Peace and development

OPAPP Message at the ILO and FAO ceremonial signing for the Government of Japan funded projects

By the Secretary Carlito Galvez, Jr. of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) at the ILO and FAO ceremonial signing for the Government of Japan funded projects, Ortigas, Philippines, 6 March 2019

His Excellency from the Embassy of Japan, Ambassador Koji Haneda; Food and Agriculture Organization Country Representative Jose Luis Fernandez and his colleagues; International Labour Organization Country Director Khalid Hassan and his colleagues; members from the Japan International Cooperation Agency; our colleagues here in the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace, Reconciliation and Unity; and, the members of the media; ladies and gentlemen, good morning.

We are gathered here with one ultimate purpose: bringing about peace, development, and prosperity in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

We've only just begun. A longer and tougher road lies ahead of us. Nonetheless, it is worth celebrating the realization of the dream to have a landmark legislation empowering our Bangsamoro brothers and sisters to chart their own destiny.

In the past 2 months, our country has witnessed the attainment of a number of milestones after years of working for peace in the Bangsamoro. These include the ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law creating the BARMM in the Plebiscite last January 21 and February 6; President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s appointment of the members of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority last February 22 at Malacañang; and, the ceremonial turnover and transition from the ARMM to the BARMM last February 26 in Cotabato City. These have signaled the start of a new chapter in the Bangsamoro’s struggle for self-determination.

We are honored and extremely grateful for our international peace partners' unwavering commitment and continuing support in our quest for peace and development in Mindanao. 

Throughout the years, Japan has been one of the Philippines’ active partners for peace and development, as evidenced by their level of investment and presence in conflict-affected areas in Mindanao. The projects of the Embassy of Japan (EOJ) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) have been instrumental in ensuring that the dividends of peace are felt by our communities on the ground.

Moreover, the Japanese Government has played a significant role in the Bangsamoro peace process in various capacities, as a member of the Bangsamoro peace process mechanisms such as the International Monitoring Team (IMT), the International Contact Group (ICG) and the Independent Commission on Policing (ICP).

The Ceremonial Signing for these projects, funded by the Japanese Government and Implemented by the ILO and FAO, signifies our country’s and the international communities’ shared responsibility to help build a better BARMM.

Indeed, these Projects, namely the Project for Agricultural Training for the Establishment of Peace in Mindanao with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the Project for the Improvement of Water Supply Equipment Management Capacity for the Establishment of Peace in Mindanao with the International Labour Organization (ILO), demonstrates that you are with us for the long haul.

With these projects, we are confident that farmers and fisherfolks, will be equipped with the necessary skills that will enable them to obtain sustainable sources of livelihood.

Access to safe water and sanitation is expected to increase the human capital in the region. We all know that poor sanitation and hygiene are primary causes of diseases like diarrhea, typhoid fever, hepatitis A, and rotavirus. In 2018, the Department of Health recorded that ARMM had 397 cases of people affected by typhoid fever and 117 affected by rotavirus.

These data proved the alarming need of the region to ensure access to safe water and sanitation. It is the aim of this project to help alleviate poverty in communities prone to conflict in the BARMM through improved access to safe and reliable water supply and sanitation services.

As we journey together, may our continued partnership enable and empower our Bangsamoro brothers and sisters to chart their own path towards just and lasting peace and sustainable and
equitable development in the BARMM.

Thank you and good day.