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Partnership pact signed for peace, dev’t in Mindanao’s conflict areas

THREE civil society organizations recently signed a partnership agreement to step up peace and development efforts in conflict-affected areas in Mindanao.

The Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA), Communi ty and Family Services International, and Mindanao Land Foundation formally demonstrated their commitment through the 4th Program Partnership Agreement (PPA4), which is part of the continuing initiatives
of the World Bank-led Mindanao Trust Fund-Reconstruction and Development Program to deliver services to poor and conflict-affected areas in
Mindanao while capacitating the BDA to perform its role as the development arm of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Quintos Deles, who witnessed the signing that was held recently at Davao City, stressed that the agreement will “enable BDA to strengthen its capability to address the challenges of managing community projects.”

“It will provide BDA with the appropriate timeframe for more sustained engagement with, and in turn, more positive impact in communities which have been affected by violent conflict,” said Deles, who heads the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process which co-chairs the World Bank-funded program.

“The challenges confronting Mindanao can only be solved through a collective effort among all stakeholders,” she added.

The Secretary added that the government welcomes all initiatives that allow development to be brought to communities that need them the most.

“We commend efforts that allow a stronger partnership between government and communities, between civil society and local government units…. We will continue to support all initiatives that help empower communities and institutions to rebuild what has been destroyed by violent conflict.”

Meanwhile, World Bank Country Director for the Philippines Motoo Konishi said their organization places a high priority on support to Mindanao.

“Over the last five years alone, the World Bank has provided…assistance to Mindanao to support better infrastructure, improved agriculture, better education and health, and, quite prominently, over the last few years, stronger social protection through the Pantawid Pamilya program (of the Department of Social Welfare and Development),” said Konishi. “There are now 1.3 million benefi ciaries of the Pantawid program in
Mindanao alone.”

Konishi said PPA4 that has a funding of million will aid an additional 65 barangays in 21 conflict affected municipalities which will receive increased access to basic services, such as health clinics, schools, farm-tomarket roads, water supply systems and agricultural assistance; build capacity among Bangsamoro leaders and organizations on how to promote inclusive development; and pave the way for a concrete confidence-building measure between the government and the MILF that highlights the ability of these two parties to not only work for peace over the negotiating table, but also on the ground.

“None of these would have been possible without the continuing strong support from local and international development partner organizations,” she said. “Continue to walk with us as we as a people continue to resolutely move towards a future that will bring the kind of peace and development our peoples justly deserve.”

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