MANILA – All agencies of the national government are closely working together to ensure that communities can have programs and services that will usher development and peace, Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar said on Wednesday.
During the Network Briefing News, Andanar offered to help the local government unit (LGU) of Siaton, Negros Oriental in endorsing to the national government its projects dedicated to conflict-afflicted areas.
Siaton Mayor Cezanne Fritz H. Diaz has sought the help of the PCOO chief, noting that some of its barangays have not received any infrastructure programs, such as farm-to-market roads, which make it difficult for farmers there to have decent incomes.
“Nakita ko naman dun yung mga taga-bundok dito they are very hardworking pero kung mag-ani sila ng mga mais nila at magpa-mill, lugi sila kasi sa transportasyon pa lang ng habal-habal, talo na sila. Kasi around 5 hours ang pagbaba nila (I've seen how hardworking people from the hinterlands are, but come harvest time for corn and they mill their produce, they already lose potential income to costly transportation expenses alone. They have to travel 5 hours in motorcycles),” he said.
Diaz also said creating roads leading to far-flung communities would mean more access to transport goods and products from farms.
“Hoping yung mga tao dito kasi for many years, hindi pa nakatikim ng daan na matino. They are using horses. Kaya ‘pag may doktrina yung NPA doon, eh syempre totoo yung sinasabi ng NPA kasi hindi naman umaabot yung gobyerno doon (The people here are hoping because for many years we do not have concrete roads there They are using horses. That is why there is NPA presence there, and they can say that government presence is not felt there),” he added, noting that the LGU is also trying its best to deliver services to its constituents.
Andanar read a text message by Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Undersecretary Marlo Iringan responding to the request of Diaz.
“For 2021, walang beneficiary barangay sa Siaton, Negros Oriental. Actually, there are no beneficiary barangays in all of Region 7. But for 2022 SBDP (Support to Barangay Development Program), there are three proposed barangays in Siaton to be covered namely Barangay Tayak, [Barangay] Apoloy, and Barangay Mantiquil,” the message read.
Andanar offered to lend the local government a hand by following up with other concerned agencies where they can direct their requests.