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After restoring peace in this once communist stronghold, Davao City Mayor Inday Sara Duterte shifts gear for Peace 911 to bring more economic activities in Paquibato District.

Sara created the Peace 911 as the city government’s development initiative to bring government services and infrastructure support to far-flung villages. The program is largely seen as a counterweight against the communist insurgency which has stalled economic development in many areas such as Paquibato

Paquibato, the pilot area for peace and development of Mayor Sara’s Peace 911 initiative, is gearing up to address poverty through Peace Economy.

Sara, who led the launch of the Peace Economy on Wednesday, said the Peace Economy is another move by the city government to sustain the gains of peace in Paquibato District.

Irene Santiago, the Peace Adviser of Mayor Sara, said Peace Economy aims to address poverty – the root cause of the insurgency.

“Peace economy is an initiative of Peace 911. In 9 months the violence has been stopped in Paquibato so now after the violence, what should we do? You go to the roots of the problem,” she said.

Santiago said Peace Economy will address the inequality in the economy. “Para yung mga nandoon hindi na madehado (So that the people there will not be put in an unfavorable position),” she added.

Among the first activity is helping the farmers find the market for their products.

Santiago said that through Peace Economy, the producers will get a high price for their products because they will directly bring these to suppliers such as NCCC Supermarket through Helen’s farm.

Village leaders in Paquibato lauded the launch of the Peace Economy.

Malabog barangay captain Jeselito Areja said the Peace Economy would be a big help to the residents in their area, who mostly rely on agriculture. He said 90 percent of Paquibato population are farmers.

“Before, we sell our tomatoes for only P10 but now, we are selling it for P25. That is already a big help to our farmers,” he said.

NCCC LTS Retail Specialist, Tjader Regis said NCCC will have a collaborative relationship with the producers through a signed deal.

“We are happy that we have finally break the idea that we are already doing something (to bridge the gap between farmers and retails). We are allocating budget for this one,” he said.

Regis said NCCC is investing in many things on this partnership such the cold storage.

“The ideal situation for us is that the farmers will package their products on-site and we will go there to get the products,” Regis added.

Peace 911 is a transformation of the local peace body that Sara created in 2018 to initiate local peace negotiations with the New People’s Army (NPA) – armed wing of the Maoist Communist Party of the Philippines. CIO