THE Mindanao Trust Fund program, which aims to help provide livelihood for those in conflict-affected areas in Mindanao, will have a much bigger funding in the next few years, the presidential adviser on the peace process said.

Presidential Adviser Jesus Dureza announced that the Mindanao Trust Fund-Reconstruction and Development Program (MTF-RDP) will continue until 2019 with a bigger budget to cater to more beneficiaries.

Dureza added that the facility they are working on is still intended for island-region but will no longer be exclusive to the Bangsamoro community.

"During the 11-year MTF program, the stakeholders focused on assisting the Bangsamoro community. This time, we will cater both Bangsamoro and non-Bangsamoro communities," Dureza said.

Dureza said the extension will help address other fragile areas in Mindanao.

"This template of development of making people in the community immediately feel there is peace early on while negotiations are ongoing will become a pattern that will be brought forth," he said.

For 11 years, the MTF has completed 573 infrastructure, livelihood and functional literacy projects in 315 conflict affected communities across 75 municipalities in Mindanao reaching nearly 650,000 beneficiaries.

He added in 2006, the European Union (EU), Sweden, Australia, Canada, the United States, New Zealand and the World Bank provided a total of P1.4 billion to the program with EU being the largest contributor, having provided P1.17 billion.

European Union Ambassador Franz Jessen said they have a new major program to be signed next year, in partnership with the Government, to help consolidate peace and development through confidence building measures and inclusive growth.

"In December 2016, we have committed another P220 million to the Philippine Government," he said.

The funding, Jensen said, will support the peace and order situation in Mindanao for the next 18 months.

"What we are trying to do is to work hand in hand with the government and their priorities," Jensen said.