Integration of the Peace Building and Development Approach
into the Local Governments of the Philippines
Armed conflicts that have taken place in the Philippines in the last fifty years have had a very negative effect on the lives of the Filipinos, causing loss of human lives, serious interruptions of economic and social activities and the inability of vulnerable groups to access basic resources. Among them the indigenous peoples. Given this reality, the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) committed in 2010 to the new peace initiatives of the Philippine Government, running a pilot project with the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) in the Province of Sorsogon (Bicol), whose objective was to create a model for the construction of a culture of peace and participatory development that could be replicable in other conflict-stricken areas in the country.
With this experience, the AECID undertook from 2011 to 2017 a multi-year project with OPAPP with the aim of contributing to the development of peace in the Philippines through institutional strengthening, both national and local, and the empowerment of civil society. The Integration of the Peacebuilding and Development in Local Government of the Philippines project was framed within the Government’s national strategic plan for peace and development, known as PAMANA. The objectives of this strategy were to improve local governance, community empowerment and poverty reduction through sustainable rural development, community infrastructure and basic social services.
Under the premise that development is the best contribution to peace, OPAPP and AECID agreed in 2016 to start a new project with the objective of consolidating the benefits of peace in communities affected by armed conflicts in the Philippines. This project will start at the end of 2017.Read the next fact sheet
The Integration of the Peacebuilding and Development in Local Government of the Philippines project focused on a first stage in improving the capacities of local governments to prevent and manage conflicts and promote inclusive local development. As an added value, a team of consultants from Escola de Cultura de Pau (ECP) of the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UNESCO Chair) developed a system for monitoring and evaluating projects executed under the PAMANA program by civil society organizations (Third Party Livelihoods Monitoring System).
It is worth highlighting the two high-level visits of the OPAPP to Spain in 2012 and 2014 led by the then Presidential Adviser for the Peace Process, Ms. Teresita Deles, whose main objective was to learn about the Spanish autonomous model and exchange lessons learned in the process. political and territorial organization of the State, decentralization and local administration (on the previous page, photo of the delegation’s visit to the Congress of Deputies in Madrid).
Another important component of the project has been the improvement of community social and productive infrastructures through the identification of small infrastructure projects or the generation of livelihoods in areas affected by conflicts. Among others, the manufacture and delivery of 200 artisanal fishing boats (benches), fishing nets and equipment has been financed in 6 municipalities of the Island of Samar affected by the conflict with the Communist guerrilla New People’s Army (NPA), which also they had been severely damaged by the super Typhoon Haiyan in November 2013. Among the project’s activities is also the rehabilitation of a public market in Lanao del Sur for communities affected by the conflict with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). On the other hand, 10 communities on the island of Sulu affected by the conflict with the Moro National Liberation Front (FNLF) were beneficiaries of the delivery of 20 motorized fishing boats and their equipment, as well as algae production projects for 350 families.
As a continuation of this project, a new intervention called Inclusive development for all has been launched between OPAPP and AECID: Consolidating the benefits of peace in the communities affected by armed conflicts in the Philippines. Its objectives are to contribute to the improvement of the quality of life of the members of the community, promote the increase of the obtaining of rents and the strengthening of the local and national public institutions.