The Delegation of the European Union to the Philippines congratulates Mr Heino Marius who has been designated as the new Chair of the Third Party Monitoring Team (TPMT) on 3 September 2020.
“The European Union is pleased to note that the Peace Implementing Panels of the Government of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front have designated Heino Marius as Chair of the Third Party Monitoring Team”, said Mr Thomas Wiersing, Chargé d'Affaires a.i. of the Delegation of the European Union to the Philippines.
EU’s DNA is peace
In congratulating the new TPMT Chair, Mr Wiersing also reiterated the EU’s commitment to the peace process. Since 2008, the European Union (EU) has been one of the biggest supporters of the Mindanao Peace Process through a comprehensive approach.
The EU supports the political settlement through providing a Humanitarian and Human Rights Law Expert to the International Monitoring Team and supports the functioning of the TPMT which monitors the implementation of all the agreements signed by the parties, including the 2014 peace agreement.
Supporting peace and development and addressing the COVID-19 impact
The EU is a key partner in promoting peace, security and economic development in the conflict-affected areas of the Mindanao region. As such, the EU is now spot on in addressing the wider affect of COVID-19 among vulnerable groups through its programmes in Mindanao.
Under the programme Peace and Development in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (PD BARMM), the EU provides PHP 1.4 billion to improve the social cohesion and resiliency of communities in the region, also addressing the health, social and economic impact of COVID-19 in the region.
With the PHP 1.4 billion Support to Bangsamoro Transition (SUBATRA), the EU helps to consolidate the hard-won peace in Bangsamoro by supporting the new administration, the parliament, the judicial system and civil society through the transition.
The EU programme Rise Mindanao focuses on the immediate priority of food security by supporting agro-cooperatives and strengthening the service delivery of local authorities. With the European Union providing PHP 2 billion, this programme helps to provide job opportunities for farmers, women, youth and indigenous people.
Through partner civil society organisations (CSOs), the EU is also working on COVID-19 information campaigns. Advocacy materials to inform communities on how to prevent the virus and cope with COVID-19 are being developed. Multi-lingual videos and infographics are being produced and disseminated widely, in particular to youth and women, to increase public understanding of COVID-19.
In the last five years, the EU has provided PHP 1.4 billion in humanitarian aid operations as life-saving assistance to people affected by armed conflict or natural disasters. Moreover, the EU supports the local government units in strengthening their disaster preparedness capacity.
The EU has also assisted poor families with cash, food, hygiene kits, facemasks, handwashing facilities and transportation for locally stranded individuals worth PHP 50 million. In addition, the EU has supported the World Food Program (WFP) COVID-19 response on cargo deliveries of relief goods on a free-to-user basis, which includes 898.7 cubic metre deliveries into the Philippines.