MILF’s Camp Rajamuda receives P8.3-M projects

The Mindanao Trust Fund has turned over projects worth P8.3 million in Maguindanao, boosting the implementation of the peace agreement between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

Some 7,000 residents in this sprawling camp that covers five villages are expected to benefit from the projects.

“This is a sign that the GPH–MILF peace gains are at hand and moving forward,” 64-year-old Commander Jack Abbas, head of MILF Front Eastern Mindanao, said.

The MTF, established in 2005 with the European Union (EU) and World Bank (WB) as partners, among others, consolidates international development assistance for the socio-economic recovery of conflict-affected communities in Mindanao.

Since its inception, the MTF has completed a total of 577 projects across Mindanao.

On Tuesday afternoon, government and MILF representatives witnessed the opening of the P5.5 million suspension bridge in Barangay Rajamuda here, a stronghold of the MILF.

The 84–meter bridge traverses Pulangi River, which connects Rajamuda in Pikit, North Cotabato province to Datu Montawal town in Maguindanao on the other side. Also, two warehouses with solar dryers worth P2.8 million were also turned over.

“The projects form part of the MTF’s effort to help in the confidence-building thrusts of the GPH–MILF peace (Agreement) implementation by transforming MILF camps into peaceful and productive communities,” Matthew Stephens, WB task team leader, said.

Seventy–five percent of the MTF fund, or some P1.8 billion, comes from EU partners.

Irene Santiago, GPH peace panel chair for the Bangsamoro, envisions the joint efforts to transform MILF camps into productive communities as a mechanism for the swift crafting of the new Bangsamoro Basic Law that would be submitted by the expanded Bangsamoro Transition Commission before Congress by June this year.

Santiago led government peace mediators during the turnover of socio-economic projects here. (Philippine National Agency)

Date Published: 
Thursday, March 9, 2017