Gen. Chan receives
support from SIPPAD stakeholders
By EMY C. BONIFACIO,
CATBALOGAN CITY –
The Samar Island Partnership for Peace and Development (SIPPAD) on its
17th assembly held yesterday at Saint Mary's College, expressed an
all-out support to MGen Mario F. Chan's vision and thrust to arrest
the insurgency problem in his area of responsibility by building road
"I am not convinced
that we can win this war by the conduct of offensive operations.
Please join us in our effort to interconnect the three provinces
through the construction of circumferential and radial roads which is
expected to boost the economic development within the area." says Chan
during his first attendance in the SIPPAD forum.
According to Chan, the
roads will facilitate the easy transport of agricultural products of
farmers coming from the rural areas. It would also invite more
investors to come and visit the tourism potentials of
Samar which, he said, is far better than those in
Bohol and Cebu.
In a brief power point
presentation, the 8ID Commanding General toured the SIPPAD attendees
to the various areas that need immediate road construction and
rehabilitation in the three provinces. Included in the presentation
were actual footages of the status of roads and updates of on-going
road constructions which were surveyed by the 8ID team, headed by the
Chan assured the group
of positive support from the governors, congressmen, DPWH and the
Department of National Defense in the pursuit of these road networks.
Coordination meetings have already been facilitated. He even gladly
informed about its favorable endorsement made by the Regional
Development Council to the NEDA when the same proposal was presented a
In a statement of
support, a parish priest from Borongan attested that projects are
better accomplished, in so far as quality is concerned, when it's
being undertaken by the military under its Engineering Battalions.
Chan is decisive in
pursuing these road networks despite being criticized by the NDF-EV as
the "road to war". This, he said, is understandable because people who
have been deceived by their propaganda will now be open to the
realities and opportunities of a better life outside their reins.
"These roads will
hasten development and will end the lingering poverty in Samar" Chan
Given priority is the
Gandara-Matuguinao road which he projects to be passable by September
and the on-going construction of the San Jose de Buan road.
A resolution to this
effect has been favorably considered by the SIPPAD assembly.
Chan was commended and
was accorded a unanimous applause that signified an all-out support
from the three (3) bishops and the stakeholders for the effort.
Likewise, he was congratulated for making the 8ID under his leadership
on top of all the other Infantry Divisions of the Philippine Army
nationwide for its performance.
The commanding General
expressed his commitment to make
Samar as one of
the country's best tourist haven in the world.
The SIPPAD is an
island-wide, multi-sectoral assembly that is being held quarterly and
whose deliberations focus on poverty alleviation, good governance,
environment and peace and security. The Dioceses of Calbayog, Catarman
and Borongan take turns in the hosting of the said forum.
During the assemblies,
reports and updates on the above mentioned thematic concerns are
Invited in the 17th
forum were personnel from the Office of the Presidential Adviser on
the Peace Process (OPAPP). They discussed programs for the rebel
returnees and strategies to reintegrate these returnees to the
The Samar Partnership
for Peace and Development (SPPADE) gave an overview of the newly
launched anti-corruption group, Multi-sectoral
for Transparency and Accountability (MATA-Samar); mining and quarrying
issues affecting the environment and the outputs of the Tripartite
Samar Development Agenda Conference. Fr. Cesar Aculan and Ms. Emy
Bonifacio shared in the presentation.
Moreover, the Northern
Samar Peace and Development Forum (NSPDF) and the Eastern Samar Peace
Development Forum (ESPDF) narrated the various activities that were
conducted on their respective levels.
Dr. Jimmy Sanico and
Mr. Agustin Docena, members of the SIBF, gave an update on the status
of the Samar Island Natural Park Bill which has been pending at the
House of the Representatives since the 12th congress. However, it was
learned that in a Committee Hearing held last June 8, the bill was
approved. Considering the long process that it still has to undergo
before approval, the assembly passed a resolution to personally
deliver letters to the congressmen requesting for their support. The
letters will be signed by the three Bishops.
The assembly was
participated by at least 70 stakeholders. Also in attendance were
Most. Rev. Bishop Isabelo Abarquez of Calbayog, Most Rev. Bishop
Emmanuel Trance of Catarman and Most Rev. Crispin Varquez of Borongan.
The next SIPPAD
meeting, which will be accommodated by the 8th Infantry Division,
Philippine Army, is scheduled on September, this year.