PRESS RELEASE (ARMM)
October 15, 2007

COTABATO CITY- ARMM communities transform from being host to sporadic armed conflicts to becoming peace and development communities with the help of the ACT for Peace Program.

The ACT for Peace Program is the fourth phase of the Government of the Philippines-United Nations Multi-Donor Program (GoP-UNMDP) that was established six months after the signing of the 1996 peace accord.

The current phase focuses on sustaining the gains that were established during the previous phases while continuing to institute a culture of peace throughout Southern Philippines.

The program does this by assisting communities address their felt needs or the things they deem necessary and viable for them to rise above the havocs of war. Among which is the development of the community’s resource base as well as the construction of vital health and social infrastructures.

The program ensures that every stakeholder in the community is involved in identifying the needed projects. Each sector is well represented.

The program also helps strengthen the enabling environment that would institute and sustain the transformation like the local government units (LGUs) and other institutions.

“The UN multi-donor program remains to be one of our resolute partners in improving ARMM,” said ARMM Governor Datu Zaldy Uy Ampatuan.

Suharto Abas, Area Coordinator for ARMM, said that one of the achievements of the program is the establishment of peace centers dubbed as Institute for Peace and Development in Mindanao in Mindanao State University’s campuses.

The center supports peace education, peace research and peace action. The objective is to make MSU a peace university by 2010, incorporating peace in all levels of education.

“The program considers the media and the academe to have significant influence over the minds and the hearts of the people. Their help is vital to the achievement of our goal,” Abas said. (bpi-armm)