Friday, May 24, 2013

Opening remarks of Sec. Teresita Quintos Deles at the Administrative Protocol Signing of the Aid Management for the Implementation of the MPDLGP with AECID

From the Website of OPPAP

Opening remarks of Sec. Teresita Quintos Deles at the Administrative Protocol Signing of the Aid Management for the Implementation of the MPDLGP with AECID

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Posted on Tuesday, 21 May, 2013 - 14:37
Tue, 05/21/2013
Good morning and welcome to the Signing of the Administrative Protocol of Aid Management for the Implementation of the Project “Mainstreaming Peace and Development in Local Governance in the Philippines” or MPDLGP.

Today we mark another beautiful day in strengthening partnership and cooperation towards making peace and development a felt and sustainable reality in the Philippines.

When we reassumed the “task” that is OPAPP at the start of the Aquino administration in June, 2010, it was clear that there had to be new and innovative approaches to adopt, if not create, to move the peace agenda forward.   Things that did not work should not be replicated if our intent was to complete the peace settlement and create the mechanisms that would end all armed conflict in the country.

So our journey has always been inspired by this mindset – we needed to have innovative ways of thinking and creative ways of moving the peace agenda within the government bureaucracy,  and we needed to break ground on programs that would win peace on the ground. 

Have we been innovative? Creative? “Groundbreaking”?

OPAPP’S direct engagement with Agencia Espanola de Cooperacion Internacional para es Desarollo or AECID started in February, 2010, which partnership first bore fruit in the Sorsogon Initiatives, which was conceived as a complementary track to our peace table with the CPP/NPA/NDF.  These involved collaborated efforts of the LGUs and local communities in creating sanctuaries of peace in Barangay Sta. Ana in Gubat and in the town of Barcelona, both in Sorsogon.  From 2010 to 2012, a total of nine projects were implemented in the two localities.  But, beyond the actual projects, our peace negotiating panel nurtured hopes of generating models of best practices in peacebuilding that could be replicated in other areas and be evolved into national policies.  

Starting in October, 2011, our current program with AECID, the MPDLGP, aims to sustain and build upon the gains of Sorsogon Initiatives.  Dubbed as a mainstreaming exercise, the project aims to promote peace and conflict sensitivity and adopt a peace-promoting approach in selected local government units, developing their capacity to adopt peace and conflict-sensitive programming in the planning, budgeting, and implementation of their projects and services.  The primary targets of this groundbreaking effort are local government units which are directly affected by armed conflict; specifically, the LGUs which are our partners in the implementation of PAMANA.

This is the novelty of the project.  While some other agencies opt to engage in more high-impact, high-profile projects, AECID has chosen the low-key, under-the-radar  activities, which are just as important, if not more important, as the high-profile, so-called ‘sexy’ projects.  AECID has chosen to journey with us in the arduous and difficult task of mainstreaming the peace agenda in the local level.  For them, and their low-key and “unsexy” efforts, we are truly grateful. 

As we speak, twenty (20) provinces have undergone conflict analysis in their localities through the conflict sensitivity and peace promoting program (CSPP) while two hundred ninety three (293) projects under PAMANA have been reviewed and assessed with regard to their soundness, feasibility, sustainability, and peace-promoting character. 
The project has also supported the strengthening of the CSO third party monitors through the development of a handbook, “Development of Livelihood Monitoring for Third Party Monitors.”

AECID also facilitated the study visit of the Philippine Delegation, composed of our peace negotiators, Congress allies, and key partners from the executive branch, to glean lessons from the unique practice of autonomy or decentralization throughout the Spanish state, specifically as demonstrated in Navarra and Madrid, as these relate to the MILF peace talks.
This is the character of our partnership with AECID. It highlights the key role and moreover invests in the capacity of local governments and stakeholders in resolving conflict and promoting peace.  It recognizes that communities are not passive receivers of violence, but are active negotiators -- mediating the everyday potholes of violence that come their way.  

Again, thank you to the Government of Spain and AECID, our stable and quiet partner in our journey to peace.  To everyone, I simply say, “Join us!”
Thank-you and good morning.