EU earmarks P6-B for 2 new Mindanao dev’t programs

MANILA The European Union (EU) has earmarked PHP5.98 billion for two new development programs in Mindanao as the bloc increases support towards peace and development on the island, Ambassador Franz Jessen said Friday.

"We are currently working with the authorities to identify the projects. That's (Euros 100 million) what we have been setting aside for those two activities, MINPAD I and MINPAD II," he said in an interview on the sidelines of the Pilipinas Conference in Makati City.

EU plans to spend EUR55 million (an estimated PHP3.29 billion) for the five-year Mindanao Peace and Development Program (MINPAD I) targeting the whole of Mindanao, including the Bangsamoro region.

While the project is still in the pipeline, EU expects it will support the Mindanao peace roadmap and governance framework.

MINPAD I also seeks to deliver peace dividends at a grassroot level, in the form of more jobs and improved livelihoods for ex-combatants, their dependents and the populations that have been affected by years of conflict and neglect.

Meanwhile, the remaining EUR45 million (PHP2.69 billion), provisionally called Bangsamoro Transition and Normalization program, is envisioned to target the Bangsamoro region only.

In an email sent Thursday night, Jessen said "the two programs are now scheduled for next year, due to the delays in the decision about the financing agreements, and it is the intention of the European Commission that they should be subject to financing agreements with the Government of the Philippines."

"Formulation for the other program is presently ongoing," he added. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency

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