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BRIEF April 6, 2018

World Bank’s Partnerships in Mindanao

World Bank Group

Unlocking Mindanao’s Potential

  • Mindanao has two faces – one showing the prosperous side boosted by good infrastructure, better educational and health services, a dynamic private sector, and the presence of world-class agribusiness companies, while the other face requires addressing poor infrastructure, inadequate services, weak local governance and private sector, and simmering armed conflict affecting many towns and cities.
  • Poverty and armed conflict are inextricably linked. Conflict exacerbates poverty by constraining delivery of basic services and destroying the infrastructure that is important for generating economic activity and jobs. Consequently, the conflict-affected regions are also where the most severe forms of poverty in the Philippines can be found. This situation has created a vicious cycle of conflict, leading to a lack of investment that hampers economic growth and limits economic opportunities. Combined with weak institutions of governance, this drives poverty and inequality, in turn fueling the conflict.
  • The World Bank supports a large program of activities in Mindanao, including providing social protection to poor families, empowering communities through community-driven development, promoting social cohesion and strengthening institutions, upgrading of infrastructure, improving the quality of education, increasing the productivity of farmers and fisherfolk, and peacebuilding.

"The jobs challenge in Mindanao is daunting but can be tackled through strong partnerships and strategic action. This will include harnessing opportunities in rural areas, in the many emerging urban centers and in conflict-affected areas. "
Victoria Kwakwa
Vice President, East Asia & Pacific

World Bank Group Assistance

The World Bank provides financial and technical assistance to the Philippines, including Mindanao. We also provide or facilitate financing through trust fund partnerships with bilateral and multilateral partners. We offer support through policy advice, research and analysis, and technical assistance. 

  • Providing social protection to poor families. Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) called Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program or 4Ps is the government’s largest program in Mindanao, reaching 1.43 million household beneficiaries, including more than 370,000 in ARMM.
  • Empowering communities through Community Driven Development (CDD). CDD has been adopted by many parties as an approach to fostering peace and development in conflict-affected areas. CDD is about empowering communities to help themselves and typically include at least two types of activities. The first is facilitating participatory development planning by communities in cooperation with local government authorities. The second is implementing priority investments (typically small roads, water supply systems, multipurpose community centers, classrooms, health posts). Small-scale community-managed investments supported under CDD approach help rebuild trust and improve accountability between the local state and conflict-affected communities. This approach is embodied in the ARMM Social Fund of the ARMM Government, the Mindanao Trust Fund being implemented by the Bangsamoro Development Agency, the Mindanao Rural Development Project of the Department of Agriculture, and the KALAHI-CIDSS program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development.
  • The Mindanao Trust Fund has helped promote social cohesion for around 633,212 Muslims, Christians and Indigenous People in Mindanao – 52 percent of whom are women – since 2006. As of early 2017, 321 conflict-affected communities across Mindanao have benefited from 599 community infrastructure, livelihood and functional literacy projects.
  • Supporting peace. The World Bank and the United Nations are providing technical assistance to support the peace process and the establishment of the Bangsamoro in Southern Philippines. The new technical assistance program – the Facility for Advisory Support for Transition Capacities (FASTRAC) – assists the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and then Philippine Government in building capacity to address key issues for the Bangsamoro such as such as governance, justice and economic development policy. It provides on-demand access to a pool of experts, training, policy advice, research and international exchanges. The World Bank provides experts on matters like development planning, justice sector reform, macroeconomic management in post-conflict situations, natural resource management, and fiscal and tax policies. Through the MTF, the World Bank has also provided a grant for the formulation of the Bangsamoro Development Plan as provided for by Framework Agreement signed signed by the Philippine Government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in 2012.
  • Upgrading infrastructure. The World Bank provides financing for Phase 2 of the National Roads Improvement and Management Project (NRIMP2) which covers Mindanao. The project supports improvement of 450 km of national arterial roads and related bridges, including upgrading of 146 km and rehabilitation or widening of 304 km; delivery of a comprehensive road maintenance program through long-term performance-based contracts and preventive, routine and emergency maintenance; and improved organizational effectiveness and integrity of public road management services in DPWH. Recently rehabilitation of more than a hundred kilometres of roads from Cotabato City to Davao City were completed, reducing travel time and helping generate more economic activity in area.
  • Improving the quality of education in ARMM. The World Bank has recently completed the ARMM Basic Education Public Expenditure and Institutional Review to help improve the quality of basic education in ARMM. The report analyzes the public expenditure management issues, suggesting improvements in the area. This review is part of a joint Australian Aid and World Bank initiative to enhance fiscal transparency and budget effectiveness in ARMM (particularly in the basic education sector), reinforce the reform agenda for ARMM, and contribute to preparations for establishing the Bangsamoro.
  • Supporting farmers and fisherfolk. Learning from lessons gained from the Mindanao Rural Development Program, the Philippine government is set to officially launch the Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP) in November this year. PRDP is a US$ 501.25 million project designed to raise rural incomes and enhance farm and fishery productivity in targeted areas nationwide. PRDP will promote more inclusive rural development by helping small farmers and fishers to increase their marketable surplus and their access to markets. At least US$309 million (PhP13.9 billion pesos) from PRDP will finance infrastructure projects (farm-to-market roads, bridges, communal irrigation systems, and potable water) in Mindanao, including the conflict-affected areas in the Bangsamoro.
  • Supporting Education in Mindanao. The World Bank also supports the Learning, Equity, and Accountability Program Support Project (LEAPS) of the government. LEAPS provides support for the training of Grades 1 to 3 teachers and school principals in reading and math. Nationwide, around 36,000 teachers and 12,000 principals and head teachers will receive training and will later serve as resource persons for their peers and colleagues in their respective schools. The project also supports government efforts to strengthen accountability and provide incentives for better performance. In Mindanao, LEAPs is implemented in Region IX (Zamboanga Peninsula), Cordillera Administrative Region, and CARAGA, considered the five poorest regions in the Philippines.

Other World Bank Reports on Mindanao:

“The solution is not easy, but a place to start is with the youth. Young people need hope for the future – education, a job, the right to their own self-identity and self-expression, and freedom from poverty.”                                                                         

Country Director
Brunei, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand