Mindanao’s shadow economies: Minimising risks, maximising peace dividends

This policy brief argues that the informal economy needs to be seen as integral to all peacebuilding efforts in the Mindanao region of the Philippines, as it will shape the prospects for a genuine and lasting peace.

The March 2014 signing of a comprehensive peace agreement between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) provides a foundation for lasting peace and sustained development in Mindanao.

The informal economy is one among many hidden drivers of continued violence and instability in Mindanao. Yet, this informal sector has not been discussed in the framework peace agreement and its component annexes. Stakeholders in the peace process should mitigate the conflict risks posed by the informal economy, while at the same time harnessing it as a source of revenues and development that can bring peace to Mindanao.