On February 4, 2016, the Canadian Embassy Delegates headed by Stephen Weaver, Head of Cooperation together with Geneveive Aseline, First Secretary visited the Bangsamoro Development Agency Central Management Office (BDA-CMO) in Coabato City. Hosted at the Bangsamoro Development Center in Cotabato City, Inc. (BDCCCI), the meeting was held to level off on the current programs of BDA particularly on the livelihood and local economic development.
Mohammad Yacob, BDA executive director welcomed the said visitors. He was joined with the BDA key staff: Marifah Agar, administrative division head, Abdulmaguid Salidatan, human resource development division head, Engr. Nasser Sinarimbo, management consultant and other BDA staff.
Yacob stated in an interview that the purpose of the said visit. He said “it was the first time that delegates from Canadian Embassy visited BDA-CMO”.
“So, we presented to them our existing programs in livelihood like PLEDGE (Program for Local Economic Development through Enlightened Governance and Grassroots Empowerment), CD-CAAM (Community Development in Conflict-Affected Areas in Mindanao), also our program with the United Nation Population Fund (UNFPA) and our future program with other development partners like for example the ‘Bangsamoro ADVANCE’ with Mindanao Trust Fund Reconstruction and Development Program,” Yacob stated.
He also mentioned that Canadian Embassy (formerly CIDA) has been one of the donors of Mindanao Trust Fund (MTF) that is why they would like to understand the progress of the MTF program thus far.
“We (BDA) think that because of the possible non-passage of the BBL (Bangsamoro Basic Law), our partners want to know what is the stand of BDA for the future but we always answered them that whether there’s BBL or none, we have been doing the mandate of BDA which is to facilitate the development for many people,” Yacob said.
Representatives from Mindanao State University (MSU)- Maguindanao also did some presentation like “Contribution to Peace and Development of the Agricultural Livelihood program of the Department of Agriculture in Central Mindanao” for the guests during the visit.
Joining the activity were key staffs of BDA, representatives from Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations-World Food Program, International Organization for Migration (IOM), and MSU-Maguindanao.
(Zandra Malikol, BDA CommGroup)