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OPAPRU, BARMM lead turnover of rural health units in MILF camps; conducts medical caravan and Philhealth registration

CAMP RAJAMUDA, PIKIT, NORTH COTABATO (16 FEBRUARY 2024) — In a bid to bolster healthcare services in underserved communities, the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation, and Unity through the Government of the Philippines (GPH) Task Force for Decommissioned Combatants and their Communities (TFDCC), together with the the Department of Health (DOH), and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao-Ministry of Health (BARMM-MOH), spearheaded the ceremonial turnover of rural health units with birthing facilities in the six camps of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), a medical caravan, and PhilHealth registration here.

The event, participated in by government officials, healthcare professionals, and community leaders, showcased the concerted efforts of the national and Bangsamoro governments to address the healthcare needs of residents of communities within the MILF camps and neighboring areas.

Government of the Philippines Implementing Panel (GPIP) Chairman, Presidential Assistant Cesar Yano, emphasized the importance of accessible healthcare services in fostering community development and stability.

According to Yano, healthcare is a fundamental right that every citizen deserves. By providing essential medical services and facilities, “will not only improve the well-being of the people but also contribute to the overall peace and unity of the region and the nation as a whole.”

Sincere, continued commitment of the national government

The ceremonial turnover of rural health units symbolized the commitment of the government to ensure sustained healthcare access in rural communities. These five units located in Brgy. Panggao, Munai, Lanao Del Norte, Brgy. Saniag, Ampatuan, Maguindanao, Brgy. Sandab, Butig, Lanao del Sur, Brgy. Guindulungan, Maguindanao and the almost complete Brgy. Nabalawag, Barira, Maguindanao, are expected to serve as vital hubs for delivering primary healthcare services, including consultations, vaccinations, and maternal care.

For Undersecretary of Health, Field Implementation and Coordination Team – Mindanao (FICT-M), Dr. Abdullah B. Dumama, Jr. the “facility will be able to serve the people in the area more appropriately and responsibly.”

“Further I am sure, na this will be operated with utmost care and concern for the benefit of the many generations to come. Itong facility na ito ay hindi lamang magsho-showcase kundi bilang magiging legacy as a sincerity ng pamahalaan. Sinsero po ang ating gobyerno para makapagbigay ng serbisyo sa ating mga kababayan especially the Bangsamoro People,” Dumama said.

“Kami po sa Department of Health, gagawin po namin ang aming makakaya para ipaabot po sa inyo ang sapat at tamang kalidad ng serbisyong pangkalusugan para sa lahat. Wala po kaming iiwan. Lahat po tayo ay sabay-sabay na mapabuti ang serbisyong ito. Hindi po pwedeng siya lang, hindi pwedeng ako lang, kundi tayong lahat,” he added.

Dumama explained to residents that the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth), the government corporation attached to the Department of Health, is mandated to provide health insurance coverage and ensure affordable and accessible healthcare services for all Filipinos.

“Yung Philhealth na sinasabi nila, lahat po tayo ay miyembro na wala na pong kailangan bayaran pang premium dahil tayo ay Pilipino. Wala pong isang kusing na ipapalabas ang ating mga kababayan lalong-lao na po ang mga mahihirap,” he bared.

Meanwhile, TFDCC co-chair and Member of Parliament Atty. Laisa Masuhud Alamia noted that “the construction of the RHU was a product of an agreement involving the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity (OPAPRU), the Department of Health (DOH), and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao-Ministry of Health (BARMM-MOH). It contributes not only towards making health services more accessible to the community but also towards fostering peace in the Bangsamoro.”

Alamia, also stressed the importance of having a rural health unit with a birthing facility in improving local health conditions and reducing maternal and infant mortality, especially in areas that are far from hospitals like Camp Rajamuda.

Moreover, the medical caravan participated by the MOH Regional, Cotabato Regional and Medical Center, Cotabato Sanitarium and General Hospital, Integrated Provincial Health Office-Maguindanao (IPHO), IPHO Lanao, MOH Special Geographic Area (SGA), and PhilHealth brought much-needed healthcare services directly to the doorstep of residents.

With a team of healthcare professionals on board, the caravan was able to provide more than 1,000 residents with free medical services such as checkup, pre- and post-natal consultation, circumcision, and dental services, give medicines and equipment such as wheelchairs and crutches, and conducted bloodletting.

