Gov’t committed to MILF peace process, cites gains

“The government’s pursuit of the peace process with the MILF will eventually redound to the benefit of the people in the Bangsamoro homeland, as well as the preservation of their basic rights as enshrined in the Constitution and the laws of the land,” Dureza said.

Citing developments even in the absence of a peace accord with the MILF, Dureza noted that major infrastructure and capacity-building sub-projects under the Mindanao Trust Fund–Reconstruction and Development Program (MTF-RDP) have been completed and delivered as scheduled in various Muslim communities in six different regions in the Southern Philippines.

The MTF-RDP is a multi-donor undertaking established by the Philippine government and the World Bank (WB) to assist in the reconstruction and development of conflict affected communities, in support of the peace process with the MILF).

With the World Bank serving as Fund Administrator, development partners of the of MTF include the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), New Zealand Aid, the Embassy of Sweden, the European Union, and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

The Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA) has been designated by MILF to principally coordinate with the government and development partners in the implementation of joint reconstruction and development efforts in specific conflict-affected areas in Mindanao under the MTF-RDP.

At a meeting with some local officials of MTF covered areas held in Davao City recently, Dr. Danda Juanday, executive director of the BDA bared that among the MTF-RDP sub-projects completed in the first batch of pilot areas were community and training centers in Brgy. Lucatan, Tarragona town in Davao Oriental, Brgy. Baguindan, Tipo-Tipo town, Basilan, and Brgy. Pacalundo, Baloi town, Lanao del Norte.

Other MTF-RDP sub-projects delivered in the first batch of pilot areas were coconut dryers, solar dryers and warehouse structures.

The MTF-RDP Phase I is focused on capacity building for the BDA, LGUs and service providers, as well as the limited piloting of implementation learning activities, while Phase II, which starts after peace agreement is signed, involves the full implementation of sub-projects, provision of technical assistance, continuation of capacity building, and a phased transfer of full program management responsibility to the Bangsamoro entity to be identified in the peace pact. (Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process)

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