127 BDP projects now underway as PLGU Davao de Oro strengthens peacebuilding interventions

DAVAO DE ORO — Eleven pre-construction conferences were held across four municipalities within the first week of August 2021 in Davao de Oro, a pre-requisite to commence the construction of Barangay Development Program (BDP) projects in benefitting Geographically Isolated and Disadvantaged Areas (GIDA). Led by the Provincial Government in partnership with Barangay Local Government Units (BLGU), the conferences were held in Barangay Masara, Calabcab, Gubatan, Libay-libay, Sangab, New Asturias, and Magangit in Maco; Barangay Manurigao in New Bataan; Barangay Cabuyuan in Mabini; and Barangay Datu Davao and Kapatagan in Laak.

Sitio electrification projects, the improvement of health centers, and the construction of schools, potable water systems, health stations, and evacuation centers comprise eleven of the new BDP Projects that will be constructed in the benefitting barangays in the coming months; all atop the TESDA-led trainings and road construction and rehabilitation projects that were already commenced in some of the barangays in the past months. As of today, there are more than a hundred ongoing projects in Davao de Oro under the Barangay Development Program.

The mentioned beneficiary barangays used to be “unreachable” not only due to the threats posed by communist insurgents, but also because of incredible road difficulties and underdevelopment. These factors, among many others, greatly hamper the delivery of government services and projects thus contributing further to the strengthening of insurgency. But with intensified peacebuilding interventions under the leadership of Governor Jayvee Tyron Uy, the Provincial Local Government Unit (PLGU) of Davao de Oro through partnerships with national government agencies, was able to combine and mobilize resources to prioritize the development of conflict-affected GIDA communities which led to drastic improvements in the province’s peace and order situation.

For instance, only one guerilla front is left out of the eleven that were identified in Davao de Oro in 2016. In addition, from Gov. Tyron Uy’s first term as provincial governor to the present, 800 out of 900 rebels have already returned to the folds of law, with most of them already given financial assistance and livelihood opportunities through Oplan Pagbabago, the PLGU’s flagship peace-and-security-building program for former rebels and conflict-affected GIDA communities. The Core Group of the said program also recently conducted a meeting at the Provincial Capitol to discuss plans on further strengthening People’s Organizations (PO) that were organized in Oplan Pagbabago priority areas by turning them into sustainable livelihood micro-enterprises. At present, there are already two POs that are into aquaculture, livestock, and cacao production among others.

The effective reduction of fear and insurgency-induced risks in the province have also cultured an enabling environment for development which attracted investors and businesses to open in the province. This generated plenty of opportunities for the people and in turn helped the economy of conflict-affected areas through the establishment of agriculture and tourism-based Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).

The pre-construction conferences are yet another step to fulfill the PLGU’s overarching goal to sustain the peace that has been built in the province.

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