President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. has thanked the Japanese government for its efforts in the peace process in Mindanao, noting that its official development assistance (ODA) already reached 51 billion yen.
Marcos said the Japanese donations, recorded between 2019 and 2022, described it as a "critical part of our peace process."
He also expressed gratitude for the Japan-Bangsamoro Initiatives for Reconstruction and Development (J-BIRD) project, which commits "long-term support for governance, decommissioning and socio-economic development," Malacañang said.
"Look at the effects of this support that you have been giving us, not only in Southern Philippines but all the many -- especially infrastructure projects that Japan has supported over the years," the President said.
He also cited Tokyo's support in the peace process through the International Monitoring Team (IMT), the International Contact Group (ICG) and the Independent Commission on Policing (ICP).
Marcos Jr.'s administration has also focused on amplifying localized talks as its main tool of engaging with rebels, Sec. Carlito Galvez, presidential adviser on peace, reconciliation, and unity, earlier said.
Galvez added that government is just waiting for the “perfect moment” to finally put the insurgency to a close.
Marcos, Jr in September vowed his government's "full and unwavering" support for the peace process in the Bangsamoro region.
Bangsamoro's transition period was extended for another 3 years after former President Rodrigo Duterte signed Republic Act No. 11593 on October 28, 2021.