The Mindanao Trust Fund: Supporting Reconstruction and Development in Conflict-affected areas in Mindanao

MAGUINDANAO – Conflict-affected communities in Mindanao are among the poorest in the Philippines suffering from poor infrastructure and lack of basic services, including education and health, weak local governance, and minimal private sector investment, according to a report by the World Bank. It said insecurity has been a major challenge. Frequent armed clashes driven by multiple and inter-related forms of conflict—insurgent groups, clan disputes, and quasi-ideological criminal banditry—have created severe economic dislocation and displacement of people. Armed conflict and poverty are inextricably linked. The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), one of the most heavily conflict-affected regions, has poverty incidence of 52.9 percent, almost double the national average. Based on the peace deal with the Philippine government in 2012, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) is expected to transition into a social and political movement. One of the key challenges for a successful transition is to help the MILF build development planning, budgeting, and public administration skills within its ranks. The Mindanao Trust Fund or MTF works to enhance access to services and economic opportunities and build social cohesion while enhancing the capacity of local institutions in conflict-affected areas. It supports the Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA), the development arm of the MILF. Based on a 2001 agreement between the Government of the Philippines and the MILF, the BDA is tasked to determine, lead, and manage relief, rehabilitation, and development projects in the conflict-affected areas. It’s a unique project that enables various stakeholders—government, the World Bank, and other development partners—to work with a revolutionary movement in delivering development results even before the signing of a final peace agreement. With an enhanced role of women, the program helps the BDA to deliver community development and income-generating subprojects in communities. This enhances access to basic services such as clean water, roads and day care centers. BDA also works to strengthen community enterprises for employment and income generation. The community-based approach brings people from different groups—Muslims, Christians, and Indigenous Peoples—together for the common good, building social cohesion and trust. Over time the program has expanded beyond community development to assist the BDA to develop skills in macro-development planning. A broad package of engagement complements the MTF promoting inclusive growth across Mindanao. For example, US$121 million for farm-to-market roads in Mindanao is included in the nation-wide PRDP while the National Community Driven Development Project is financing US$190 million for CDD activities in Mindanao. Over a decade, 650,000 people (52% of whom are women) in 284 villages have benefitted from 641 subprojects financed by the MTF. The subprojects have included water systems, community centers, sanitation facilities, access roads, post-harvest facilities, and farming and fishing equipment. Eighty-six percent of the beneficiaries say that the project reflected their needs. The subprojects have reduced travel time to market, increased agricultural productivity, reduced post-harvest costs, and increased access to basic services such as clean water. Beneficiaries of income-generating subprojects reported a 10 to 20 percent increase in incomes. About 330,383 women beneficiaries learned skills in community planning and implementation. And 42 community enterprises in 11 villages have been trained in business development to generate sustainable employment and income. The Bangsamoro Development Agency has evolved from a small group of volunteers with no development experience to a leading development agency in Mindanao with 300 staff across seven regional management offices. BDA cooperates with multiple national and international partners, including JICA, WFP, and UNICEF. Bangsamoro Development Plan: the MTF provided technical assistance to help the BDA formulate the first comprehensive economic development blueprint prepared by a non-state armed group. Under the Alternative Learning System project, about 1,832 former combatants, housewives and out-of-school youth reported increased confidence because of improved reading, writing and numeracy abilities. These contributed to their more active participation in community meetings, stronger support for their children’s schoolwork, and better fair farm pricing transactions in city markets. The MTF has remained an important mechanism for consolidating peace and development in Mindanao. Beyond the impact of subprojects at the community level, the program’s ability to converge government and international support to empower Bangsamoro people and institutions to lead in community development seeks to lay the foundation for future sustainable and inclusive development in the Bangsamoro. The program fostered social cohesion by creating spaces for dialogue between Muslims, Christians, and Indigenous Peoples, as well as a diverse mix of local, regional, and national institutional actors. In many remote locations, the project provided the only opportunity for different groups to interact. The increased familiarity built mutual understanding—the basis of trust. Project policies also ensured active and meaningful participation of indigenous peoples and women, who are often otherwise marginalized from decision-making processes at the village level. The participative approach fostered social unity and built trust among stakeholders. In tri-people communities, minority groups shared better understanding and more harmonious relations with Muslims due to the consensus-building nature of CDD/CDR. While residents of remote communities—who had had little to no government access—disclosed growing trust towards government institutions at the end of the project due to the assistance provided by officials. The Bank’s technical and analytical support through the MTF and other engagements supporting peace and development in Mindanao have produced a significant body of literature that helps inform policy dialogues among various stakeholders. For instance, the Land Conflict study prepared for the Transitional Justice and Reconciliation Commission provides short- and medium-term recommendations that can help address land conflict in Mindanao. Also, the Public Expenditure Review in […].....»»

