72 Million Pesos in Australian Aid to Mindanao, Philippines

Australia will give about 1.8 million dollars in aid to Mindanao in the southern Philippines.

The AID is to be distrubuted as:

A$1.3 million to the the Mindanao Trust Fund.
A$500,000 to the World Bank and UN to assist the Moro Islamic Liberation Front

The funding is part of Australia’s commitment to a lasting peace in the region.

The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) is in the process of setting up the new region of Bangsamoro, which will replace the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao.

The Japanese, via the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) have recently signed a three-year project for Comprehensive Capacity Development for the Bangsamoro with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

This is aimed at accomplishing institutional building for smooth transition, human resources development for the future Bangsamoro government officials, development planning (Blueprint for the Future), and improvement of service delivery.

President Benigno Aquino III, in his speech during the fourth State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday, called on the public to support the establishment of the Bangsamoro and, at the same time, appealed to lawmakers to pass the Basic Law before 2014 ends.

The Bangsamoro basic law will replace the organic act that created the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), according to the government’s chief peace negotiator with Moro rebels.

Former President Joseph Estrada, who launched an all-out war against the Moro Islamic Liberation Front in 2000, conveyed hopes for the Mindanao peace process to steadily move forward. “I hope and pray that it will succeed because this has been pending for over 40 years. It was always a case of having peace talks, then ceasefire, then peace talks, then ceasefire



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