On March 20, 2018, the Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA) with support from Dutch Mission thru the Center for Humanitarian Dialogue (CHD) organized a Donors’ Forum aimed at presenting and discussing to development partners the proposed Bangsamoro Socioeconomic Program at the Astoria Plaza Hotel, Ortigas Center in Pasay City, Philippines.
During the activity, BDA highlighted the “One-Stop-Shop Model” of livelihood program that the agency has developed building on the over the decade of its community-driven development (CDD) experience plus years of implementing local economic development projects.
BDA Executive Director Mohammad S. Yacob enlightened the partners the proposed socio-econ program fits to the Bangsamoro communities and can be a basis of livelihood strategy that could be implemented in camps transformation and can be an agricultural development approach and also for small entrepreneurship.
A message from MILF Chairman Al-Haj Murad Ebrahim as delivered by Eduard Guerra of the Joint Normalization Committee stressed the importance of the socioeconomic program in the peace process.
“One of the priorities of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in the normalization track of the peace process is the formulation and implementation of an inclusive, just and sustainable socio-economic program in the Bangsamoro”, he stated.
Keynote speaker who was Atty. Ranibai Dilangalen of the Department of Agriculture presented agricultural opportunities in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), current projects and programs of the DA and training assistance for farmers and fisherfolks.
In the open forum session, donor partners expressed interest and shared their comments to the proposed program.
Among the inputs shared is the importance of collaboration and connection between organizations and agencies both government, non-government, local and international.
The need for baseline study, needs assessment, structure and alignment with the Bangsamoro Development Plan (BDP) were also raised to further strengthen the proposed livelihood strategy.
The Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) appealed to partners to support BDA with its vital role and capacity leading development in the Bangsamoro by stating “I saw BDA grew in several years, the government is looking into the gains of the this agency. BDA is a reliable partner”.
BDA Chairman Dr. Saffrullah Dipatuan in his closing remarks thanked all the partners for continuing support and commitment in the Bangsamoro.
He shared concerns on managing the rising expectations of the people especially at the grassroots level and expressed hope that thru BDA’s efforts such as the Bangsamoro Development Plan (BDP) of 2014, and by this specific socio-econ program being presented during the forum, the agency together with partners’ support and assistance, will be able to serve and capacitate the very important sector of the community before the larger Bangsamoro government can address the macro-development issues.
Development partners who attended this donor’s forum were from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI-ARMM), United Nations- Food and Agriculture Office (UN-FAO), Mindanao State University (MSU- Marawi), CDA-ARMM, Japan Embassy, Australian Embassy, International Organization on Migration (IOM), International Labour Organization (ILO), National Economic Development Agency (NEDA) and OPAPP.
BDA over the last few months has developed a livelihood model that could be the basis of a livelihood strategy and through this activity, we were expecting that we together with our partners understand the Bangsamoro Development Plan (BDP) Priorities as the framework for the BDA Program and understand the Bangsamoro challenges within the wider Mindanao development strategy.
BDA as development arm of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) is pushing for livelihood improvement in Bangsamoro since the region has the lowest in terms of social and economic development.
This reality is also indicated in the BDP, which became our basis for priority program thrusts at BDA.
In terms of livelihood programs and projects, BDA has already experience and expertise through the implementation the Programme for Local Economic Development Through Enlightened Governance and Grassroots Empowerment (PLEDGE) and Community Development in Conflict Affected Areas in Mindanao (CD-CAAM).