MANILA – The quick passage of the PHP7-billion "peace investment budget" reflects the House of Representatives' (HOR) genuine support for the peace process, the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity (OPAPRU) said Thursday.
OPAPRU Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said this was one of the swiftest approvals during the resumption of the plenary deliberations on the proposed 2024 budget of various government agencies on Tuesday.
“The non-objection of the HOR to the OPAPRU’s budget speaks volumes. It reflects the genuine and unwavering support of Congress to the peace investment under the Marcos administration. These projects will be life-changing for the former rebels, their families, and conflict-prone communities as we head towards a Bagong Pilipinas,” he said in a statement.
Galvez was not interpellated nor questioned during the budget deliberation, which lasted only two minutes.
Negros Occidental (6th District) Rep. Mercedes Alvarez, sponsor of the OPAPRU’s proposed budget, reaffirmed Congress’ continued and full support to the country’s comprehensive peace process.
Galvez said the budget would be used to fund transformation, rehabilitation and socio-economic programs that aim to uplift the lives of former rebels, their families, and their communities across the country.
“President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. believes that the sustainability and effectiveness of peacebuilding initiatives will be crucial in addressing pressing peace and security concerns affecting the country. As the President has stated, ‘We cannot afford to go back to square one,’” the OPAPRU chief added.
Galvez thanked House Speaker Martin Romualdez, House Majority leader Rep. Manuel Jose Dalipe and Minority leader Rep. Marcelino Libanan for their steadfast commitment to the peace process.
He also thanked Basilan Rep. Mujiv Hataman, Rep. Joseph Stephen Paduano of the Abang-Lingkod partylist and Rep. Joey Salceda of the 2nd district of Albay for supporting the approval of the OPAPRU's budget, and for championing peace in Congress and in their respective provinces. (PNA)