MANILA, July 31 (Xinhua) -- The World Bank (WB) lauded the Philippines on Tuesday for passing a law creating a new Muslim autonomy region aimed at ending nearly five decades of Muslim unrest in the southern Philippines.
WB Vice President for East Asia and Pacific Victoria Kwakwa congratulated President Rodrigo Duterte on signing the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL), saying the law will give greater autonomy to the Moro people.
Kwakwa said the signing of the BOL is a significant milestone towards achieving stability in the region. The Law creates new opportunities for sustainable peace in Mindanao, she added.
"The WB has been a long-time partner in supporting peace and inclusive growth in Mindanao," Kwakwa said, adding the WB "welcomes the news and looks forward to continue working closely with the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in support of sustainable peace and development in Bangsamoro and the entire Mindanao region."
"The signing of the BOL and its implementation are critical to achieve long lasting peace in the region, and we are committed to scale up our program and double our efforts in support of this promising opportunity," said Mara Warwick, World Bank Country Director for Brunei, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand.
Duterte signed the BOL on Friday. On Saturday, United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres issued a statement lauding the BOL.