MANILA, Nov 13 (Mabuhay) — The European Union in the Philippines is set to formally launch its PHP1.5-billion development program to support the Bangsamoro transition in Mindanao on November 15.

The EU project, called the Support to Bangsamoro Transition (SUBATRA), is in partnership with the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) and will run for a span of five years.

“The program aims to help BARMM lay the foundation for lasting peace and development in the region by strengthening the capacities of its institutions during the transition period,” the EU said Friday.

Aside from SUBATRA, the EU has been helping provide job opportunities for farmers, women, youth, and indigenous people in Mindanao through its PHP2-billion Mindanao Peace and Development Programme (MinPAD RISE).

From November 15 to 19, EU Ambassador to Manila Luc Véron will visit the bloc’s development and humanitarian projects in the region.

He is scheduled to meet with officials from the BARMM, IMT Deputy Head of Mission First Admiral Yusman bin Ostaldi RMN, Bangsamoro Transition Authority Parliament Speaker Ali Pangalian Balindong, local government officials and humanitarian and development partners from Cotabato, Marawi, Iligan, Lanao del Sur, and Lanao del Norte.

For Véron, this trip reaffirms the EU’s commitment to the peace process and development in Mindanao “through an inclusive and comprehensive approach”.

“Ambassador Véron’s meeting with officials from the BARMM and other stakeholders is linked to the program ‘Peace and Development in the BARMM,'” the delegation shared.

The said program, also funded by the EU, amounts to PHP1.4 billion and seeks to improve the social cohesion and resilience of communities while addressing the health, social and economic impact of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) in the region. (MNS)

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