By KIMBERLIE NGABIT-QUITASOL
BAGUIO CITY — Land dispute, rights violations and mining are the leading root causes of conflict or as the government call it conflict drivers in Indigenous Peoples’ (IP) territories in the country.
This was the findings of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) in the conduct of their conflict assessment workshops.
According to Annaliza Laylo, the Peace Program Officer of OPAPP, the conflict assessment for Cordillera was held last April 13 here in Baguio City.
Laylo disclosed that overlapping land claims, boundary disputes, non-recognition of rights and mining also figured as the leading conflict drivers in the region. She added that clan wars and tribal wars are among the conflict drivers identified in the workshops.
OPAPP Assistant Secretary Howard Cafugauan explained that conflict assessment workshops are held to identify the conflict drivers in the areas identified for the implementation of the Payapa at Mayaman Pamayanan (Pamana) project. He added that the conflict drivers must be identified to address the issues properly and prevent resurgence of conflict.
Cafugauan hopes that the results of the workshops will influence the planing and programming of local government units (LGU). He said projects in the past were planned without the benefit of assessments of situations on the ground and that in the end the projects did not resolve the root causes of conflict.
Regional Peace and Development Council Chair Ifugao Governor Eugene Balitang explained that Pamana is part of the closure agreement between the government and the Cordillera Peoples Liberation Army (CPLA). He added that Pamana projects are implemented in identified as CPLA areas.
Balitang further explained that some Pamana projects were also identified in the Kalayaan Barangay Projects during the Arroyo government being implemented by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). He said the KBP projects were later shelved when the Aquino administration assumed office and now the AFP suggested that a closure first of KBP projects and reconciling them with the identified Pamana projects to avoid duplication of projects.
He pointed out that the RPOC meeting held last July 18 at the Hotel Supreme was an offshoot of the June 29 meeting when the issue on the KBP projects were raised by the AFP. He, however, said the issue is still unresolved because the final list of projects is yet to be accomplished by OPAPP.
“Hopefully the issue will be resolved in our third RPOC meeting,” he said.
Pamana Cordillera program for 2011 to 2012 has a total funding of P263.575 million for 118 projects. Out of the said funds Abra got a total of P46.8M for 11 projects, Apayao P34.8M for 16, Benguet P11.1M for six, Ifugao P52.5M for 26, Kalinga P43.8 for 39 and Mountain Province P52.5M for 19 projects.
Pamana projects include community infrastructure and livelihood programs. # nordis.net