Category: newsSource: mindanaoexaminer mindanaoexaminerJan 26th, 2018

Mindanao Trust Fund to infuse P166M for projects in conflict-affected areas

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 13 Apr) – The Bangsamoro Development Authority (BDA) signed a new program partnership agreement with Community and Family Services International to implement projects worth $3.2 million or equivalent to P166 million from the Mindanao Trust Fund (MTF) to construct socioeconomic infrastructures and improve literacy in conflict-affected areas. In a statement issued […] The post Mindanao Trust Fund to infuse P166M for projects in conflict-affected areas appeared first on MindaNews......»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanewsRelated NewsApr 13th, 2018

LATE BLOOMS: On A Loved One’s Loss

This time the words fail and though I grieve, no tears fell. Like an empty well. Cold emptiness, that I feel. Lay your head on my shoulder. Eric S.B. Libre 3 January 2019 (Eric S.B. Libre is a Mindanawon freelance development consultant who has done some work in a number of conflict-affected areas of Mindanao […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanewsRelated NewsJan 3rd, 2019

NEDA body approves Marawi rehab work

THE NATIONAL Economic and Development Authority’s (NEDA) Investment Coordination Committee-Cabinet Committee (ICC-CabCom) has approved new road and drainage projects for the rehabilitation of Marawi City, as well as the next phase for the flood management project in Metro Manila and repair of roads in other conflict-affected areas in Mindanao......»»

Category: newsSource:  bworldonlineRelated NewsOct 30th, 2018

LATE BLOOMS: Waterless Weekend Eric S.B. Libre

Life is here, by this we do swear. Yeah, life is here but for now there ain’t no water. A weekend with no water, that’s life here. (Eric S.B. Libre is a Mindanawon freelance development consultant who has done some work in a number of conflict-affected areas of Mindanao and occasionally dabbles in creative writing. […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanewsRelated NewsAug 26th, 2018

Bangsamoro support

REPRESENTATIVES of the Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA) and the Community and Family Services International (CFSI) signed on April 10 partnership agreements as implementers of the Mindanao Trust Fund — Reconstruction and Development Program (MTF-RDP) Phase II. The MTF-RDP II is expected to continue its support to the normalization track through community development assistance, capacity and […] The post Bangsamoro support appeared first on BusinessWorld......»»

