Speeches & Transcripts

Philippines: Statement on the Launch of the Bangsamoro Development Plan

March 5, 2014

Chiyo Kanda Acting Country Director Davao, Philippines

As Prepared for Delivery


Our partners from government:

• USec Montalbo, Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process

• USec Lorena, Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process

• USec Busran-Lao, Member, Government Peace Panel 

Our partners from the MILF and BDA:

• Chairman Iqbal of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission 

• Dr. Saffrullah Dipatuan, Chair of the Bangsamoro Development Agency

• Ustadz Mohammad Shuaib Yacob, Executive Director, Bangsamoro Development Agency

Good morning all.  

I am delighted to be here today for the launch of the Bangsamoro Development Planning process.   

We congratulate the Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA)—which is leading this process—and the national and ARMM regional governments for showing the foresight to begin planning now for development needs during and beyond the transition to the Bangsamoro. 

The World Bank is pleased to be providing financial and technical assistance to the planning process in our capacity as Administrator of the multi-donor Mindanao Trust Fund or MTF. We thank and acknowledge the MTF partners—the European Union and the governments of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Sweden and the United States—for their ongoing support. We also acknowledge the strong support of other development partners to the planning process, particularly the Japan International Cooperation Agency. 

This planning process demonstrates how the government and the MILF (Moro Islamic Liberation Front)—with the support of development partners, civil society groups, private sector and other stakeholders—are working together to deliver a tangible dividend to communities from the peace process.  

The plan will outline strategies to build legitimate institutions to help foster a sense of security among communities, get more children back to school, provide justice and create jobs. This is in line with global lessons on how to successfully address the roots of violent conflict. 

Transforming institutions is particularly difficult in fragile situations.  In areas with a track record of violence and mistrust, expectations are either too low—such that nobody thinks anything will change—or too high so that transitional moments produce expectations of change that cannot be met by existing institutions.  

Global experience tells us that the first step towards institutional change is restoring confidence in collective action. This is because different parties will need to work together to make change happen. And they will not collaborate unless they believe a positive outcome is possible.  

There are two main ways of restoring confidence:

  1. Deliver “quick wins” and send signals to generate confidence that a political agreement will be translated into tangible benefits.  
  2. Support inclusive coalitions of stakeholders to get behind the process of institutional change—government, civil society, private sector, communities. This process needs to reach out to disadvantaged groups and even those who might oppose the peace process to develop a common vision. 

Creating legitimate institutions that can deliver security, justice and jobs is, in plain language, slow. It takes a generation. Even the fastest transforming countries have taken between 15 and 30 years. So we should temper our expectations. 

But at the same time, the Bangsamoro Development Planning process is a crucial step in the right direction. 

It will identify quick wins in the immediate transition period to meet priority needs of communities and build confidence in the process. 

The planning process is highly inclusive, with the BDA working closely with the national government, the ARMM regional government, civil society groups, the private sector, communities and international development partners. 

The process is also reaching out to a range of different community groups, including a community visioning process that is ongoing today in tri-people communities in Upi, Maguindanao province. 

This inclusivity is crucial to generate buy-in and to convince all stakeholders that development in the Bangsamoro will benefit all, not just a select group. 

The coalitions, networks and relationships built through this process will be crucial for the long-term process of transforming institutions to improve security and development in conflict-affected Mindanao. 

This Plan is being led by the BDA, together with government partners. The World Bank as Administrator of the Mindanao Trust Fund is pleased to play a small role in supporting this process. I also take the chance to reiterate the Bank’s commitment to continue our long-standing support for development in Mindanao and to assist with implementation of the Bangsamoro Development Plan once it is completed. 

In conclusion, we wish all involved the best of luck in crafting a Plan that matches the BDA’s vision of an enlightened, progressive, self-sustaining and healthy Bangsamoro community living in harmony, dignity and security.

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