‘Planning in a conflict area requires a different approach’— USec. Panadero

USec. Austere Panadero (L) during the recent GIZ-COSERAM National Steering Committee (NSC) meeting in Davao City. (Photo by Elmo dela Cruz)

QUEZON City, PH — “Planning in a conflict area requires a different approach,” said Undersecretary for Local Government Austere Panadero of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) in a cordial meeting with Assistant Secretary for Peace Policy and Programs Rolando Asuncion of the Office of the Presidential Adviser for the Peace Process (OPAPP) and Dr. Herwig Mayer, chief adviser of the Conflict Sensitive Resource and Asset Management (COSERAM) Program of the GIZ, which was held at the DILG central office here last June 21, 2018.

OPAPP ASec. Rolando Asuncion during the 2017 Peace Month press conference in Butuan City. (Photo by PIA Caraga)

Both senior government officials expressed appreciation of the support of GIZ and noted the accomplishment of the COSERAM Program. Together, they agreed on the distinctive method and approach by which local planning must proceed in conflict prone and vulnerable areas. ASec Asuncion of OPAPP shared that Conflict Sensitivity and Peace Promotion (CSPP) will be used for barangay planning in Marawi and for municipalities in other conflict areas. USec Panadero opined that CSPP is very much relevant in conflict context and the insights of GIZ-COSERAM, drawn from ground realities, should be helpful for DILG as it is committed to fast track implementation of CSPP plans. For this, ASec Asuncion assured that OPAPP will provide the list of conflict areas.

The meeting was conducted for the purpose of informing the government partners of the developed CSPP modules and session guides, to having a soft launch of the CSPP training materials and preparation for the issuance of relevant policy for CSPP mainstreaming.

During the meeting, Mr. Herville V. Pajaron, senior adviser for Land and Resource Management of GIZ-COSERAM Program, presented its unique experience in mainstreaming CSPP in the preparation of the land use and development plans of the local governments. He described the knowledge and learning of the COSERAM program from the experiences gained from the various works and engagements with several local governments in Caraga region, most notably, the Agusan del Norte province. Dr. Mayer, for his part, shared the need for local planners to become effective planning facilitators. He also pointed out the value of providing the space for the marginalized sectors especially the Indigenous Peoples, women, youth and children to enable them articulate their concerns and interests.

There was common observation and agreement that some crucial steps of the CSPP planning process should be given important consideration and emphasis by focusing on local situation analysis as critical foundation in identifying the appropriate interventions (programs, projects, activities) in a programmatic manner, which are then reflected into local budgets.

The meeting, which was also attended by Jenifer Galorport and Jedd Castillo, division chief and staff, respectively, of the Bureau of Local Government Development (BLGD) of DILG, and Mr. Rehuel Estonilo of the Peace Policy Unit of OPAPP, proved to be productive with the commitment of DILG and OPAPP to promote and implement the CSPP planning methods and tools for the local governments in conflict affected areas.

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