Category: financeSource:  bworldonlineRelated NewsApr 11th, 2018

Duterte urged to continue peace talks with rebels

DAVAO CITY – Farmers fighting for genuine land reform have appealed on Sunday to President Rodrigo Duterte to continue the peace talks with communist rebels after he scrapped the negotiations following the spate of deadly attacks by insurgents in southern Philippines. Duterte’s decision to abandon the negotiations with communist leaders came on Saturday barely a day after he terminated the government’s unilateral ceasefire with New People’s Army rebels who also ended earlier its own truce. Since then, at least 4 soldiers had been killed by rebels in separate attacks and three more are being held prisoners in the troubled region. The rebels demanded the release of some 400 political prisoners &'' mostly NPA fighters and their leaders – languishing in jails across the country, but Duterte flatly rejected the demand, saying, a peace accord must be signed first before he could grant amnesty to political prisoners, although he had ordered the release from prison at least 21 senior rebel leaders to join the peace talks. Duterte said he cannot free all political prisoners and claimed that such action may trigger unrest in the police and military. Peace talks and land reform  But Joseph Canlas, chairman of the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas, one of the biggest farmers’ organizations in the country, said the continuation of peace negotiations is in the best interest of farmers, who are pressing for genuine land reform, land distribution and real change under the Duterte administration. “Farmers want the peace negotiations to continue. We want the peace talks to help address the problem of land monopoly, landlessness of farmers, unemployment and to realize the equitable distribution of social wealth,” Canlas said. “The peace negotiation is a separate and distinct track of struggle to press for significant pro-people reforms. While the New People’s Army and President Duterte announced the termination of the unilateral interim ceasefires, it should not hinder the continuation of the talks that is gaining relevant developments with regard to discussions on the Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms, particularly agrarian reform and rural development,” he added. Canlas said based on the reported outcome of third round of the peace talks in Rome recently, the government, in principle, acquiesced to free land distribution to farmers and farm workers and that alone is a milestone with regard to pushing for socio-economic reforms and enough grounds to continue the talks. Pedro Arnado, leader of the farmers’ group in southern Mindanao, also urged Duterte not to abandon the peace talks, saying, the resumption of war with rebels may spark a series of illegal arrest and human rights violations, and even extrajudicial killings of civilians by government soldiers. “We call for the continuation of the peace talks and compliance to the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Law to avoid rights violations of civilians,” said Arnado, who noted that at least 20 farmers and national minorities were killed during the ceasefire period. “For us farmers, a just peace means food for our families, education for our children and recognition of our right to the land we till.” Arnado said while the ultimate goal of the peace talks is to resolve the armed conflict and achieve cessation of hostilities, that wouldn’t be possible at this period when there are conflicting social classes and interests. “Big land estates, haciendas and landholdings remain intact and under the control of a few landlord families. That is in contrast with the situation of millions of tillers,” Arnado said, adding, Duterte should realize that people in the countryside are supporting and even joining the armed revolution because of the systemic and chronic crisis that is worsened by the government’s failure to address the most basic problems in rural areas. “Historically, it is the peasant masses that have made the ultimate sacrifices to achieve peace. Buhay na ang ibinuwis ng mga magsasaka para sa lupa at kapayapaan. The cost of peace is too expensive, farmers have paid it with their lives,” Arnado said. Cancel passport of communist negotiators Duterte also threatened to cancel the passports of the representatives National Democratic Front of the Philippines &'' the political wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines and the NPA &'' who make up the peace panel negotiating with the government, saying, “they are in the wanted list, so I will alert the International Police to arrest them where they are because they are in wanted list. I'll cancel their passports.” “They can return, all of them. For those released by the government, they should, on their own volition, return here and go back to prison. Or else I will be forced to, I am alerting all the intelligence community to keep track of where they are now,” Duterte said. “Iyon na-release temporarily to talk with us in Oslo, they should come back and submit themselves to the jurisdiction of the government because they are still in prison. Walang pardon, walang amnesty, wala lahat.” Blame Duterte, AFP The NPA blamed Duterte for the breakdown of the talks and accused the military of sabotaging the peace negotiations, saying, security forces encroached and attacked rebel territories in Mindanao, and murdered innocent civilians suspected of supporting the communist group. “To conceal their own ceasefire violation, the spin doctors of the Armed Forces of the Philippines concocted yet another storyline of an anti-criminality operation to assist the Philippine National Police in going after lawless elements such as their botched combat operations in Makilala and Matalam [&'].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanaoexaminerRelated NewsFeb 5th, 2017

Bangsamoro fair showcases products from conflict areas

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/17 October) &'8212; Forty-two Moro and Lumad enterprises that have been assisted by the Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA) in conflict-affected areas in Mindanao took centerstage in a two-day fair here to promote their products and .....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanewsRelated NewsOct 17th, 2016

ARMM allocates P35B for roads in conflict areas

COTABATO CITY: The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) has allocated over P35 billion for the construction of 1,599 kilometers (kms) of roads mostly in conflict-affected areas. Amir Mawallil, ARMM spokesman, said many of those road projects are in conflict-affected areas and far-flung communities from 2012 to 2018. Data from the Department of Public Works… link: ARMM allocates P35B for roads in conflict areas.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilainformerRelated NewsSep 27th, 2018

LANDBANK launches JICA-backed lending program to boost ARMM agri

THE LAND BANK of the Philippines (LANDBANK) launched a P2.12-billion financing scheme in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and conflict-affected areas in Mindanao (CAAM) to boost the region’s agricultural sector. The post LANDBANK launches JICA-backed lending program to boost ARMM agri appeared first on BusinessWorld......»»

