Among the highlights during recent turnover ceremonies of the socio-economic infrastructure projects under the Mindanao Trust Fund- Reconstruction and Development Project Phase II (MTFRDP/2) was the gathering of armed forces from the government and the Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces (BIAF) - a rare scene one would witness before the present setting in the Bangsamoro region.
A message from the government troops in one of the ceremonies in Maguindanao described the improved relationship between the two groups.
“Before, people fear us whenever they see us, now they came out and wave to us. Before, whenever we meet with the MILF forces, there is exchange of fire, at present, we are partners for development. We hope that in the future, we will bring development tools instead of guns.”
Task Force on Camp Transformation (TFCT) co-chairman of Camp Omar also spoke about partnership with the government forces.
“They are now our partners for development, in terms of security. Let us not carry a conflict in our minds anymore, let us move towards economic development. This project is a fruit of the struggle, let us take care of this and show them the progress of our community”, Uling said.
These officials spoke during the turn-over ceremony of sub-projects in Brgy. Saniag in Ampatuan, Maguindanao; recipient of one-lane concrete road and solar dryer with warehouse on August 24, 2019.
On the following day, August 25, 2019, the turnover ceremony was in Brgy. Tamparan, Munai, Lanao del Norte where the community formally received agricultural facility, solar dryer with warehouse and rice milling machine.
Abdullah Macapaar, member of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) spoke during the turnover in Tamparan telling people to take care of the project for the next generation and strengthen the unity for Bangsamoro.
AFP Personnel who attended the ceremony talked about the effect of decade-long war and expressed hope that such project will be the beginning of the development in the region.
Community in Brgy. Delabayan, Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte also rejoiced on the same day when they finally received solar dryer with warehouse and rice milling machine.
Other communities in Lanao del Sur also received projects on August 26, 2019. Both Brgy. Bualan,in Poona Bayabao and Brgy. Wago in Lumbayanague are recipients of water system projects from the MTFRDP/2.
MTFRDP/2 aims to improve access of targeted communities in the conflict-affected areas in Mindanao to basic socio-economic infrastructure and alternative learning system; comprised of engaging the communities through a community-driven development and alternative learning system with an end in view of making those productive, participative and peaceful communities.
Moreover, this is in line with the Normalization Aspect of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB).
MTFRDP/2 is supported by the Mindanao Trust Fund (MTF) with various donors such as the European Union, the government of Sweden, Australia, Canada, United States, New Zealand and the World Bank, which also serves as Trust Fund Administrator and Secretariat.