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PIA Press Release
Tuesday, January 31, 2012

PNoy confers Galing Pook 2011 award to Misamis Oriental

by Elaine O. Ratunil

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Jan. 31 (PIA) -- President Benigno Simeon Aquino III conferred a Plaque of Outstanding Program to Misamis Oriental with its local peace building initiative project, ďThe Lantad Peace-Building Experience: Turning Red to Green in Misamis OrientalĒ (From a ĎNo Manís Landí to a Land of Hope/Strategic Innovations in Upgrading Misamis Orientalís Provincial Peace and Order Council).

Representing the province of Misamis Oriental, Governor Oscar S. Moreno received the Galing Pook Awards at the Rizal Ceremonial, January 30.

Sitio Lantadís transformation from a war zone in the 1980ís to a Special Agrarian Reform Community in 2007 is a prime example of how peace and development efforts should be pursued Ė not by might, but through sincere and concrete efforts to reach out and make a difference in peopleís lives.

Under the program, the province selected Sitio Lantad in Barangay Kibanban, Balingasag town as a showcase for its paradigm shift in addressing the insurgency in Misamis Oriental by focusing on peace building instead of war and brute force to win the hearts and minds of people by subduing the real enemies of peace: poverty and ignorance.

Gov. Moreno said the Lantad Changers included the Core Group, Department of Agrarian Reform, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Department of Agriculture, Department of Interior and Local Government, Commission on Human Rights, National Commission of Indigenous Peoples, Philippine National Police, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Municipal Government of Balingasag, Barangay Government of Kibanban.

Archdiocesan Center for Concern Empowerment and Services, Interfaith (Roman Catholic Church; Iglesia Filipina Independiente; Muslim; and United Methodist), Balay Mindanaw, Balaod Mindanaw, German Doctors, Gising Barangay Movement, Philippine Coalition for International Criminal Court-Building Bridges for Peace and the media.

The Misamis Oriental LGUís painstaking efforts to build roads and open up the community for trade and commerce helped them gain the trust of the Higaonons, indigenous people of Sitio Lantad.

The eventual peace-building program demonstrates the paradigm shift from reactive to a proactive council advancing social equity, people empowerment and access to the best possible social services.

The awardees of the Galing Pook are chosen from a national search of local governance programs, evaluated through a multilevel rigorous screening process based on positive results and impact, promotion of peopleís participation and empowerment, innovation, transferability and sustainability, and efficiency of program service delivery.

Pres. Aquino III cited the important role of local government units as partners of the Aquino administration in pushing for developmental projects focusing on poverty alleviation, education and health as part of his social contract with the Filipino people.

He said through good governance as a result of constant cooperation from the national and local governments with the unwavering support from the people, the country will fulfill sustainable progress and development.

Further, he underscored the importance of unity and cooperation as essential tools in attaining the objectives in the United Nationsí Millennium Development Goals.

The Galing Pook awards is a program that recognizes innovations and excellence in local governance.

This year, a total of 137 entries were submitted: 55 from Luzon, 33 Visayas and 49 Mindanao.

The 10 awardees for 2011 are Sarangani Province (Justice on Wheels); Misamis Oriental (Turning red to green); Upi Maguindanao (rural community e-Center); Zamboanga del Norte (empowering the Subanen people); Limasawa Southern Leyte (poor municipality can eliminate nutrition); Alimodian Iloilo (bringing high schools closer to home); Bohol province (rabies prevention and elimination); Maribojoc Bohol (LGU-led cadastral survey); Albay province (health strategy for MDG attainment); and Real, Gen. Nakar, Infanta and Panukulan in Quezon Province (community-based mental health management). (PIA-10)

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