(Opening remarks of Presidential Peace Adviser Carlito G. Galvez Jr. on the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement between OPAPP and TESDA for the second phase of decommissioning of MILF-BIAF members, on September 6, 2018 at the Shariff Kabunsuan Cultural Complex, BARMM Compound in Cotabato City)
Good afternoon to all. Magandang hapon po sa ating lahat.
Today, we witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement between the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority.
Under the MOA, OPAPP and TESDA formalized a partnership in which our agencies will jointly undertake initiatives that are in line with the implementation of the normalization track under the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro, and the six-point Peace and Development Agenda of the Duterte administration.
As contained in the agreement, OPAPP and TESDA will undertake the following: • first, promote conflict-sensitive and peace promoting approaches in Bangsamoro communities;
• second, establish mechanisms to facilitate coordination between our agencies in the joint implementation of programs and projects;
• and third, create an OPAPP-TESDA National Technical Working Group that will operationalize the provisions of the MOA.
All of these interventions, which are anchored on the Normalization track of the CAB, aim to assist decommissioned Moro Islamic Liberation Front – Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces members in making the smooth transition to peaceful and productive civilian life.
Specifically, TESDA’s assistance will focus on developing skills training programs and providing scholarship grants that will help these former combatants find better employment opportunities, earn a decent living, and support the needs of their families.
OPAPP’s and TESDA interventions are in line with the second level of the Normalization track, which includes capacitation and productivity-building programs for these decommissioned combatants. Under this level are livelihood trainings (TecVoc), scholarship grants (Education) and employment opportunities.
TESDA’s involvement in the decommissioning process is a demonstration of the national government’s integrated, holistic approach in capacitating these decomissioned combatants, and helping them return to mainstream society.
It is worth noting that TESDA has been a reliable partner of OPAPP in the implementation of the decommissioning process. In fact, your agency was part of the ceremonial decommissioning of 145 MILF combatants in 2015.
We would therefore like to thank TESDA for earmarking a substantial amount of your agency’s resources to make this partnership a reality. Let us please give TESDA a round of applause.
We hope that TESDA will continue to support the succeeding phases of decommissioning in which we envision to decommission a total of 40,000 MILF-BIAF members by 2022 in time for the signing of the exit agreement between the national government and MILF.
We at OPAPP aim to forge more partnerships similar to the one we have with TESDA so that we will achieve our goal of bringing long-lasting peace and genuine development in the Bangsamoro.
Maraming salamat at mabuhay tayong lahat!