Ex- CPLA in MP easternmost town to receive post-harvest facilities

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Bontoc – Former members of the Cordillera Peoples Liberation Army (CPLA) in the municipality of Paracelis will benefit from a 1.5M-peso worth of post-harvest facilities from the Office of the Presidential Adviser for Peace Process (OPPAP).

The OPPAP downloaded the amount to the Provincial Government of Mountain Province for the purchase of three multi-purpose threshers and two customized rice mills for the Matagowan People’s Organization (MPO) of Paracelis.

This is in accordance with the on-going and continuing partnership between the Provincial Government of Mountain Province and the OPPAP for the implementation of the socio-economic integration component of a 2011 Memorandum of Agreement (MOA). Under the MOA, the OPPAP will provide funds for livelihood initiatives while the Provincial Government will be the implementing agency to ensure its proper implementation.

According to Pancho B. Reyes, the Provincial Government Focal Person on OPPAP Livelihood Program, the MOA gave birth to people’s organization of former CPLA members in three municipalities of the Province and among them is the MPO of Paracelis.

Other organizations are the Pechen and Riverside People’s Organizations in Sadanga and Malinawa People’s Organization of Natonin. These organizations are now self-sustaining, but are still under the auspices of the OPPAP as far as strengthening and enhancement of the organizations is concerned.

Last May 8, Joey L. Olpindo  of the OPPAP Peace Accords Management Unit,  together with a team from the Provincial Government, conducted a site validation and inspection of proposed sites in Barangay Poblacion and Barangay Bunot in Paracelis to house the post-harvest facilities to be donated by some members of the organization after which a planning workshop for the implementation and maintenance of the facilities was also conducted on the same day.

Olpindo acknowledged the continuous efforts of the provincial government in supporting the peace initiatives in the province as he urged the recipients to value the assistance from the government in line with finding true solutions that focuses on the well-being of the people.

Reyes reminded the recipients on the provisions of the MOA that was signed earlier between the Provincial Government and the MPO stipulating 60% of the organization’s income to cover the maintenance of the facilities while the 40% is for the sustainability of the organization.

After the validation exercise, the provincial government will now submit the availability of lots to OPPAP and wait for the agency’s go-signal for the procurement of the farm equipment and facilities, after which equipment will be installed.

“We hope to turn over the facilities to the beneficiaries before the end of the third quarter of the calendar year,” Reyes said.

As to the updates on the other organizations, the members of the Pechen and Riverside People’s Organizations in Sadanga recently undergo a needs assessment seminar in Baguio City while the Malinawa People’s Organization of Natonin is involved in small enterprises.

Meanwhile, Governor Bonifacio C. Lacwasan, Jr., is thankful for the livelihood project from the OPPAP and he is hopeful this initiative will bring more opportunity for the organization’s members to augment their income.

“The provincial government supports the peace-promoting programs of the national government, especially in providing opportunities for the marginalized sector to improve their economic status,” he said.

By Erwin S. Batnag

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