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PIA Press Release
2007/09/17

GOs, NGOs, POs forge forces towards Panaon Island dev't

By Rebecca Cadavos

San Francisco, Southern Leyte (17 September) -- Due to the creation of Panaon Island Development Council (PDIC), different programs and projects were proposed by the government officials, peoples organizations and non-government organizations to develop the (4) Panaon municipalities composed of Liloan, San Francisco, Pintuyan and San Ricardo.

With the formal creation of PIDC chaired by Vice Gov. Miguel Maamo II, the members include the four municipal mayors of Panaon Island namely; Hon Shirley Y. Chong Liloan; Hon Diego Yuboc San Francisco; Hon. Celsa A. Estrella Liloan and Hon. Virginia S. Mejia of San Ricardo and national agencies like the Department of Agrarian Reform, Department of Energy, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Agriculture, Philippine Coconut Authority and Department of Tourism.

Non-government organizations of PIDC include the Foundation of Our Lady of Peace Mission, Inc, Plan Phils., West Leyte Development Foundation, the Diocese of Maasin Social Action Center, Visayas State University and Southern Leyte State University from the Academe and some (5) People's Organizations as additional members.

The new created organization aims to implement the identified projects and programs based on its agenda such as island-wide Disaster Preparedness and Management Program, watershed protection and management program, the solid waste management program, the distribution of public alienable and disposable lands and other private agricultural lands, the development of eco-tourism and wellness tourism potentials of the island, the construction and rehabilitation of identified farm-to-market roads and implementation of some livelihood projects.

The PIDC before it was formally created conducted its first summit last July 2006 at the municipality of Liloan. It has already solved the problem on undistributed alienable and disposable lands like the Pagnas Plateau with 357 hectares which was surveyed and been issued homestead patents for distribution to the actual farmer-cultivators and indigenous people for agro-forestry and the Hinawanan with 568 hectares that was already documented as the proposed Panaon Settlement and Special Agrarian Reform Community.

With the help of identified NGos like the Plan Phils. who turned-over the SOLERT equipments to the (4) Panaon municipalities and provided education services for pre-school age children, the Foundation of Our Lady of Peace Mission Inc, led by Sis. Eva Maamo who provided scholarship program for the tribal communities, health services to the people of Panaon Island and the provincial government that allocated P20 M for the completion of concrete circumferential road, among others. (PIA-Maasin) [top]

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