Myanmar CSO visits BDA for learning exchange on Mindanao experiences

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Sixteen members of Kachin-based civil society organization in Myanmar recently visited Bangsamoro Development Agency- Central Management Office (BDA-CMO) on July 18, 2016 at Brgy. Datu Balabaran, Cotabato City.

It was informed that the visitors are direct partners of Oxfam in Mytkyina.

The visit was organized by the Initiatives for International Dialogue (IID), an organization facilitating learning exchange program for Burmese CSO leaders who are in the country from July 15-21 this year.

Accordingly, the learning exchange is on Mindanao experiences, particularly how CSOs especially women, mobilized conflict-affected communities in transition to post-conflict situation on matters of peace, development and security initiatives.

The visitors were interested to learn from the good practices of BDA on the community involvement as well as in coming up with the Bangsamoro Development Plan”.

Mohammad S. Yacob, BDA executive director welcomed the visitors together with Engr. Windel Diangcalan, BDA deputy exec. dir., Marifa Agar, admin division head, BDA program coordinators and other staff.

In the activity, visitors learned about the BDA as an output of the peace process between Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and government of the Philippines way back on year 2000.

“The MILF leadership believe that end of the negotiation, we will meet that into good government because the reason why we struggling against government is not that we want to kill people but we want the government to appreciate our problem. The reason why we struggling in the Bangsamoro is we feel that there is injustice committed against us”, Dir. Yacob stated.

He added and stressed that among the objectives of BDA is for capacity building for the people of Bangsamoro and the delivery of basic services for the people affected by conflict.

Meanwhile, Engr. Diangcalan presented and highlighted the Bangsamoro Development Plan (BDP).

He mentioned that, “When BDA was created in 2002, one of the marching orders is to draft comprehensive Bangsamoro Development Plan but at that time, we were still very young on peace and development”.

”Only this 2014 that we finally come up with the document with the support of development partners and experts. One hundred eighty (180) international and local experts helped us but still it was the Bangsamoro who spearheaded the process”, Diangcalan emphasized.

It was reported that the visitors really wanted to get or learn from the experiences of BDA as model of the Bangsamoro and how it acts as a part of the peace process and development arm of MILF.

“The impact on our part is recognition as they look on us (around the globe) and recognize that we have a very professional approach”, Yacob ended.

On November 2014, BDA received its added mandate of being the coordination unit of the MILF.

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