Category: financeSource:  bworldonlineRelated NewsSep 4th, 2018

WB report: 60% live below poverty line in conflict-affected areas

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 11 April) — At least 60 percent of residents in conflict-affected areas live below the poverty line and the “reputational damage” caused by security concerns slowed down growth even in unaffected areas by limiting investment and tourism revenues, the World Bank-funded Mindanao Jobs Report said. The study said the decades-old armed […] The post WB report: 60% live below poverty line in conflict-affected areas appeared first on MindaNews......»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanewsRelated NewsApr 11th, 2018

LANDBANK ATMs in Marawi City Resume Operation

LANDBANK ATMs are now open to service clients in Marawi City and nearby areas affected by the recent armed conflict. The ATMs are located at the Mindanao State University main campus and are catering to... The post LANDBANK ATMs in Marawi City Resume Operation appeared first on MetroCebu News......»»

Category: newsSource:  metrocebuRelated NewsNov 8th, 2017

5-B unused Yolanda fund to be realigned for Marawi rehab

COTABATO CITY (MindaNews / 07 October) A national government fund intended for the rehabilitation of areas affected by the November 2013 super typhoon “Yolanda&'8221; will be diverted for rehabilitation of Marawi, Governor Mujiv Hataman of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao told a press conference Friday. Hataman said the the amount will be used for [&'].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanewsRelated NewsOct 7th, 2017

Soldier-peacebuilder is new Westmincom chief

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 17 January) &'8212; A bemedalled soldier who is active in  peace-building activities in conflict-affected areas in Mindanao is the new commander of the Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom). Major Gen. Carlito Galvez, Jr., commander of the 6th Infantry Division, took over the post of Maj. Gen. Mayoralgo Dela Cruz during installation rites [&'].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanewsRelated NewsJan 17th, 2017

New Zealand pledges US$3M for peace efforts in Mindanao; eyes bigger bilateral trade with PH

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/17 November) – New Zealand has vowed to donate US$3million over the next three years to support the peace efforts in conflict-affected areas in Mindanao. David Strachan, New Zealand ambassador to the Philippines, told a press .....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanewsRelated NewsNov 17th, 2016

ARMM committed to education recovery

COTABATO CITY: The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) through its Humanitarian and Development Action Program (ARMM-HDAP) has committed to full implementation of its special emergency education recovery program (SEERP) in 31 conflict-affected sch.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimes_netRelated NewsSep 16th, 2016

NFA sends 500K rice bags to ARMM

TO ensure stable prices and supply in conflict-affected areas in Mindanao, state-run National Food Authority (NFA) is sending 500,000 bags of rice to the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). Tomas Escarez, NFA officer-in-charge, said the rice ship.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimes_netRelated NewsSep 2nd, 2016

Mindanao: Regaining dignity and livelihood lost in conflict

Over 12,000 people in Central Mindanao and Lanao del Sur have been deprived of stable income due to continued displacement caused by protracted armed conflict. These affected families received cash grants from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), with support of the Philippine Red Cross (PRC)......»»

Category: newsSource:  samarnewsRelated NewsJan 3rd, 2019

DSWD continues Usman response, monitors Mindanao earthquake

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) continued to assist individuals affected by Tropical Depression Usman , as it also monitored the situation of residents in Davao Oriental where a magnitude 7.2 earthquake struck on December 29. In a statement Sunday, December 30, the DSWD said assistance to ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsDec 30th, 2018

ADB OKs $408M in Marawi funds

The board of the Manila-based Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Friday gave the green light to a total of $408 million in loans and grants for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of war-torn Marawi City.   The financing package, called Emergency Assistance for Reconstruction and Recovery of Marawi, included two loans worth $400 million on top of $8 million in grants, ADB country director for the Philippines Kelly Bird told a press conference.   Bird said a $300-million quick disbursing loan would fund selected programs, projects and activities under the Bangon Marawi Comprehensive Rehabilitation and Recovery Program (BMCRRP), which covers areas outside ground ze...Keep on reading: ADB OKs $408M in Marawi funds.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsDec 15th, 2018

P12 billion in infra projects to be implemented in Mindanao next year

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 13 Dec) – Around P12 billion in various infrastructure projects will be implemented in Mindanao next year. Sherwin Manual, information unit head of the Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP)-Mindanao said in an interview Thursday that they expect a massive implementation of at least 172 infrastructure subprojects in several areas in Mindanao […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanewsRelated NewsDec 13th, 2018