Cotabato City (September 28, 2015) – The Department of Social Welfare and Development of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (DSWD-ARMM) is holding the Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan, or PAMANA, Summit 2015 on September 28-29 here with leaders of people’s cooperatives and project implementers across the region as participants.The two-day summit aims at showcasing PAMANA projects and addressing issues and challenges faced in the program’s implementation. More than 200 representatives from community livelihood cooperatives and provincial PAMANA teams from the five provinces of ARMM – Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi – attended the first day of the event on Monday, Sept. 28.
The summit also seeks to empower project stakeholders and increase their awareness through inputs and discussions on cooperativism, organizational management, and entrepreneurship that would enhance their drive for effective project implementation as well as foster sustainable development.
PAMANA is the national government’s flagship program under the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process to strengthen peace-building as well as reconstruction and development in conflict-affected areas in selected priority regions in the country.
PAMANA builds on a framework that seeks to optimize and harmonize the efforts of state and non-state actors in conflict areas. It complements current efforts in achieving just political settlement in all conflicts through negotiations.
The DSWD-ARMM has been implementing the PAMANA Program since 2012. It has implemented the PAMANA community-driven development/livelihood assistance projects in all the provinces of ARMM targeting a total of 2,159 communities with 386 barangays as pilot areas. To date, all pilot areas have fully implemented cycles 1 to 3 projects.
The program’s coverage has expanded to 1,773 barangays in 81 municipalities. The cycle 1 of the expansion is now 96% complete and is currently in the process of turning over project inputs to program participants. Simultaneously, target barangays have started submitting project proposals for implementation this year.
Tairan Livelihood Producers Cooperatives is among the beneficiaries of the PAMANA in the province of Basilan. The cooperative is a recipient of seaweed farming project from where its 30 members earn their living. It is based in Brgy. Tairan in Lantawan, a third-class municipality.
Bhen Isik, 45, the president of the Tairan cooperative said the project is beneficial to cooperative members. Isik added their economic conditions have somehow eased because of the project. A Bagsakan Center was built in the barangay where seaweed products of the cooperatives are sold. A multipurpose hall was also erected, where meetings and conventions of the cooperative are held.
On Tuesday, Sept. 29, a PAMANA Expo will be mounted at the Shariff Kabunsuan Commercial Complex inside the ARMM Compound here that could inspire project stakeholders to further promote the program’s objectives. The expo will feature products, photos and success stories. (Bureau of Public Information)