Development Opportunities and the Comprehensive Agreement on Bangsamoro

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Representatives from government and business organizations discuss the future of Bangsamoro with NGOs

The signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on Bangsamoro or the CAB early this year has been a fundamental milestone in the peace talks between the Philippine Government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front or the MILF. With the submission of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) to Congress, the peace process in Mindanao has taken another step forward. To raise awareness and for the sustainability of peace and development in the region, a forum was organized in Metro Manila to discuss the economic opportunities in Bangsamoro.

The event took place on September 23, 2014 at the Intercontinental Hotel, Makati City. It was organized by the Institute of Bangsamoro Studies in partnership with the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS), the Institute for Autonomy and Governance, the Asia Foundation, the ARMM Regional Board of Investments, the Mindanao People's Caucus, the United Youth for Peace and Development, and the Women's Peace Table. The Chairman of the congressional ad hoc committee on Bangsamoro, Congressman Rufus Rodriguez, was also present, following the interesting discussions about the future of Bangsamoro.

The day was opened by remarks from Abhoud Syed M. Lingga from the Institute of Bangsamoro Studies followed by a Keynote Address from the Presidential Adviser on Peace Process. Since Ms. Teresita Quintos Deles could not be present, she was represented by her Undersecretary. Sam Chittik, International Advisor of Facility for Advisory Support for Transition Capacities, spoke about development opportunities after a peace agreement based on experiences from other countries. Then , development opportunities were discussed by Dr. Fermin D. Adriano of the International Center for Innovation, Transformation and Excellence Governance, and contributions by Dr. Ma. Lourdes D. Lim of the National Economic Development Authority Region XI and Mr. Larry Santos of Regional Board of Investments followed. Ms. Irene Santiago of the Mindanao Commission on Women elaborated on its importance and meaning for women via a video message. Mr. Benedikt Seemann, Country Representative of KAS underlined the meaning of the BBL for Mindanao and the Philippines by saying, "This is an exciting period for Mindanao as we witness the unveiling of a new system of government and new political relations and institutions that seek to address underdevelopment and lack of security in the region." Benedikt Seemann explicitly stated that the future Bangsamoro has to be a political entity for all citizens living there, i.e. Muslims, Christians, and Indigenous Peoples. Afterwards, there was an open forum. Finally, the closing remarks were given by Atty. Mary Ann Arnado of the Mindanao People's Caucus.

A National Round Table, specifically addressing the IP provisions in the BBL will be held by KAS's EU-funded project IPDEV on October 8, 2014 in Makati.

Author

Benedikt Seemann

Publication series

Event Reports

published

Philippines, September 23, 2014