CATARMAN N. Samar — “There is a reason for Northern Samar to celebrate and observe Peace Consciousness Month,” said Ms. Emy Bonifacio, Area Coordinator of the Office of Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) in a PIA radio interview.

Northern Samar has been a recipient of government programs and projects particularly on roads and bridges in response to the clamor as one of the ways to end the local insurgency.

OPAPP through the PAyapa at MAsaganang PamaYAnan (PAMANA) funded the province’s more than P2 billion budget for roads and bridges in various areas covered under the program since it started in 2011. There were 18 projects, nine of which are already completed, seven on-going with two projects to start yet.

Successful implementation is credited to the provincial government’s support through the Provincial PAMANA Management Team and the efforts of the civil society organization through a Third Party Monitor ensuring transparency and that, projects will really serve its purpose.

“Gains were already felt with the construction of farm-to-market roads where product transport became easier and shorter in time.  Before, it took seven to eight hours to travel by foot to Silvino Lubos and now it only takes an hour for all types of vehicles in reaching the capital town,” said Ms. Bonifacio.

Basic social services can now be availed of by those residing in the far-flung areas and access to government interventions mostly in conflict-affected areas can now be addressed easily.

“Concreted road networks will not only boost economic development but more importantly inspire and encourage rebels to abandon the armed struggle and return to the folds of the law with the government’s assurance of livelihood assistance and safe, secure, and peaceful living, “Bonifacio said. (ADiaz/PIA N. Samar)