LGUs to tackle local peace efforts in Davao confab
DAVAO CITY –Local governments around the country will discuss in a conference peace process initiatives from their areas this week in an effort to assess capacity and needs for assistance, the Local Government Support Program for the ARMM said in a press release Monday.
Mayors and key officials of around 20 local government units around the country will attend the conference on LGU experiences in peace building work on March 14 to15 at the Marco Polo here.
The LGSPA statement said LGUs have peace-oriented activities such as providing emergency assistance to the displaced, handling local peace and order issues, cooperating with the security forces, resolving local conflicts, among others.
Other LGUs, the statement said, have also concerned themselves with conflict resolution using traditional mechanisms and processes such as in Upi and Barira towns, both in Maguindanao.
Canadian government funded-LGSPA, which organized the conference, said they aimed to profile local government’s current initiatives in peace work and their impact on addressing violent conflicts.
The conference is also intended to identify local successes in peace work and the benefits to communities, parties in conflict and LGUs; to assess the policy environment and determine gaps with respect to LGU involvement in peace; and to describe the range of assistance provided to LGUs in their peace work.
Cindy Fair, LGSPA field program manager, said Local governments are critical actors in peace building because often, in situations of armed conflicts, the responsibility for rebuilding and reconstruction falls on them.
Upi, Maguindanao mayor Ramon Piang Sr. and Barira, Shariff Kabunsuan mayor Alex Tomawis will discuss their practices in “Harmonizing Traditional and Legally-Mandated Mechanisms in Conflict Resolution “.
Lawyer Randolph Parcasio, former MNLF legal counsel, will also provide inputs.
Mayor Raida Maglangit of Kapatagan, Lanao del Sur will present “Supporting Peace Zones and Peace and Development Communities”.
Cutin Idtug, Ilian, Matalam, North Cotabato village chief will share experiences in conflict-sensitive and peace-promotive local development planning.
Ilian in Matalam is among 229 PDCs or Peace and Development Community around Mindanao, which are conflict-affected or conflict-vulnerable communities that are now engaged in interventions to transform social and economic conditions in their areas with the help of partners.
Lawyer Mary Ann Arnado of the Initiatives for International Dialogue will discuss efforts to support the peace talks and the ceasefire agreement.
OPAPP Undersecretary Nabil Tan will present “Imperatives of Peace Work, Human Security and the Six Paths to Peace” in his keynote speech. DILG Assistant Secretary Austere Panadero is also expected to attend.
Participants will take part in a workshop to gauge the benefits and gains of LGU successes in peacebuilding work, including a review of “what works and what does not” and on policy environment and measures that are needed.
The conference is organized with the help of GoP-UN ACT for Peace Programme, Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Peace Process (OPAPP), Conflict Prevention and Peacebuilding Program, and National Democratic Institute. (Walter I. Balane/MindaNews)