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Bangsamoro development plan launched

MANILA, Philippines—Promoting the development of Mindanao’s economy will be among policymakers’ top priorities once the peace deal between the government and Muslim rebels is signed this year.

Government and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) officials on Wednesday announced the kick-off of the Bangsamoro Development Plan (BDP), which will map out investments and programs to promote inclusive growth and stability and help create jobs in the Bangsamoro from 2014 until 2020.

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Bangsamoro refers to the new political entity that will replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), as provided in the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB) signed by the Aquino administration and the MILF in 2012.

“Through extensive consultations, the BDP will set the strategic direction for the new Bangsamoro government by identifying potential areas for investment, private sector promotion and cooperation with other regions in the country,” BDA Chair Saffrullah M. Dipatuan said in a statement.

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The planning process for the BDP is funded by a $540,000 grant from the Mindanao Trust Fund (MTF) administered by the World Bank.

Started in 2006, the MTF is a $28-million multidonor facility that supports economic and social recovery and promotes inclusive and effective governance in conflict-affected areas of Mindanao.

Support for the Bangsamoro plan also draws on recent new contributions to the Mindanao Trust Fund of 8 million euros from the European Union and 1.3 million Australian dollars from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

“This planning process demonstrates how the government and the MILF—with the support of development partners, civil society groups, private sector and other stakeholders—are working together to deliver a tangible dividend to communities from the peace process,” World Bank Philippines Country Director Motoo Konishi said.

“The plan will outline strategies to build legitimate institutions to help foster a sense of security among communities, get more children back to school, provide justice and create jobs,” he added.

In addition to the European Union and Australia, other development partners supporting the MTF are the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade; Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development of Canada; the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency; and the United States Agency for International Development.

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TAGS: Bangsamoro, development plan, economy, Government, Mindanao, Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), peace process, Philippines
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