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Sibugay Governor Jalosjos pledges full support to BJA

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Gov. Rommel A. Jalosjos pledged his full support to the Barangay Justice Advocates (BJA’s) of Zamboanga Sibugay in the first ever Provincial Congress held recently at the Provincial Capitol Center Podium.

The Barangay Justice for Peace Program (BJPP) is a USAID (United States Agency for International Development) financed project which is being implemented by the Gerry Roxas Foundation (GRF) with its Local Resource Partner (LRP) which is the ACORD in the province of  Zamboanga Sibugay.

The governor, in his speech, declared that he will always be supportive of the endeavors of the BJA’s  and that he will use his position to get more gains for them at all times every time he goes to national and international offices. He said he will always carry with him  their name and represent them in any way he couls.

Governor Jalosjos also said that right after the “Araw ng Zamboanga Sibugay “ celebration, he and Engr. Ferrer, who is also the BJA Provincial Coordinator will look into the possibilities of finding funding sources to pay for the Philhealth insurance of the BJA’s of the province.

Furthermore, he added that once the finances of the province is stabilized, he will try his best to give annual honorarium to the BJA’s and would even go to the extent of slashing off some portion of the MOOE of the province. He said since the BJA’s are sacrificing to do good for the community, then there is no reason why the province cannot make some sacrifices for them in return.

The governor expressed his gratitude to the BJA’s and stressed their importance in maintaining peace in the community and emphasized that they are now the extension of the governor since he cannot personally reach out to the people in the barangays. He added that they are giving great contribution in taking care of Zamboanga Sibugay.

Another  point that the governor stressed out is his dream to have the BJPP established in all the 391 barangays of the province. He said that Zamboanga Sibugay should set a precedence to the whole of the Philippines, and that because of the efforts of the GRF,  they deserve all the encouragements they could get, and that if he can give more to the BJA’s he will always try to give them more.

He wrapped up his commitment to the BJA’s into three (3) items; (1) to be their representative, (2) to fund the Philhealth insurance and  (3) to possibly give out annual honorarium when the finances of the province stabilizes which means to him “I love you.”

Mayor Randy Climaco of Tungawan also declared his support by saying that he is going to give 1 table for each barangay and that he will talk to all the barangay captains to allocate office space for the BJA’s in each  barangay. He added that LGU Tungawan will also try to  allocate funds as counterpart to the honorarium that the governor is planning to give. Climaco also mentioned that even during the early stages of the establishment of the BJA, the LGU funded two trainings wherein the BJA’s were able to attend without spending  a single centavo from  their own pockets.

Atty. Odessa Comedido, the Acting Provincial Legal Officer also expressed her support on behalf of the Integrated Bar of  the Philippines (IBP) and in her capacity as the Legal Officer. She disclosed that the presence of the BJA’s in the barangays gives impact to the de-clogging of the cases in the courts since they are being resolved in its early stage.

It was known that the BJA Provincial Congress of Zamboanga Sibugay was the first ever congress held in the whole of Mindanao and that out of the seven (7) municipalities which have already established the BJA’s in the province, three (3) municipalities; Ipil, Tungawan and R.T. Lim  came in full force.

During the program, Engr. Venancio Ferrer, lll welcomed the delegates with a good news, telling them about the “Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan Project”  (PAMANA) wherein 3 municipalities will be getting three hundred thousand pesos (Php 300,000.00) for each recepient-barangay,  this assistance is so-called “open menu” which means the barangay can identify what  peace and development they would like to implement.

Another highlight of the congress was the sharing of testimonies of 3 BJA’s; Patria Hipulan of Tiayon,  Ipil,  Alma Guzman of Baluran, Tungawan and Jofrey Tejada of Lower Taway, Ipil.  They shared their experiences as BJA’s and how the trainings and capability buildings helped them in effectively resolving small conflicts in their respective communities.

Present from the GRF were the Deputy Director for Mindanao, Ms. Monette Parado and Mr. Philbert Yee and the Executive Director of ACORD Ms. Angelina Ludovice-Katoh Normina Lozano.

The first BJA Provincial Congress was held in coordination with the Provincial Planning and Development Office (PPDO) and the Provincial Governor’s Office (PGO) of Zamboanga Sibugay.

By Daphne R. Santuyo & PGO I.T. TEAM




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