Geneva-based Liam Foran and country director Lona Jalijali of the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (CHD) visited the Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA) on May 22, 2019 at BDA Central Management Office in Cotabato City to discuss mediation and immediate impact development intervention in support of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM). They were received by the BDA new executive director Engr. Windel Diangcalan.
The CHD Centre is an independent mediation organisation, based in Geneva, Switzerland, dedicated to improving the global response to armed conflict. Since establishing a country programme in the Philippines in 2004, HD has supported the implementation of existing peace agreements in Mindanao, south of the Philippines, between the Government and various armed groups, mediated in local clan conflicts, and helped the Government reach a landmark peace agreement with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
“Since 2009, HD has been a member of the International Contact Group (ICG) which helped shepherd the parties towards these landmark agreements that aim to end decades of conflict that has cost more than 100,000 lives. The two milestone accords, which were facilitated by Malaysia, serve as a road map to political and structural reforms in Muslim Mindanao, such as the creation of a new autonomous political entity which will be known as the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region”, director Jalijali said.
The BDA, on the hand, is on the transition process as relevant and strategic development arm of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in the post conflict situation.
Director Diangcalan shared that “in this current landscape, the BDA aims to actively engage in crafting and implementing development services within and outside BARMM”.
He further shared, “BDA had developed itself as part of MILF and as a registered juridical entity in the coming days, it will remain faithful to the agenda of autonomy and development”.
“The agency develops its strategy in close coordination with the other agencies within MILF social movement to keep the spirit of the MILF alive and the source of inspiration for the future of Bangsamoro. BDA believes in strong coordination of its activities with the ministries of the BARMM government that are involved in economy & livelihood activities and BDA is looking for a partnership with the BARMM government as a long term mutual commitment”, Diangcalan added.
“We are here to explore areas of partnership and collaboration with key stakeholders in BARMM to carry mediation, as core mandate of CHD, in post conflict context to sustain their support to the Bangsamoro after the ratification of Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) and the establishment of BARMM”, Foran stressed.
Asked on how mediation in the post conflict situation can take place in Bangsamoro, Engr. Diangcalan underscores that in this current political landscape we can look at bridging the BARMM ministries and the Bangsamoro communities with regard to the delivery of basic goods and services in timely fashion and at the same come up with strategic messaging to manage high expectation at the ground.
The CHD facilitated the formulation of the Unified Bangsamoro Development Plan (UBDP) through the Bangsamoro Development Planning Team composed of Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and MILF representatives. BOD Chair Dr. Saffrullah Dipatuan and former executive director Dr. Mohammad Yacob led the MILF core team.
The UBDP has just submitted to the BARMM interim chief minister Hadji Murad Ebrahim on May 20.