Conflict-inflictive Paquibato district is notably coping up with the city’s development through close collaboration of the city government and the military forces with Peace 911.
The Peace 911 program was an initiative of Mayor Sara Duterte to bring development in the hinterlands of the city affected by insurgents.
Under the Peace 911 program, the 13 barangays of Paquibato District and a barangay in Calinan District are given projects that support economic and socio-cultural development.
Prior to the implementation of Peace 911 program, development in the area stalled due to its far proximity from the city and the heavy presence of insurgents. With the current program, basic services from different government agencies are now accessible to the identified barangays.
Services include health, education, infrastructure, and agriculture, among others.
Currently, through the Peace 911, telecommunications is also boosted. Globe Telecommunications Inc. has already identified sites for the construction of relay towers. Smart Communications is also expected to establish its own relay towers.
“We didn’t lack in reminding them that we (Philippine Army) are the bridge of the services from the government,” said Lt. Col. Rey Pasco, commanding officer of the Philippine Army’s 16th Infantry Battalion during the I-speak forum held yesterday at the City Hall.
Before Peace 911, the military forces assigned in the area were feared by the locals due to reported abuse of power.
“With the effort of Peace 911, we have regained the trust of the public,” said Col. Luciano Caiman, the commanding officer of the 89th IB, during the same forum.
“It’s good that we have this kind of Philippine Army on the ground who can deliver services without generating fear among the public,” said Peace 911 Focal Person Atty. Elisa Lapiña in the same forum.
Since December 2017, the Peace 911 effort has led to the surrender of 22 rebels, most of them young adults.
Lapiña said the construction of the Colosas Bridge, which has been pending for three years, is set for turnover this September.
Foreign and local investors also expressed interest to put up projects, particularly agricultural, in the area.
Lapiña however called the investors, contractors, and those who are interested in building projects in the area “to observe the area first for a shared agreement” with the community.