-awaited by Cabugaoenos will now materialize under Pres. Duterte and we are all very happy about it, at last, aside from the bright prospect of progress for our people, there will be genuine peace in our municipality and in effect in the entire Ilocos Sur,” Mayor Cobangbang said.
PAMANA is the national government’s convergence program that extends development interventions to isolated, hard-to-reach and conflict-affected communities, ensuring that they are not left behind.
The PAMANA Program is in sync with President Duterte’s campaign to win back rebels into the fold and reintegrate them into society under the Comprehensive Local Integration Program wherein surrenderees are given livelihood and financial assistance in exchange for laying down their arms. Thousands have already surrendered and are in the process of rejoining mainstream society.