The Bangsamoro Development Plan (BDP) is an initiative of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), through the Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA), with support of the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and development partners, to define a short, medium-term and long-term vision and strategy for the recovery and development of the Bangsamoro. The BDP is anchored in, and guided by, the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB) and its Annexes and the need to sustain the momentum of the peace process by providing strategic directions for the delivery and upgrade of basic services in Bangsamoro communities during and beyond the transition period.
The BDP is a six (6) year development plan with two phases covering 2014 – 2019. Phase I – the Transitional Development Plan – will lay the direction for existing and planned quick impact interventions of the Government and development partners through the mid of 2016. It will ensure the smooth transition from the current ARMM to the Bangsamoro Transition Commission and eventually, to the Bangsamoro Transition Authority. The Medium Term Development Plan (2016 – 2019), meanwhile, will focus on strategic interventions and investments that promote inclusive growth to ensure security, stability and job creation.
The BDP will depart from the traditional sectoral plans formulated by government agencies because of recognition that the planning effort is being conducted as part of a confidence-building initiative of the ongoing peace process. Planning for rehabilitation, recovery and development will be conducted with the peace-building goal foremost in mind. Thus, the primary thrusts of the BDP are peace and institution building in accordance with the Universal core values to create “citizen security, justice and jobs” for a sustainable human development in the Bangsamoro and adjacent regions. As an operational plan, the BDP will identify actionable high-impact agenda that are immediately achievable focusing on the transition years and laying the direction for future sustainable development.
The BDP will be divided into the following seven (7) thematic areas in reference to the BDA Sustainable Human Development and Peacebuilding Framework, such as: (i) economy; (ii) social; (iii) environment and natural resources; (iv) politics; (v) security; (vi) culture and identity; and (vii) the cross-cutting themes of gender and development, peacebuilding and youth. Each of the thematic areas will further be sub-divided into sub-thematic area reports. A full list of thematic areas is provided in the BDP Concept Note. The final BDP will include a consolidated report for each of the thematic areas and an integrative report that summarizes the findings and recommendations of the sub-thematic area reports and thematic reports.
The Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA), as mandated by the FAB (Section VII, 4c) and per instruction by MILF Chairman Murad (issued March 22, 2013), takes the lead role in the formulation of the BDP. To help the BDA in its task, a Project Steering Committee (PSC) was established, chaired by BDA and composed of a representative each from Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP), Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao-Regional Planning and Development Office (ARMM-RPDO), National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), The World Bank (WB), Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), United Nations (UN), Bangsamoro Civil Society, and two BDA Board of Directors to provide advice and policy guidance to the project team. An Advisory Council composed of BDA Board of Directors and BDA Senior Advisors further provide technical advice and other assistance, which include facilitating access and liaisoning to the Core Planning Team and the Cluster Teams in the conduct of their duties/responsibilities and field activities. A Core Planning Team headed by the BDA Planning Officer and supported by consultants from WB, UN and JICA serves as the project secretariat and supervise the work of the different Cluster heads and thematic area consultants.
In line with its continuing support to the peace process between the MILF and the GPH, the donor community is providing technical and financial support to the formulation of the BDP. International and national consultants have been recruited to address the thematic areas of the BDP. In addition, Bangsamoro experts, recruited by the BDA, will provide local perspectives and a better understanding of Islamic values to their local/international consultant counterparts. Finally, selected national government and ARMM agencies have been appointed to facilitate data gathering and interviews and comment on the draft reports of the consultants.
The methodology for the BDP is based on insights from the joint UN-World Bank guidelines on post-conflict needs assessments and includes an exhaustive review of literature and secondary data to assess the current situation and identify gaps followed by field interviews with community members and key stakeholders to validate findings. The initial draft reports will be reviewed by the Core Planning Team, presented to workshops of national and international experts for comment and revision, and further subjected to external peer reviewers. The World Bank, through the Mindanao Trust Fund, is providing technical and logistical support to the BDA to manage this exhaustive process.
Ownership of the document is being ensured through the leadership of the BDA on the project. The active participation of the BDA’s Advisory Council, the appointment of BDA Focal Persons for each cluster and the BDA’s prior approval of consultants procured by donors further ensures ownership at the institutional level. At the community level, ‘community visioning’ exercises in selected areas are being conducted where representatives from key groups such as farmers, fishers, MNLF, IPs, women, and youth are invited to present their vision of the future Bangsamoro society, their immediate needs and priorities, and issues that need immediate attention from the new Bangsamoro political entity. Moreover, a leadership visioning exercise is being planned for top leaders of various groups in the region such as LGU officials, private sector groups, CSOs, academic leaders, MNLF, and IPs. After the completion of the BDP Integrative Report, a “roadshow” will be conducted to presentat the BDP to various audiences in different parts of Mindanao and the country.
A first draft of the BDP Phase I is expected by the end of March 2014 for submission for review and comment. The project team is targeting the end of May as the deadline for completion of the BDP.