P146-M BARMM education programs to benefit ex-MILF members

Published April 30, 2021, 12:47 PM

by Philippine News Agency

COTABATO CITY – Former Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) members stand to benefit from P146.8-million worth of educational projects to be implemented by the government.

Minister Mohagher Iqbal of the Ministry of Basic, Higher and Technical Education – Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. (BPI-BARMM / MANILA BULLETIN)

Mohagher Iqbal, minister of education in the Bangsamoro Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), said Friday the region’s leadership is determined to prioritize education as it is key to Bangsamoro development.

This came after the signing of the memorandum of agreement (MOA) between the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) and the Ministry of Basic, Higher, and Technical Education (MBHTE) on Thursday.

The agreement covers the P56.5-million Bangsamoro Grants-In-Aid Higher Education Program (BGIAHEP), and the P90.3-million Alternative Learning System (ALS) Program for decommissioned combatants (DCs) and their dependents, including selected residents from the six previously recognized MILF camps.

“OPAPP and MBHTE are in the process of identifying and determining the recipients and target areas,” said Iqbal, concurrent GPH-MILF peace panel co-chairperson.

Beneficiaries will receive subsidies for tuition and other school fees for semester and summer classes, monthly stipend, book allowance, and learning support, among others, he added.

On the other hand, ALS is classified under the umbrella of socio-economic development for DCs and their communities, and other members of the community of the MILF camps.

Under the normalization track of the GPH–MILF peace process, the program basically aims to uplift the lives of decommissioned MILF combatants, their families, and their community members.

It is also part of the many follow-through interventions of the national government after each combatant obtained the transitional cash package worth P100,000.

Asked for comments, BARMM parliament member Akmad Abas, former commander of the MILF Eastern Mindanao Front, said he was elated over the development, saying the peace process “is really working. We welcome this good news. I will help spread it to MILF communities in Central Mindanao.”

 
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