WB showcases projects in Maguindanao's conflict affected areas (Published: May 27, 2015)

COTABATO CITY, May 27, 2015 — After a decade of supporting peace process in Mindanao, the World Bank through the Mindanao Trust Fund has showcased on Tuesday the development assistance in conflict affected areas in Mindanao. 

Perlita Laogan from barangay Romangaob in South Upi, Maguidanao, was one of the beneficiaries of the extension project - a farm sheller post harvest facility. 

She recalled the process of drying up corn crops using tarpauline or empty sacks as drier.

“But now its far different, we save a lot of money because of this assistance," she said.  

In Sitio Tuka, Barangay Ganta, Kabuntalan, Maguindanao, projects like the trading center and 10 public comfort rooms were built in different areas through the MTF. 

Rahima Samba of Barangay Ganta reluctantly admitted to reporters how villagers disposed of human wastes through the Rio Grande de Mindanao because of the absence of comfort rooms.

“We are very much thankful," she said. "At least aside from children’s safety, it helps also our people to practice proper hygiene and cleanliness,” she added.

“These projects were what the people wanted and suggested that empowered them...it is considered as a way to achieve peace in the community,” according to Matthew Stephens, World Bank-Mindanano Trust Fund program manager.  

The program was a response to the request of the Philippine Government in 2003 to organize a multi-donor trust fund to support the peace process. 

Since the launching in 2006, the MTF has provided P1.3 billion projects like access to basic services like roads, water supply systems and sanitation facilities including livelihood of farm people. 

At least 500,000 people in 214 villages in 75 municipalities in 12 provinces benefited from the program. 

The MTF provided significant capacity-building support to Bangsamoro Development Authority (BDA) which aimed also to formulate a Bangsamoro Development Plan, a comprehensive economic blueprint for the proposed Bangsamoro territory. 

The Mindanao Trust Fund pools money from seven donor countries - The European Union, the governments of Sweden, Australia, Canada, United States and New Zealand plus the World Bank- to support peace process between government and Moro Islamic Liberation Front or MILF. (With reports from Joyce Toledo, USM Devcom intern)

Date Published: 
Wednesday, May 27, 2015