OPAPP, UNDP provide rice assistance to decommissioned MILF combatants

February 26th, 2021

Darapanan, Sultan Kudarat – The Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP), the Task Force for the Decommissioned Combatants (TFDCC), the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in the Philippines carried out a ceremonial turnover of rice assistance to 106 decommissioned MILF-Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces (BIAF) combatants in Camp Darapanan, Sultan Kudarat, as part of the OPAPP-UNDP Support to Peacebuilding and Normalization (SPAN) program.

Under the initiative, 12,145 decommissioned combatants (DC) will receive PHP 16 million worth of rice assistance to help ease the adverse socioeconomic impacts caused by the pandemic and to sustain the efforts for a peaceful transition and normalization in the Bangsamoro.

(L-R) BARMM Executive Secretary Abdulraof A Macaua receives the symbolic sack of rice from OPAPP Undersecretary David B. Diciano. The ceremonial turnover was also witnessed by UNDP Philippines Peace Programme Analyst Allen Mariano and MILF Task Force on Decommissioned Combatants and their Communities (TFDCC) member Abbas Salung.

In his turnover message, OPAPP Undersecretary David B. Diciano, Head of the Joint Normalization Division and Chair of the Government’s Peace Implementing Panel (GPIP), noted that the rice assistance is just a fraction of the continuous socioeconomic support that will be provided to the DC, and that a needs assessment is being conducted by the TFDCC to develop more appropriate and sustainable and socioeconomic interventions for the DCs.

Minister Abdulraof Macacua, BARMM Executive Secretary, in his acceptance message, told the DCs that the activity was “another development in quest for a successful peace endeavor towards normalization.”

A total of 40,000 former combatants are expected to be decommissioned under the Annex of Normalization of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB). Through this process, the DCs will be provided the opportunities to transition to sustainable livelihoods and to become productive citizens of society.

So far, over 12,000 MILF combatants were already decommissioned during the second phase of normalization. For 2021, the third phase will include over 14,000 former MILF combatants.

“There is so much to be done. UNDP will remain faithful to its promise to make meaningful contributions to lasting peace and development and to achieve an inclusive society especially in the Bangsamoro,” said Allen Mariano, SPAN OIC of UNDP Philippines.

UNDP Philippines has been a steadfast supporter of the Philippine government and the MILF throughout the peace process.

106 decommissioned MILF-BIAF combatants in Camp Darapanan, Sultan Kudarat, received the first batch of rice assistance from OPAPP and UNDP.

ADVT.

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