“Not the end but the beginning of continued partnership”

In addition to healthcare services, the event also facilitated the PhilHealth registration of more than 500 residents, making them qualitifed for the public health insurance benefits. This initiative aims to alleviate the financial burden for medical services and empower individuals to seek necessary healthcare without hesitation.
OPAPRU Executive Director For Bangsamoro Transformation Jordan S. Bayam, noted that the turnover of the six rural health units is “not the end but the beginning of continued partnership to ensure the delivery of quality social health services in the community here and other MILF camps where rural health units are built.”

“We will assure you that we will continue our efforts to provide healthcare and other services to the decommissioned combatants, their families and their communities. I think we are all aware that the lack of basic social services emerges [from] poverty, which in return fuels aggression. Through the provision of basic social services [and] other social economic programs and [through] political reforms we are implementing, we can finally achieve the elusive dream of peace in the Bangsamoro,’’ he noted.

Proactive approach

Local officials and community leaders expressed gratitude for the government’s unwavering support in improving healthcare access in their region. They lauded the efforts of the OPAPRU, along with its partner agencies, for their whole-of-government approach in providing healthcare and peace-building initiatives.

BTA -Member of Parliament Akmad Jack Abas Alhadj expressed his hopes for continued government support, as he reiterated the MILF’s strong commitment to help promote peace and unity in their communities.

Abas said that the collaborative efforts between government agencies, healthcare professionals, and local communities are helping to significantly improve the provision of health services to residents in the six-acknowledged MIF camps and neighboring areas.

Also present during the activity where Minister Rizaldy Piang of the Ministry of Health- BARMM; Lt. Gen. Danilo Pamonag, co-chair of GPH-JTFCT OPAPRU; Director Ishmael Bahjin of the SDU-TFDCC; OPAPRU Director Farrah Grace Naparan, Head, Secretariat of the GPIP-MILF Peace Process; MP Dr. Kadil Jojo Sinolinding; IPHO Maguimdanao Dr. Bagundaali; and Sanitarium Hospital Chief Dr. Ebrahim Pangato Jr. and Dr. Norodin Salam. ###

By |2024-02-22T15:48:49+08:00February 20th, 2024|MILF, News|0 Comments

First-ever peace and development center in Northern Luzon to rise in Baguio City

BAGUIO CITY– Presidential Peace Adviser Sec. Carlito G. Galvez, Jr. and Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong led the groundbreaking ceremony and the signing of the memorandum of agreement for the construction of the first ever Peace Center in Northern Luzon on Friday, February 16.

The Php 50 million peace and development center, which will be built at the Upper Session Road, this city, will house Cordillera-based Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity (OPAPRU) personnel.

The facility will also serve as a peace knowledge and learning center in the city, as well as a convention center where meetings and seminars can be held.

From casual talks to realization

According to Mayor Magalong, the idea of establishing a peace center in the city started during a casual talk with Secretary Galvez at an event in the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) in September last year.

“Sec. Galvez and I have been together for a while, especially during the run of the National Task Force on COVID-19 where he was the vaccine czar while I was the lead in the nationwide contact tracing,” Magalong said.

“Sometime in September 2023 just last year, we were both guests at a PMA event. He was mentioning to me the different programs of OPAPRU and the fundings for the programs. He also mentioned the peacekeeping and reconciliation programs to which we both agreed to suggest that we can put up a peace and development center here in Baguio City.” he recalled.

PAMANA funded project

The proposed peace and development center was then included in the Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan (PAMANA) Program fund for fiscal year 2024. The successful inclusion of the project came after a site validation and assessment was made by OPAPRU personnel.

The PAMANA Program is the national government’s peace and development convergence program which forms an integral part of the Philippine comprehensive peace process.

This cross-cutting, community-driven intervention directly contributes to the implementation of the Transformation and Normalization Programs under the various peace agreements, while ensuring the sustainability of project interventions in peace and development focus areas.

To facilitate the implementation of fiscal year 2024 PAMANA projects and in recognition of the significant role of local government units in peacebuilding, the OPAPRU partnered with the city local government of Baguio for the implementation of the PAMANA project in its area jurisdiction.

“We are looking forward to a very strong partnership and collaboration with regards to this joint venture and that is, the construction of a peace and development center, the first of its kind in Northern Luzon. I also heard that there would be more peace and development centers that will be put up in other parts of this country,” Magalong said.

