MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said on Tuesday it has established a peace and development program to further strengthen the peace process in the Bangsamoro.

In a statement, the DSWD explained that the program is part of its commitment to the peace agreement between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

“The DSWD established its peace and development program to improve case management and intensify the provision of government-integrated social protection programs for verified ex-combatants,” said DSWD Undersecretary for Inclusive-Sustainable Peace and Special Concerns , Alan Tanjusay, in a statement.

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Under the peace and development program, Tanjusay said the department will create a program management unit and some regional program management units in the Zamboanga Peninsula, Northern Mindanao and Davao Region to “oversee the implementation of various peace programs and initiatives.”

Tanjusay also noted that the peace agreement has already provided cash assistance and cash-for-work programs to at least 26,000 MILF fighters so far under the 2014 Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro.

Such plans and initiatives identified under the peace and development program should be implemented by government agencies in conjunction with the ministries of the Bangsamoro Transitional Authority, according to the DSWD. – Barbara Gutierrez, intern

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