The series of Regional Dialogues continued to create synergy and proved to be the best way in getting the valuable insights of the CSO leaders in BARMM on the peace process as the Philippines enter a new political landscape.
The Mindanao Peoples Caucus in partnership with the United Nations International Organization on Migration through the Supporting Conflict Transformation towards Effective Peacebuilding in the Bangsamoro Region (STEP BARMM) Project conducted another round of regional dialogue.
There were 45 participants from Lanao Del Sur, Maguindanao, North Cotabato, Davao City, Cagayan De Oro, and Marawi who attended the 3-day forum at Eden Nature Park and Resort last June 7 to 9.
The Mindanao Peoples Caucus invited participants from Consortium Bangsamoro Cso, League of Bangsamoro Organizations – LBO Inc., BAWGBUG Inc., PeaceBuilders Community, Kunsensya Dabaw, Kalimudan Sa Ranao Foundation Incorporated, Moro Consensus Group – MCG, Balay Mindanaw Group, Sentro ng mga Nagkakaisa at Progresibong Manggagawa – Sentro, Unypad, CBCS), Civil Society Oragnizations Movement for Moral Governance (CSO-MMG), TASBIKKa Incorporated, CRS, Singanen o Mindanao, Ecoweb, and Bantay Ceasefire. Ms. Melina Nathan, the Senior Peace and Development Advisor United Nations Resident Coordinator’s Office, was also present during the dialogue.
Ms. Mags Maglana facilitated the 3-day regional dialogue where the CSO leaders were able to voice out their sentiments, opinions, uncertainties, optimisms, and their plans for the future of peace and development in BARMM.
Focus in the discussion is how can the different CSOs help sustain and protect the gains of the Bangsamoro peace process and what are the necessary actions that CSOs must undertake. The regional dialogue was effective and participatory because, though constrained by time, everyone was given the chance to talk and be heard.
Minister Mohagher Iqbal of the Ministry of Basic, Higher, and Technical Education (MBHTE)–BARMM was also present during the second day of the regional dialogue. He encouraged everyone to “go back to the basic to understand the complexities of the problem.” He also stressed the vital role of dialogue in the peace development work, he said:
“Dialogue is a corner stone of MILF policies, we need to engage people, groups, and be able to identify common grounds… We open our doors to dialogue. While the past is important, the future is more important. You need to understand where they are coming from and their directions.”
As the group move forward, we hope to become more cohesive as group of CSO leaders working towards peace in Mindanao. As what Atty. Mary Ann Arnado, the Secretary General of MPC, said as she closed the 2nd regional dialogue, “We have a heavy task ahead but we will be doing this by holding hands together.”