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PIA Press Release

Negros Oriental barangays identify priority needs

By Minerva BC Newman

Cebu, Philippines (13 October) -- Fifteen (15) barangays in seven (7) towns of Negros Oriental under the GRP-RPMP/RPA-ABB Peace Process Agreement identified farm-to-market roads (FMR), water systems, schools, livelihood and farm inputs as the top five (5) priority needs in their communities.

This was learned during a special meeting of the Regional KALAHI Convergence Group (RKCG) meeting recently.

Eileen Jose, executive director, Office of the Presidential Assistant on the Peace Process (OPAPP) and head, general secretariat of the Joint Enforcement Monitoring Committee (JEMC) reported that the 15 barangays in the towns of Amlan, Pamplona, San Jose, Siaton, Tanjay, Sibulan and Zamboanguita are included in the peace agreement areas that will be given impact development projects.

Thirteen (13) of the 15 barangays in Negros Oriental wanted the construction of farm-to-market roads (FMRs); 12 barangays identified water system and 11 wanted schools and livelihood as high priority in their needs list, the report read.

Seven (7) barangays wanted day care centers and electricity in their areas while nine (9) barangays selected farm inputs such as implements, seeds and fertilizers as their specific needs, the report further read.

According to Jose, the JEMC identified a total of 147 barangays mostly located in Panay and Negros Islands as focused areas for peace and development projects.

These barangays were grouped into three (3) batches to undergo a process of Community Needs Assessment (CNA) to identify specific impact development projects that will be addressed under the peace process, Jose further said.

"Thus far, 117 barangays completed their community needs assessments. Fifteen (15) of these from region 7 and 33 from region 6 underwent the same process of consultation in July 2009 in Dumaguete City and Bacolod City respectively where the above priority needs came out," Jose added.

Based on the community needs assessments, the JEMC approves priority projects for resource mobilization and planning and the delivery of these projects leads to peace and development in the peace-threatened communities-- "the intention of the Peace Agreement," Jose stressed.

NEDA-7 regional director Marlene Rodriguez said, it is expected that government agencies will consider the identified CNA priority in their plans specifically agencies like the DA, DepEd and DAR.

The same priority needs will be endorsed to the respective local government units for their consideration to their development plans as well as to the national government for lobby and resource generation for the completion peace plan, Rodriguez concluded. (PIA-7) [top]

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