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Camp General Artemio Ricarte, Puerto Princesa City —  As one of the highlights of its 79th Founding Anniversary, the Armed Forces of the Philippines through its Vice Chief of Staff and the Commander of Western Command will personally present the Bayanihan Award 2014 to the Governor of the Province of Palawan on December 23, 7 ‘o clock in the morning at the Provincial Capitol.

Recognizing the noble efforts of the Honorable Jose Chaves Alvares, the Chief of Staff has sent over LtGen Bonafos to personally express gratitude and to present the Bayanihan Award 2014 to the incumbent governor of the Province of Palawan who has strived to achieve good governance in order to provide quality social services to local constituents that address poverty, health and other social issues, that are consideres to be the backbone of instability and peace and order problems in his jurisdiction.

In a simple ceremony, the AFP will recognize Governor Alvarez’ valuable efforts that resulted to the following services: a total investment of PhP 43,073.219 subdivided into 1,390.77 km construction for roadsdevelopment program; Construction of 45 units bridges with a total length of 1,187 linear meter; Construction of 35 units spillways with a total length of 1,086 linear meter; Construction of port facilities in Agutaya, Bataraza, Busuanga, Dumaran, El Nido (2), Magsaysay, Buliluyan Island and Coron municipalities; Construction of three (3) units of Airports in Agutaya, Araceli and Brooke’s Point to include the improvement of Cagayancillo airport; Construction of 154 level three systems in fourteen (14) municipalities for water systems development program; Village electrification program in different municipalities and power generation program in isolated communities for the power facilities development program.

Included also is the organized Inter-agency Health Protocol facilitated by the Command that resulted to the Signing and Launching of the Provincial Rescue 165 on 18 June 2014 at the Palawan Provincial Capitol, PPC, Palawan.

Aside from these, Governor Alvarez also led the construction of 704 classrooms province-wide with a total of 17, 000 scholars province-wide under the “Programang Pang-edukasyon para sa Palaweño”; Construction/upgrading of 49 hospital equipment in twelve (12) hospitals province-wide and construction/upgrading of 18 units RHUs; Construction/upgrading of 105 units province-wide for day care facilities development program; Construction/upgrading of 88 units provincewide for evacuation centers and multi-purpose facilities development program; Pre and post harvest facilities in Aborlan, Araceli, Brooke;s Point, Busuanga, Espanola and San Vicente for agriculture facilities development program; Construction of tourism facilities in eleven (11) sites province-wide for tourism and development program.

“Since 2013, Governor Alvarez has been a strong partner of Western Command in pursuing peace and development programs, especially in the launching of the Local Social Integration Program that has so far catered to a number of former NPA rebels who returned to the fold of the law and mainstream society,” Vice Admiral Lopez recounts.

The Provincial Government of Palawan has strongly supported WESCOM’s Local Social Integration Program (LSIP) to assist in the rehabilitation and reintegration of rebel returnees of former NPA in the AOR who returned to the fold of the law and mainstream society. From 2013 to date, a total of thirteen (13) rebel returnees have availed the benefits of the program (AFP/PNP held returnees) and an additional of three (3) rebel returnees are being facilitated to avail benefits from LSIP. For this program alone, the Provincial Government of Palawan has committed and allotted a total of ten million pesos for its implementation.

“The said program has reduced the strength of the said group into insignificance which led to the signing of the joint manifesto declaring Palawan as a Zone of Sustained Peace, Proseperity and Development and conflict-manageable area,” Vice Admiral Lopez added, referring to the Provincial Government of Palawan’s efforts in taking the lead in the promotion and maintenance of peace and security through a multi-stakeholders approach that resulted to the Signing of the Joint Manifesto on 30 June 2014 at the Palawan Provincial Capitol, PPC, Palawan.

The WESCOM Commander also noted of the commitment of Governor Alvarez in supporting Bayanihan efforts in the West Philippine Sea.

Every year, the Armed Forces of the Philippines has been giving due recognition to peace partners who have contributed to the successes and gains of the Internal Peace and Security Plan “Bayanihan” as an instrument to winning peace in the whole country. Outlined in the IPSP is the new strategic direction in the performance of the constitutional mandate of the AFP in addressing armed threats to our nation’s peace and security. Thus, this plan has been crafted in close consultation and cooperation with our partners in other national government agencies and the civil society. This has remained true in the implementation and evaluation of this plan. This network of partnership that we have established shall be further strengthened and broadened to include the entire Filipino nation.

In Palawan, the IPSP Bayanihan has been proven to be very effective in addressing the peace and stability concerns of the province which promoted growth and development, especially that the Provincial Government of Palawan under the leadership of the Hon Gov Jose Chaves Alvarez has maintained its devoted partnership with the Armed Forces of the Philippines in the implementation of projects and programs in lieu of maintaining the peace and security in the province of Palawan.-End

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