Radyo Natin

OPAPP mulls new facility to sustain peace projects in Mindanao

DAVAO CITY — The Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) is working on a new facility to sustain the gains reached under the Mindanao Trust Fund (MTF) program, which was funded by the World Bank and other international donors.
Secretary Jesus Dureza said the new facility will not only cover the Bangsamoro but also the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF), to build confidence even if there is no final agreement yet with the latter.
Dureza said the MTF is a successful program in Bangsamoro areas that can also be copied in other places affected by communist insurgency.
He said the plan is now being worked out, adding that the NDFP already accepted the proposal and created a committee to focus on the short and medium-term development strategy for insurgency-affected areas, spearheaded by Luis Jalandoni, the NDFP consultant.
Dureza revealed this during the closing ceremony of the MTF-Reconstruction and Development in Mindanao on Tuesday at the SMX Convention Center.
Dureza said the MTF plan managed by the Bangsamoro Development Authority (BDA), the development arm of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), can even be copied by the NDF for its initiatives in areas affected by the communist insurgency.
Dureza, however, emphasized that there will be needs assessment before the initiatives are approved. "We will vet responses from the communities," he said, adding that determination of projects must come from the people on the ground.
The NDF and OPAPP will work as managers for the development project implementing team.
Dureza noted the NDF sees "the value of doing development projects while peace negotiations are ongoing. "People cannot wait for a long period for the peace agreement," Dureza said.
The peace adviser lauded the Mindanao Trust Fund because it helped a lot to improve the access of Bangsamoro communities to basic services such as clean water, roads, farming equipment and community centers.
"More importantly, as a partnership between the government and the MILF, it has built confidence and social cohesion at the community level, which is an important factor in sustaining the momentum of peace and development in Mindanao," he said.
The MTF has funded programs and projects that promote economic opportunity, provide access to basic services and build greater understanding and cooperation among community members in conflict-affected areas.
Since 2006, MTF completed 573 community-driven projects benefitting 650,000 people in 315 conflict-affected communities.
The European Union, which is the biggest contributor to the MTF, Sweden, Australia, Canada, the United States, New Zealand and the World Bank have provided P1.4 billion to support socioeconomic recovery in Mindanao. Of the total funds, EU provided P1.17 billion to the facility. (PNA)
Iyaz Kamias
Maja Limuyak
Valeen Kinitan

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Last Modified: 2017-Dec-12 06.25.00 UTC+0800