Usec Luisto Montalbo,
Executive Director, OPAPP
(Office of the Presidential Advisor on the peace Process)
Mr. Windel Diangcalan
BDA (Bangsamoro Development Agency)
Maj. Gen. Dato’ Abo Samad bin Haj Yaakub, Head of Mission,
IMT (International Monitoring Team)
JICA Representatives, recipients from the proponent NGOs and LGUs,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
“Magandang umaga po sa inyong lahat. Nagagalak akong makasama kayong lahat ngayon sa ating pagtitipon.” (TAGALOG: Good morning everyone. I am happy to be here.)
First of all, I wish to welcome the very important progress made in the Mindanao peace process. The signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on Bangsamoro next Thursday is a huge step forward. Let me commend the Philippine government, MILF, the facilitator, IMT and all the parties involved in the process for their perseverance and untiring effort in achieving this outcome.
Today, we are about to sign eight (8) Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects, which will provide 18 classrooms, one (1) agricultural training center, and four (4) vocational training centers for youth and women. These facilities will certainly empower the local youth and give them a better chance for a better life.
Peace and prosperity work together. If there is peace, people can invest and work to build a better life. If the community is prosperous, people will be less belligerent and inclined to seek peaceful solution. A virtuous cycle.
Unfortunately, in the conflicted affected areas, poverty made people fight over limited resources. Fighting made it even more difficult for people to pursue their livelihood. The community got even poorer. A vicious cycle.
The intention of our assistance, J-BIRD, is to reverse this cycle. 222 classrooms, 3 medical clinics, 11 agricultural facilities, 26 units of agricultural equipment, 13 training centers, 5 water systems and more, which were provided by J-BIRD GGP, have contributed to better life for the people in the conflict areas. By giving hope to the local communities, J-BIRD GGP is contributing to the peace process.
In closing, let me express my earnest wish that these 8 projects will give another push to the peace process.
“Maraming salamat po at Mabuhay.” (TAGALOG: Thank you very much and good luck)