MAKATI CITY, August 10, 2019 – The Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) and the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) signed Thursday a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that will enable OPAPP to further enhance the delivery of its socio-economic interventions to underdeveloped, conflict-affected areas across the country.

The MOU was forged in line with President Duterte’s directive to ensure the honest and prudent management of public funds intended for poor and conflict-vulnerable communities in Mindanao and other priority areas.

The agreement is also in compliance with the President’s instructions for government financial institutions such as the Landbank and DBP to better serve the nation’s marginalized sectors and provide much-needed financial services to “last-mile communities.”

Moreover, the MOU covers all financial assistance in support of the national government’s peacebuilding and socioeconomic programs under the PAyapa at MAsaganang PamayaNAn (PAMANA) initiative.

“To such opportunity … comes with a formidable task of ensuring that no one is left behind in the development process. This is a mission that we’ve always taken to heart,” DBP President and Chief Executive Officer Emmanuel G. Herbosa said as he underscored the collaboration between OPAPP and DBP.

“While OPAPP is primarily committed to attaining inclusive and sustainable peace, we in DBP, are driven by a mandate to bring about inclusive and sustainable growth,” he added.

Presidential Peace Adviser Carlito G. Galvez Jr. said OPAPP tapped the expertise of DBP after he witnessed how Herbosa “walked the extra mile” to visit far-flung, conflict-ridden areas to assess the appropriate kind of socioeconomic interventions to be implemented there.

“Herbosa is a bold frontline manager who frequented unserved areas like Munai in Lanao del Norte and the island-province of Basilan. He intends to visit Sulu next, willing to take risks and share his experiences with his branch managers,” he said.

Earlier this year, Herbosa together with Galvez visited remote areas of Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Camp Bilal under the command of Hadji Abdullah G. Macapaar, popularly known as Commander Bravo.

The visit is part of the efforts to fast-track the socioe-conomic development support to MILF camps under the Normalization program of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro, a peace agreement between the government and the MILF.

In her opening remarks, DBP Director Maria Lourdes A. Arcenas emphasized the importance of the agreement between the two parties.

“Consistent with our respective mandates, this signing ceremony is a celebrated event where we shall witness the forging of a partnership in pursuit of progress and peace,” she said.

“Through this endeavor, we share OPAPP’s vision of empowering communities to uphold transparency and harmony while attaining development,” she added.

Under the MOU, the parties will work together to develop guidelines for local and foreign donations made to OPAPP, in accordance with existing laws, rules and regulations.

Specifically, the agreement stated that the DBP-Trust Banking Group (DBP-TBG) will serve as fund manager wherein it will be in charge of disbursement management, funds acceptance and funds management which aim to improve the agency’s handling of resources.

The MOU covers a three-year period and can be extended through a written agreement signed by both parties.

Galvez affirmed the promise he made to the President when he took over OPAPP, “all financial transactions of our organization will be handled with utmost integrity and honesty, to free all financial transactions from the menace of corruption.”

Galvez also underscored the continuous improvement that OPAPP is currently undergoing.

“Our new management continuously works to improve OPAPP’s systems and business processes to efficiently implement our plans, programs, projects and activities, and ensure that dividends of peace trickle down to the grassroots and the poor communities,” he said.

The signing was attended by the DBP Vice President Ma. Cristina C. Malab, DBP Director Luis C. Bonguyan, DBP Trust Officer Ma. Teresa T. Atienza, DBP Trust Committee Independent Director Cora Conde, Head of Branch Banking Sector EVP Fe Susan Z. Prado, MinDA Adviser and President of PAGLAS Group Edgar C. Bullecer, and the members of the Executive and Management Committees of OPAPP.

The Chairman of the Board of DBP former Senator and member of the Cabinet Alberto G. Romulo was also present to grace the new partnership between DBP and OPAPP.

The partnership will also explore the introduction of sustainable local and foreign investments for the Bangsamoro particularly the transformation of former combatants to become productive members of their respective communities. ###