IN SUPPORT of the peace process in Mindanao, the Mindanao Trust Fund (MTF), through the Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA), trained members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) on the know-hows of governance and finance to prepare them should the Bangsamoro government be established.
Matthew Stephens of the World Bank in the Philippines and program manager for MTF, in a press conference at the Glamour Restaurant in Cotabato City on Monday, said the capacity-building for MILF members has been one of the major projects of MTF in support of the Mindanao peace process.
"One of our main objectives is to build institutions and provide capacity building in support for the BDA so that once the Bangsamoro is formed, the MILF has a group of people with the experience, the networks, the contacts and technical skills in order to move into a role in government," Stephens said.
He also said that it has been a common trend among revolutionary groups across the world who assumes government posts yet they end up lacking the necessary skills to govern.
"What the MTF has been doing over a ten period is to build up the institution of the BDA so they could move into a role in government, they'll have a plan, they'll know how to spend the money that they have the right, they'll know how to monitor and account for it so the money does not go missing," Stephens said.
BDA executive director Ustadz Mohammad Yacob said the BDA is the MILF's symbol of sincerity in collaborating with the Government of the Philippines to attain lasting peace in Mindanao.
The BDA served around 500,000 beneficiaries who were provided with basic necessities and livelihood projects in 75 municipalities in Mindanao that are affected by armed conflicts.