Bangsamoro programs also benefit non-Moros in Mindanao — exec

ZAMBOANGA CITY-- The socio-economic programs and projects under the Bangsamoro peace process are being implemented not only in Moro-dominated areas but also in communities that hosts mixed population across Mindanao, an official said.

Mohammad Yacob, Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA) director, said on Friday that "this only shows that the current peace process between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) is inclusive."

Yacob made the statement following the turn over of PHP2 million water system implemented under the Bangsamoro Solidarity Project in Barangay (village) Mucas, Salug, Zamboanga del Norte.

"The Bangsamoro Solidarity is really intended for communities with a mixed populace in line with our principle of inclusiveness, and also because we are operating in conflict-affected areas in Mindanao, we are reaching out to communities even outside the proposed Bangsamoro core territories," Yacob said.

BDA-Zamboanga Peninsula Regional Manager Ali Butongkay said the project will benefit at least 140 households in the village.

Butongkay said that the village of Mucas in Salug, Zamboanga del Norte has a population of 2,450, consisting of Moro, Christian and Indigenous Peoples.

The water system project was implemented by BDA under the Bangsamoro Solidarity Component of the Mindanao Trust Fund-Reconstruction and Development Program (MTFRDP).

The BDA was established after the government and the MILF signed the Tripoli Agreement on June 22, 2001.

It is being run by the Bangsamoro Development Council and civil society organizations. Its funds are sourced from various donors such as the European Union, the government of Sweden, Australia, Canada, United States and New Zealand.

The World Bank serves as trust fund administrator and secretariat.

Yacob said the Bangsamoro Solidarity is a program conceptualized in support to confidence building measures of the GPH-MILF as provided in the Comprehensive Agreement on Bangsamoro (CAB), which was signed in March 2014.

The socio-economic programs are also in response to the clamor of the communities for the implementation of basic services including livelihood opportunities, in conflict-prone areas in Mindanao, Yacob said.

"This project demonstrates the continuing commitment of both the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Government of the Philippines in pursuing peace and development in the Bangsamoro, and in Mindanao in general," Yacob said.

"It also demonstrates the enduring support of donors in helping the BDA promote socio-economic recovery in conflict-affected areas in Mindanao," Yacob added.

Source: Philippines News Agency