MinDA-OPAPP partnership gaining headway in Mindanao

March 20, 2012 2:02 am 

COTABATO CITY, March 19 — The team-up between the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) and the Office of Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) is working well in the transformation of conflict-affected areas in Mindanao.

In a meeting which assessed the impact of peace building initiatives under the previously completed Action for Conflict Transformation (ACT) for Peace Program, MinDA and OPAPP pushed for way forward steps aimed at sustaining the gains of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)-assisted initiative.

MinDA chair Sec. Luwalhati Antonino said the two agencies identified opportunities for complementation in the areas of enterprise development, infrastructure improvement, social cohesion strengthening, sustained community organizing, as well as capacity building on management of disaster risk reduction, conflict-sensitivity and peace promotion.

The ACT for Peace (A4P) was designed to develop post-conflict, conflict-affected, or conflict-vulnerable areas into peace and development communities (PDCs) through a conflict transformation process.

At the end of A4P programs, PDCs demonstrated ability to manage local conflicts and resiliency to violent conflicts, establishing economic alliances among themselves through peace-building approaches to community development initiated by LGU’s and local stakeholders, Antonino said in a statement.

The program had assisted about 245 PDCs, mostly MNLF communities, achieve demonstrated capability in implementing basic social services and enterprise projects.

To maintain sustainability of the project, another major effort is underway called the Early Recovery and Rehabilitation for Central Mindanao (ERRCM).

It was developed to assist internally displaced persons (IDPs) in conflict-affected communities. ERRCM is funded by the European Union (EU) through the UNDP and jointly implemented by MinDA and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

While discussing the outcomes of previous initiatives, challenges were also identified on sustaining peace and development in the communities, ensuring institutional policy and support for PDCs, LGU replication of the PDC approach to other communities, and the unstable peace and security conditions in PDCs.

Under MinDA-OPAPP collaboration, opportunities for complementation were explored for MinDA's projects with the Payapa at MAsaganang Pamayanan (PAMANA) Program of OPAPP, particularly on shared monitoring and evaluation, capability building on conflict-sensitive and peace-promoting local governance, and community infra projects such as core shelters, health center, water and sanitation facilities.

Throughout the island of Mindanao, there are, 90 PDCs across ARMM and non-ARMM provinces being assisted under the new program.

Of this number, 62 are from Central Mindanao, Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi, and the others are spread across Zamboanga Peninsula, North Cotabato, Davao Region, and the SOCCSKSARGEN area.

The complementation efforts of MinDA and OPAPP-PAMANA will also include the ARMM regional government. (PNA)

DCT/LAM/NYP/EOF

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