DAP supports reform programs in ARMM, PHL peace process

MANILA, July 22 (PNA) — The regional government has undertaken significant reforms and development initiatives in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), including ensuring quality road infrastructures in the region, through the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).

ARMM Regional Governor Mujiv Hataman, during Monday’s general assembly of employees and staff of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP), said reforms in the region include validating licensed teachers to weed out ghost teachers.

Hataman said these are also capacity-building programs for ARMM agencies, particularly the Department of Public Works and Highways, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, and the Department of Education towards the goal of having ISO (International Organization for Standardization) certification for these offices, which used to be very susceptible to corruption.

He said the ARMM regional government aims to attain positive results and benchmarks before its elected officials step down once the Bangsamoro region is created with the ratification of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).

The regional governor added that the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) also helped boost investments in ARMM this year.

“In 2014, the target investment was 2.5 billion. After the CAB was signed, we reached P2.7 billion by early June,” he said in a statement.

“Reforms are very important for the region,” Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Quintos Deles, for her part, said.

In terms of the peace process, Deles noted that the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) received additional allotment from the DAP amounting to P1.82 billion in 2011 and P248 million in 2012.

She said the amount supported its crucial work on achieving negotiated political settlement of armed conflicts and peace and development initiatives as a complementary track under the Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan (PAMANA) program.

“The funds were utilized for priority development projects for communities nationwide affected by and vulnerable to armed conflict as well as areas covered by existing peace agreements,” Deles said.

These include the provision of immediate and livelihood assistance to former rebels, the consultation and capacity-building interventions in support of addressing women’s issues in situations of armed conflict through the “Localization of the National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security”; and the conduct of information, communication and monitoring activities in line with the peace process.

Deles said these programs benefited the people in the desire for inclusive peace and progress.

“As OPAPP is not an implementing agency, the funds were transferred to line agencies and local government units who signed memoranda of agreements with OPAPP, for the implementation of the projects,” the peace adviser noted. (PNA)