Recognition of Cordillera’s key role in peacebuilding

For his part, Secretary Galvez said the the peace center shall serve as a concrete symbol of OPAPRU’s recognition of the Cordillera Administrative Region’s “key role in peacebuilding that is deeply rooted in its rich culture and traditions such as the Bodong system, Pechen, Tung-Tong and Mediation.”

“This facility will not only house OPAPRU personnel, but more importantly, enable our office to make its presence more felt here in the region. Through the center, we will ensure that all local peace and development efforts will be well-monitored, well-coordinated and well-supported by OPAPRU through its close collaboration with other stakeholders in the region,” Galvez said.

He added that the physical presence of OPAPRU in the city will also help increase the people’s awareness of the agency, which is dedicated to promoting peace, conflict resolution, reconciliation, and the prevention of violence in the region.

The center, which has a 3,775 sqm floor area, will also serve as an avenue for the conduct of peace dialogues, capacity and skills training, women and youth peace and security seminars, and the practice of conflict resolution approaches that originated in the Cordillera.

Galvez was joined by LGen. Fernyl Buca, PAF, Commander of Armed Forces of the Philippines-Northern Luzon; MGen. Audrey L. Pasia, Commander of 5th Infantry Division; PAMANA Director J Anthony Peña and Dir. Christina Loren Umali of the RPA-ABB and CBA-CPLA Concerns Office. While Mayor Magalong was joined by Baguio City Vice Mayor Faustino Olowan and other councilors of the city during the ceremonial groundbreaking and MOA signing. ###

By |2024-02-22T15:48:01+08:00February 19th, 2024|CBA-CPLA, News, PAMANA|0 Comments

Peace adviser meets with Northern Luzon Command; vows to intensify the implementation of the Transformation Program for former rebels

CAMP AQUINO, TARLAC CITY — In a bid to push forward the Marcos administration’s peace and security agenda in the region, top officials of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity (OPAPRU) met with the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ brigade commanders in Northern Luzon here on Thursday, February 15, this city.

The meeting aimed to update the military regarding developments in the implementation of the Localized Peace Engagement (LPE) effort and its Transformation Program (TP), as well as the proposed establishment of Peace and Development Center mechanisms in targeted provinces in the region.

The Transformation Program is designed to complement the LPE, which is among the 12 lines of effort under the National Task Force to End Local Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) and is now considered as one of the most effective ways of dealing with the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF).

The cross-cutting program is anchored on Executive Order (EO) No. 70 series of 2018, which calls for the use of a whole-of-nation approach in addressing the challenges caused by the communist armed conflict. EO No. 70 also led to the creation of the NTF-ELCAC.

Shifting from security to peace and development

The revitalized LPE framework is intended to ensure the complete transformation of former rebels and their full integration into mainstream society. It also seeks to promote development and strengthen the resiliency of cleared communities against the recovery efforts of the communist group.

Lieutenant General Fernyl G. Buca, PAF, chief of the Northern Luzon Command, said that it is crucial for the AFP to be properly oriented on the national government’s latest peace and security interventions to ensure their effective implementation on the ground.

“It is very fitting to have this discussion now, especially that the NOLCOM is currently implementing efforts that are aimed at sustaining the government interventions for the former rebels. We are here to discuss the latest and different programs of OPAPRU and how we can collaborate to implement these programs effectively and efficiently,” Buca said.

In his remarks during the gathering, Presidential Peace Adviser Secretary Carlito G. Galvez, Jr. said it is essential to further intensify peace and development efforts in Northern Luzon, noting that the region is carrying out various peacebuilding initiatives such as skills training, the provision of livelihood grants to former rebels, and the establishment of a Peace and Development Center in Baguio City.

“We have been working closely with the security sector since last year in the roll out of the Transformation Program here in Northern Luzon,” Galvez said, as he noted that the program’s implementation is already gaining major headway.

According to the peace adviser, 26 provincial government units across the country have already crafted their respective implementation plans in line with the Transformation Program.

“This cross-cutting program utilizes a whole-of-nation approach wherein all sectors are actively involved in the process. It is also a platform for the convergence of community-driven peace and development initiatives such as local peace engagements, E-CLIP and Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan or the PAMANA,” Galvez added.

