GPH-MILF joint body agrees on guidelines PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 13 May 2013 14:17

The Joint Coordinating Committee (JCC) of the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) for the Sajahatra Bangsamoro last week convened for the first time and agreed on guidelines for program implementation.

“We are excited, happy that this joint panel is now in place,” said Cabinet Secretary Jose Rene Almendras in his opening remarks during the meeting held at the Waterfront Insular Hotel.

Sajahatra Bangsamoro is President Benigno Aquino III’s concrete socio-economic peace initiative, in partnership with the MILF, that aims to uplift the health, education and livelihood conditions of Bangsamoro communities. Last February, President Aquino and MILF Chair Murad Ebrahim jointly led the formal program launch held at the Bangsamoro Leadership and Management Institute in Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao.

The JCC, composed of representatives from the GPH and the MILF, is tasked to provide overall coordination and supervision in implementing the Sajahatra Bangsamoro program. It will also serve as the interfacing platform between the GPH Task Force on Bangsamoro Development and the MILF Task Force on Sajahatra Bangsamoro.

The JCC affirmed the coordination protocols between the two parties on matters such as program implementation, monitoring and evaluation, communications, security, and confidentiality arrangements. Further, they discussed implementation guidelines, which will be developed in the two-day workshop of the Joint GPH-MILF Project Management Team held on May 9 and 10, and preparations for the provincial program launches that will start in June. It was also agreed that GPH and MILF local program staff will be trained on necessary skills like social preparation.

The GPH Task Force on Bangsamoro Development is led by the Office of the Cabinet Secretary in collaboration with the Department of Health (DOH), Department of Education (DepEd), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth), Commission on Higher Education (CHED), Department of Agriculture (DA) and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), among others.

The MILF has been collaborating with the government in identifying the interventions and the target beneficiaries.

“We are here to work together to deliver much needed basic services that our brothers and sisters need,” Almendras added. “This is only the beginning. I know there will be challenges and obstacles.”

Almendras reiterated the government’s assurance that commitments are delivered to program beneficiaries in identified Bangsamoro communities as soon as possible. On the education component, he said that DepEd has committed to ensure that the eight madaris schools that were identified during the launch will be given assistance before the school year opens this June.

“CHED will likewise discuss with state universities and colleges on the accrediting of scholastic assessment exams conducted by the MILF among possible beneficiaries last month as entrance exams for their selected schools,” Almendras related.

He also said that beneficiary communities where daycare centers will be established will be identified within this month.