The Philippines‘ Department of Finance (DOF) Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III says that Qatar may provide funding to aid the growth of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, also known as BARMM.
Dominguez mentioned that the officials of Qatar’s Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD), are willing to collaborate with the DOF to explore and act on possibilities of development in the Bangsamoro Region, including in terms of infrastructure and capacity-building.
Bangsamoro Region to Receive Aid from Qatar Agency
According to the Philippines’ Department of Finance, aside from infrastructure development, particularly in the rural areas, QFFD may also aid the Bangsamoro region’s efforts towards peace building and the peace process normalization. QFFD is also ready to facilitate Islamic Banking, disaster risk reduction, managing these risks, development of the fishing sector, and energy solutions, among others.
The QFFD is responsible for assistance projects to other countries, including other Arab countries and developing nations. Through the QFFD, the State of Qatar provides technical assistance, grants and loans. Mr. Samer Frangieh, senior adviser of the QFFD, says that he is particularly interested in helping improve BARMM’s health care and education, and helping expand the fishing sector of the locality. Mr. Frangieh also expressed interest in helping the rebels of the region return to the mainstream, where there will be more economic opportunities.
Secretary Dominguez says these initiatives are aimed at giving residents in the Bangsamoro Region “real change,” and provide initiatives that will truly give them benefits first-hand. This collaboration with the QFFD will ensure the success and the smooth transition into this new regional government.
Dominguez adds that the in the future, the Philippine government hopes to heighten its collaboration with Qatar across various other areas of investment, promoting sustainable development in the country. He says that all this and more are part of Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte’s plan for rapid growth of the country’s economy.
The Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao replaced the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and was inaugurated on March 29, 2019, after several plebiscites and finalizing which provinces are included in the only Muslim majority region of the country. Provinces included in this autonomous region are Basilan, excluding Isabela City, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, Cotabato City and 63 barangays in North Cotabato.
With the financial aid and support Qatar promises to help the autonomous region in Mindanao, the country proves once again that it is willing to support not just its neighboring countries but also other developed countries as far as the Philippines.