AFP pledges continued support to PAMANA’s implementation

He also encouraged the Northern Luzon Command to aid the government in identifying socio-economic interventions that should be implemented in the region in order to sustain the gains of peace and help uplift lives of former rebels, their families and communities.

“We will work hard for the allotment of funds for the regions in Northern Luzon for socio-economic programs and this will be under the PAMANA program. We need the AFP’s support and commitment as we identify and implement these programs since you know exactly the concerns and needs on the ground,” Galvez said.

The OPAPRU is currently taking the lead in the implementation of the Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan Program (PAMANA) which is a priority program of the national government that supports the peace negotiation track and contributes to the goal of attaining a just and lasting peace in the country.

In particular, PAMANA aims to contribute to addressing issues of injustices and improve community access to socio-economic interventions; improve governance by building the capacity of national government agencies and local government units for a conflict-sensitive, peace-promoting, culture-sensitive and gender-sensitive approach to human rights promotion and development; and empower communities and strengthen their capacities to address issues of conflict and peace. ###

By |2024-02-22T15:46:51+08:00February 17th, 2024|CBA-CPLA, CPP-NPA-NDF, News|0 Comments

Joint Statement of MPs Amir Mawallil and Ras Mitmug

February 22, 2024 will commemorate our five-year anniversary as members of the interim Bangsamoro Government. It has been half a decade since we pledged our commitment to serve in the Bangsamoro Transition Authority.

The strides that the Government’s peace negotiations have made, including the ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law, would not have happened if not for the stakeholders who sacrificed and dedicated their time and efforts to making this a solid reality.

One of these people is Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., whose integrity has been proven above reproach in his efforts to help us build a strong and autonomous Bangsamoro region. Sec. Charlie, as we fondly call him is an ally and a friend of the people of the Bangsamoro.

He has consistently demonstrated his sincerity in pursuing peace in Mindanao. Despite the challenges we have faced, Sec. Charlie has been a steadfast advocate for peace, tirelessly working towards the realization of our aspirations for a peaceful and prosperous Bangsamoro.

His integrity as a public servant is beyond reproach, and his sincerity in pursuing peace has never wavered.

As we commemorate the fifth anniversary of our tenure in the interim Bangsamoro Government, let us reaffirm our commitment to peace and development in Mindanao.

By |2024-02-14T08:41:41+08:00February 9th, 2024|Resources, Statements|0 Comments

Peace adviser: ‘Bagong Pilipinas,’ Marcos admin’s rallying call for greater peace progress and unity

PASIG CITY – Presidential Peace Adviser Carlito G. Galvez, Jr. has thrown his full support behind the Marcos Administration’s “Bagong Pilipinas” initiative, calling on Filipinos to rally behind the campaign that aims to bring greater peace, progress and unity to the nation. (more…)

By |2024-02-01T08:39:54+08:00January 31st, 2024|News|0 Comments

Marcos Admin lauds BARMM gov’t for ensuring greater multisectoral inclusivity in governance

DAVAO CITY – Top officials of the Marcos Administration lauded the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) leadership for ensuring greater multi-sectoral inclusivity in the region’s development and peacebuilding process. (more…)

By |2023-08-11T15:15:08+08:00August 11th, 2023|MILF, MNLF|0 Comments

GPH, MILF to fast-track implementation of Normalization Program for MILF combatants

SULTAN KUDARAT, MAGUINDANAO DEL NORTE — The Government of the Philippines (GPH) and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) are determined to fulfill the commitments they have made under the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB), which includes the decommissioning of MILF combatants. (more…)

By |2023-08-11T15:15:13+08:00August 4th, 2023|MILF, News|0 Comments

National, Bangsamoro gov’t intergovernmental relations body gains momentum under Marcos administration

PASAY CITY – The Intergovernmental Relations Body (IGRB) continues to strengthen and build on the synergy between the national and Bangsamoro governments, citing its major accomplishments under the Marcos administration. (more…)

By |2023-08-11T15:15:17+08:00July 29th, 2023|News|0 Comments

Local, int’l peace partners very happy with President’s SONA, says chief peace adviser

PASAY CITY – Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity Secretary Carlito G. Galvez, Jr. shared during the 2023 Post-State of the Nation Address (SONA) Discussions that “most of our peace partners are very happy particularly when [the President] announced the proclamation of amnesty.”


By |2023-08-11T15:15:23+08:00July 27th, 2023|NAC, News, OPAPRU|0 Comments
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