P50-M of OPAPP’s P240-M budget next year for MILF peace process PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 21 November 2011 15:27

The proposed budget next year of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) worth P240 million has breezed Senate approval, and P50 million of the amount will be allotted for the amity talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

OPAPP Secretary Teresita Quintos-Deles said Friday that senators deliberated her agency’s proposed budget in a span of 15 minutes a day before.

“I am grateful towards the Senate for considering our position and approving our proposed budget quickly,” she said in a statement.

Deles explained that of the P240 million OPAPP budget, P50 million has been apportioned for the peace process with the MILF and P23 million for the peace talks with the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front of the Philippines.

Meanwhile, P10 million has been allotted for operations related to the closure tracks with the Cordillera People’s Liberation Army and Rebolusyonaryong Partido ng Manggagawa-Pilipinas-Revolutionary Proletarian Army-Alex Boncayao Brigade.

Another P10 million will go to the peace process with the Moro National Liberation Front.

Further, P55 million has been earmarked for personnel services, and P92 million for maintenance and other operation expenditures of OPAPP units.

Deles said that the OPAPP 2012 budget is yet to undergo deliberation by the bicameral conference committee for a unified version.

She said that her agency’s 2012 budget has been reduced from the initial proposed budget of P569 million.

“The P329 million, allocated for PAMANA or Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan program, has been taken out of the OPAPP budget and lumped in one fund source under the Department of Budget and Management. This will then be accessed by the implementing agencies such as the Department of Interior and Local Government, Department of Social Welfare and Development and Department of Agrarian Reform,” Deles said.

She said the move was proposed recently by Senator Franklin Drilon, chair of the Senate committee on finance.

“But even without the PAMANA budget allocation, OPAPP will still carry out its oversight and monitoring functions for PAMANA,” she added.
Under Executive Order 3, OPAPP is charged with the management and supervision of the peace process.

Meanwhile, Deles said that “immense tasks await the OPAPP in 2012.”

“We will work doubly hard, keeping in mind the President’s goal of achieving political settlement of all armed conflicts within his term,” she said.

Formal peace talks between the government and the MILF under the Aquino administration resumed last February in Malaysia, wherein the Moro rebels submitted their peace proposal.

The government peace panel, on the other hand, submitted its ‘3-for-1’ proposal to resolve the conflict in Mindanao last August, but the MILF peace panel recommended to the Front’s central committee the rejection of the government formula.

Early this month, the GPH and the MILF met for an informal, executive meeting in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in a bid to move the peace process forward. — MindaNews