DA, OPAPP complete P3.3-M PAMANA project in Sorsogon

By Connie Calipay

October 3, 2017, 3:10 pm

LEGAZPI CITY -- The Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP), has completed the PHP3.3-million tramline project designed to spur countryside development in a remote and insurgency vulnerable village in Irosin town, Sorsogon province.

In a phone interview Tuesday, Emily Bordado, Chief Information Officer of the Department of Agriculture (DA) Regional Field Office 5, said the DA and OPAPP turned over recently the 1.7-kilometer Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan (PAMANA) funded tramline located in Barangay Cawayan, an upland and inaccessible area bounded by mountains.

"The longest tramline starts from the mountainous area of Barangay Cawayan and ends at the beautiful Irosin Eco Zoo Park in Barangay Patag," Bordado said.

OPAPP Secretary Jesus Dureza, in his message, said: “We cannot win the war unless we address the root cause,” as he led the inauguration and turnover ceremony here.
Dureza emphasized the importance of peace and order in every community.

“We must learn from the lessons of what is happening in other areas like in Marawi. “What’s the use of this beautiful eco park if the people are apprehensive because of the armed men? Any kind of development will be useless if there is a problem with security", Dureza pointed out.”
Dureza added the tramline is proof of President Duterte’s concern for the Filipinos.

“In every peace negotiations, the government also offers some interventions to improve the livelihood of the people. This is the role of PAMANA - without PAMANA, the people will be left out in the peace negotiation.” Dureza added.

OPAPP in cooperation with national government agencies such as the DA and local government units seeks to address issues affecting the peace process through security, justice and development interventions in conflict-affected and vulnerable areas.

Irosin Mayor Alfredo Cielo Jr. said the project of the DA and OPAPP serves to divert the attention of the people from rebellion and encourage them to cooperate with the government.

Municipal Agriculturist Nimfa Ferolino said the tramline would benefit upland farmers cultivating various crops in Barangay Cawayan. A total of 475.11 hectares in the barangay is planted to abaca, 176 hectares is devoted to coconut, and some 12 hectares with vegetables, bananas, pili and other fruit trees.

"Before the construction of the tramline, farmers in Barangay Cawayan endured three hours of hiking in the 4.6-kilometer narrow trail leading down to the national road in Barangay Patag. Frequent rains make the road muddy and slippery. Hauling of agricultural products such as coconut, abaca, pili and banana was very difficult for the farmers and the products also deteriorate fast from the long trek," Ferolino said.

Romeo Balderama Jr., president of Cawayan Farmers Association, said the travel time from Cawayan to Barangay Patag was reduced to only 25 minutes. All its 52 members, 39 of whom are women farmers and 13 men are very happy with the completion of tramline.

Matagal na po naming ipinagdarasal na magkaroon ng sagot sa matagal na naming problema sa transportasyon. Ngayon po ay mas marami na ang magtatanim dahil hindi na mahirap ang pagdadala ng aming mga produkto sa bayan. (We have been praying for a solution to our problem in transportation. Now, more people will plant crops because the transport of our produce to the town will now be easy.,” said the farmers. (PNA)