The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) –Region 13, being the Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC) Secretariat, with the technical and financial support from the GIZ-COSERAM  primed the key stakeholders of the identified Peace and Development Zones (PDZs) through the conduct of a planning workshop, titled “Stocktaking Facts and Figures of Peace and Development Zones (PDZs): Operational Planning”, which was held on August 23-24, 2018 in Balanghai Hotel and Convention Center, Butuan City.

The activity was officially opened by Dr. Herwig Mayer, Chief Adviser of GIZ-COSERAM. It was attended by the concerned Local Chief Executives or their authorized representative, Local Planning Coordinators, Punong Barangays and the DILG Field Officers.

Said activity was conducted to ensure that key actors in the identified PDZs are involved in crafting their PDZ Operational Plan such that they are able to clarify and agree on their roles and functions in establishing the PDZ as well as consolidate the current facts and figures in terms of numbers of involved province, municipalities and barangays, taking stock on their perspective towards building and strengthening inter-local cooperation for peace and development in the PDZs.

As emphasized by the DILG City Director of Butuan, Ms. Charissa Guerta, the PDZ is neither a program nor a project, it is rather an initiative for peace promoting process that will led sustainable development in the conflict-affected areas. Establishing PDZs is generally un-structured; however, there are determined phases that will serve as guide for the processes, which are expected to be different from one PDZ to another, depending on their context.

The PDZ processes are expected to build trust and confidence in the Philippine government and a platform to empower the community because it is the people who are experts in understanding their own problems and the solutions to these problems. Nevertheless, the local governments should be on-board since they are in the forefront of understanding the situation and the people in their respective localities as well as in harnessing its resources and the existing platforms such as the Liga ng mga Barangays and the like.

By LGOO V Marilou Autor-Salado

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