Peace Offering Ceremony under the Assistance for Security, Peace, Integration and Recovery for Advancing Human Security in BARMM (ASPIRE) Project in Basilan

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On 02 March 2024, the Assistance for Security, Peace, Integration and Recovery for Advancing Human Security in BARMM (ASPIRE) Project marked another milestone as former Small and Light Weapons (SALWs) owners were handed over livelihood equipment and items during the Peace Offering Ceremony held in Sumisip Municipality, Basilan.

The ceremony was attended by H.E. Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr., President of the Republic of the Philippines, Hon. Ahod B. Ebrahim, Chief Minister of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), and Minister NIHEI Daisuke, Head of Economic Affairs of the Embassy of Japan, Presidential Advisor on Peace Reconciliation and Unity Carlito G. Galvez, Jr., Governor Jim S. Hataman Saliman of Basilan Province, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Philippines Representative Selva Ramachandran, and many other relevant stakeholders also attended the ceremony.

Funded by the Government of Japan through a 579 million Japanese Yen Grant Aid, the ASPIRE Project is executed by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Its primary objectives include establishing a system for managing and reducing privately-owned SALWs and supporting the socio-economic development of residents in target communities in Basilan Province and the Special Geographic Area in BARMM, jointly selected by MILF and the Philippines government.

In Basilan, a key focus area of ASPIRE, SALWs reduction and management initiatives are underway province-wide, in collaboration with Governor Hataman. The ceremony witnessed the destruction of surrendered SALWs by a roller truck. Additionally, former SALWs owners, who relinquished their weapons under ASPIRE, received livelihood equipment and items such as motorcycles, food packs, and hygiene kits. These individuals, having participated in communication and education sessions facilitated by UNDP, gained awareness of the risks associated with possessing SALWs.



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