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Thursday, November 6, 2014

Bangsamoro Dev’t Plan ‎to present clear path to peace and dev't - Deles

SULTAN KUDARAT, Maguindanao, Nov 6 -- "‎This Bangsamoro Development Plan is important because it gathers the collective hopes and aspirations of the Bangsamoro people, government leaders, partners in the business and private sectors, and civil society organizations, into a concrete plan. It is a vision of the Bangsamoro, by the Bangsamoro, for the Bangsamoro,"‎ said Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Quintos Deles on Sunday at the turnover and launch of the Bangsamoro Development Plan at the Moro Islamic Liberation Front's (MILF) Camp Darapanan in this province.

Addressing an audience of more than four hundred guests, Deles congratulated the leadership and members of the MILF and the Bangsamoro Development Agency for completing the BDP that she describes as a valuable tool for development that will provide strategic directions for the delivery and upgrade of basic services to the communities once the Bangsamoro political entity is established.

”What makes this Bangsamoro Development Plan even more valuable is its attempt to present a clear vision of peace and development that was crafted by your own hands, and came from the hearts and minds of those who have struggled for so long to bring peace in the communities,” the peace adviser said.

According to MILF chair Al Haj Murad Ebrahim, the BDP’s overall goal is to support milestones in the Bangsamoro peace process by laying the foundation of a just, peaceful and prosperous Bangsamoro society.

“The responsibility of producing a plan that would guarantee the transformation of the deplorable conditions of our grassroots communities to a life with dignity is not an easy task,” Ebrahim said while expressing his gratitude for the assistance of government and the international community in coming up with the plan. ‎

Officer-in-charge of the World Bank in the Philippines Matt Stephens said that the formulation of the BDP is a bold move on the part of the MILF. “I think through this process, we’ve seen that investment bearing fruit.  Because when you started developing the BDP, it began with relationships of trust, relationships of mutual understanding with the government and with the development partners," he said.

The BDP was developed through the support of the Mindanao Trust Fund, a multi-donor facility that was started in 2006 to support economic and social recovery and promotes inclusive and effective governance in conflict-affected areas of Mindanao. It is currently administered by the World Bank.

On November 5-6, the BDP will be presented to the public through the Philippines Development Forum on Bangsamoro to be held in Davao City. President Benigno Simeon Aquino III will be in attendance to affirm government's partnership with the MILF and invite the international community, private sector and civil society in its implementation.

Continued commitment of gov't

Deles reiterated the administration's commitment to see through the implementation of the signed Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro, from ensuring the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law to the establishment of the political entity.

"We are committed to walk the path towards peaceful and genuine autonomy with you.   We stand ready to provide whatever guidance and assistance you may need to ensure the successful implementation of the BDP," Deles said.

‎According to the peace adviser, ‎“the challenges and difficulties we have faced this past few years under the administration of President Benigno S. Aquino III are testament to the strength of commitment and desire of the government and MILF, with the help of our partners, to bring just and lasting peace to the Bangsamoro.”

Budget Secretary Florencio "Butch" Abad who was also present at the event and was asked to give a message before the program’s close, echoed the Aquino Administration’s continuing commitment to the peace process and related the instruction of the President to ensure that there is adequate and ample financing for the BDP.

“We are with you here and we will be with you all the way [to make sure you are able to implement this plan],” he said.

A new dawn

Deles declared that with the unveiling of the BDP, “a new dawn has come.  And with the coming of light is the rise of the Bangsamoro.”

The peace adviser noted that the Bangsamoro peace process has already achieved a lot of milestones under the current administration. "We have come so far from decades of conflict, grief, and loss.  Peace that has been elusive is now within our grasp," she said.

Deles called on stakeholders to “safeguard this journey to lasting peace” as there will continue to be more challenges in the road towards the establishment of the Bangsamoro.

“As we have always said, it will take real and much effort, but, just as we all share the responsibility of working for peace and development, so will we all share in the prosperity it will bring,” she said.

The turnover and launch of the BDP was also attended by Malaysian facilitator Tengku Dato' Ab Ghafar Tengku Mohamed, United Nations Resident Coordinator Luiza Carvalho, Japan International Cooperation Agency chief representative Noriaki Niwa, representatives from international aid agencies and members of civil society.‎

Sumber - PIA

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