PIKIT, North Cotabato—The Department of Social Welfare and Development in Region XII has completed a total of P27.7 million pesos of various community peace projects in Pikit, North Cotabato, an agency official said Tuesday.

Gemma N. Rivera, DSWD-12 assistant regional director said that the completed projects are now benefited by 17, 319 households in the different villages of Pikit, a conflict-affected town in the region.

Completed projects include community and peace learning centers, water systems, pre and post-harvest facilities including solar drier, off-hand tractor with trailer, rice thresher and miller, corn sheller and others.

 “These community projects were identified and considered as the most pressing needs of different villages of the town,” Rivera said.

The projects, according to Rivera, go beyond infrastructures since the process itself fosters peaceful relations between and among communities and addresses the root of conflict.

The projects were realized in partnership of DSWD through one of the agency’s poverty-reduction programs, Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-A Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Services (Kalahi-CIDSS), the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPPAP) through Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan or Peaceful and Resilient Communities (PAMANA) Program, and the local government unit of Pikit

PAMANA is the government’s flagship peace and development framework to strengthen peacebuilding, reconstruction and development in conflict affected and vulnerable areas that is in line with the goal of putting a permanent and just closure to internal armed conflicts of the country.

Known as Kalahi-CIDSS-PAMANA project, it employs the community-driven development strategy, where peace and development priorities are addressed in a participatory, collective and inclusive decision-making process. ### (Hilbert T. Estacion, DSWD-12)