Mindanao Trust Fund for Reconstruction and Development Program (MTF-RDP)
The MTF supports the Mindanao Trust Fund-Reconstruction and Development Program whose goal is to improve social and economic recovery in targeted conflict-affected communities of Mindanao through activities which promote confidence-building, peace and demand-driven governance.
Members of the People's Organization of Barangay Maguling, Maitum, Sarangani Province show EU Monitor Ali Dastgeer and Max Africa of OPAPP their self-help project – a Communal Vegetable Garden – during the August 2013 Implementation Support Mission (Photo credit: BDA)
The program started very small, supporting community-driven development (CDD) in six pilot villages. CDD puts communities in charge of development, as they analyze development problems, come up with solutions, manage funds themselves and implement and maintain small-scale projects such as access roads, water supply system, post-harvest facilities, community centers, village electrification, etc. The main purpose of the program was to build the capacity of the Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA), the development arm of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. Working with the BDA would help to create a cadre of development professionals who it was envisaged would later move into a role in government following the signing of a final peace agreement with the MILF.
Since the initial pilot phase, the CDD component of the program has been through four phases. The outputs of which are captured in Program Partnership Agreements (PPAs). PPA 1 (July 2007 to December 2008) expanded to 47 sites; PPA 2 (January 2009 to December 2009) added another 48; PPA 3 (July 2010 to March 2012) added a Community-Driven Reconstruction component to meet early recovery needs of recently returned displaced persons; and finally PPA 4 (February 2012 to June 2015) aimed to professionalize BDA operations by introducing objective, empirical site selection criteria, a per-capita based block grant for target communities to maximize economic impact, enhanced human resource and recruitment guidelines for BDA and a three-year cycle with multiple subprojects in each of the target 65 villages to deepen impacts and strengthen synergies between subproject investments.
In 2012, the program added a livelihood and community-enterprise component through a grant to the International Labour Organization (ILO), also known as the Programme for Local Economic Development through Enlightened Governance and Grassroots Empowerment (PLEDGE). The program seeks to expand BDA's skill set beyond community infrastructure to incorporate income generation and market-linked job creation. PLEDGE supports existing or new community enterprises for income generation and supports market-linked job skills training for wage employment.
In September 2013, following the launch of the Sajahatra Bangsamoro program by President Benigno Aquino III and MILF Chair Al Haj Murad Ebrahim in the MILF heartland of Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao, the MTF added a component to support the MILF's counterpart, the Project Management Team (PMT). The PMT works side-by-side with the Philippine Government to provide health, education and livelihood benefits to conflict-affected communities in Mindanao.
In November 2013, the MTF added a fourth component to support the Bangsamoro Development Agency in the formulation of the Bangsamoro Development Plan (BDP). The BDP is a comprehensive blueprint for the proposed Bangsamoro territory that promotes inclusive growth and accountable governance for the proposed Bangsamoro region. The BDP was launched on November 2, 2014 at the MILF Headquarters in Camp Darapanan and at the Philippine Development Forum on Bangsamoro in Davao City on November 5 and 6, 2014.
In 2016, the MTF expanded socioeconomic assistance to support 50 new communities within and outside the 25 MILF Base Camps in Zamboanga Peninsula, Ranao, South Mindanao, Davao, and Zamboanga Basilan regions. About 115,254 beneficiaries are being capacitated to plan and implement 81 community-based infrastructure and livelihood projects to increase farming and fishing income and improve access to basic services.
Continuing the inclusive and community-driven ethos of the facility, the MTF is assisting 10 diverse or mixed communities in Davao, Zamboanga Peninsula and South Mindanao by providing the targeted 26,976 Muslim, Christian, and IP residents with income-generating equipment and infrastructure, as well as community-based facilities.
In support of the 2014 Comprehensive Agreement of the Bangsamoro, the MTF is providing 66,938 beneficiaries in 31 barangays within the areas of the Six Acknowledged MILF Camps 62 livelihood and infrastructure projects which range from pre- and post- harvest facilities, bridges, water systems, among others. Alternative Learning System (ALS) and functional literacy programs are also provided to several beneficiaries, particularly vulnerable groups such as women, widows, and out-of-school youth to increase their prospects for gainful employment.