ARMM execs say foreign donors upbeat on peace

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COTABATO CITY—International aid groups, banks and humanitarian agencies are clinging to the prospects of a peace agreement between the government and Moro Islamic Liberation Front, according to the governor of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

Mujiv Hataman, ARMM governor, said development agencies of First World countries continued to hope for improved working relationship with the ARMM government in good governance, security, justice, peace, economic growth and poverty reduction.

Representatives of the foreign agencies relayed this message to him at a recent meeting in Makati, Hataman said.

Hataman quoted United Nations officials as saying UN agencies would maintain a presence in ARMM despite recent bombings in parts of Mindanao.

Laisa Masuhud Alamia, ARMM executive secretary, said the commitment shown by organizations like the USAID, AusAID, European Union and Japan International Cooperation Agency in helping ARMM would help the Philippine government fulfill its promises to the Moro people.

Alamia said executives of the World Bank and Asian Development Bank also promised to pursue programs for ARMM.

Baintan Adil-Ampatuan, executive director of the ARMM Regional Planning and Development Office, said bold steps taken by the regional government to institute reforms helped generate optimism among international organizations.

“Our strategic plan is primarily conceived to prepare ARMM for a smooth transition in time for its transformation into the Bangsamoro entity by 2015,” Hataman said. Nash B. Maulana, Inquirer Mindanao

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