by Yasmira P. Moner and Abu Al-Rasheed T. Tanggol

AS PART of its commitment to a just and sustainable peace and development, the MSU-IIT’s Institute for Peace and Development in Mindanao (IPDM) spearheaded a whole day orientation and workshop in support to the recently-established Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) on August 20, 2019 at the Ideya Hub in the College of Business Administration and Accountancy.

The activity is the first of the planned 3-phase project initiated by the IPDM in order to sustain the Institute’s peace efforts through instruction, research, extension, and production. The project is among the identified priority areas towards mainstreaming the Institute’s extension services with IPDM as the leading unit to work on these efforts in coordination and collaboration with the academic and semi-academic units of the Institute.

The activity was participated by the various academic heads, cost center representatives, and faculty members of the Institute.

On behalf of the Chancellor, Dr. Franco Teves, Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and the Institute’s Officer-in-Charge, delivered the welcome message and reminded the participants of the shared moral responsibility in ensuring the success of the Bangsamoro Organic Law and the BARMM. 

IPDM’s Director, Assoc. Prof. Saturnina Rodil, emphasized the essential role of academic institutions like MSU-IIT in providing technical knowledge through an evidence-based support program in a manner that is peace-promoting, as well as culturally- and gender-sensitive.

During the pre-orientation, Dr. Maria. Cecilia Ferolin, Director of the Department of Extension, reiterated the need to sustain the relevant and sustained extension services of the Institute by anchoring it to the global framework of the Sustainable Development Goals 2030 (SDGs) with peace and human security as two of the key priority areas.

The highlight of the morning session was the orientation on the RA 11054, “An Act Providing for the Organic Law for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao,” otherwise known as the BOL, delivered by Atty. Nassief Lalia Mangadang, Chief of Staff of Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) Member Atty. Maisara Dandamun-Latiph.

Mangadang highlighted the salient features of the BOL particularly on the political restructuring of the new autonomous region, with the 80-appointive member of the BTA as the interim government until the regular Bangsamoro election in 2022. The economic provision on the block grant and the special development assistance fund was given due attention in as much as it determines the genuine fiscal autonomy, which was lacking in the defunct ARMM.

The Chief of Staff concluded his talk by asking for the continued support from the Institute as the BTA is currently doing public consultations which are significant policy inputs in the making of pertinent policies and guidelines on education, revenue generation, and local governance, to name a few.

The afternoon session was devoted to the workshop proper wherein the participants were grouped into three clusters: (1) Education and Social Services; (2) Economy and Finance; and (3) Local Governance, Public Order and Safety, and the Environment. The three clusters discussed and came out with project proposals that the Institute may undertake in order to support the BARMM.

In order to build on the output during the workshop, a Technical Working Group (TWG) was created to work on the initial project proposals and ensure the sustainability of the research-based intervention programs, projects, and activities for the BARMM.