AUGUST 25, 2023/ COTABATO CITY-BARMM. A pregnant mother in Cotabato City was diagnosed with a dengue fever. Due to low blood platelet count, six bags of blood were needed to help her fight the effect of the dengue virus in her body.
A 40 year-old mother in Maguindanao, has to undergo operation due to cyst in her reproductive organ and she needed bags of blood for this medical procedure.
A young mother delivered twins in her first pregnancy. She was transfused with six bags of blood during the process.
These cases of patients were some of the stories that actually happened. The necessity of blood is a daily reality. In 2019, the recorded demand for blood related to health procedures is 1,500/1,750 bags per month over 750-900 supply of blood bags.
With this reality that the Muslim Blood Donation (MBD) was born in 2008 driven by the spirit of volunteerism and the will to serve and help.
MBD is a regular program of the Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA Inc.) that aims to help contribute to the continuing necessity of blood in Central Mindanao and its neighboring places.
Every year, BDA Inc. holds MBD on a quarterly basis in partnership with the Cotabato City Regional and Medical Center (CRMC) and the Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC) Cotabato City Chapter. Donors are coming from partner organizations of BDA Inc., private individuals, volunteers and development catalysts from the agency.
With volunteerism as it foundation and life as a program, MBD has been recognized and been awarded by national blood donation programs at the regional level.
MBD program team has recently received individual awards during the Regional Sandugo Awarding on August 24, 2023 in General Santos City by the National Voluntary Blood Services Program (NVBSP) of the Department of Health (DOH).
There were twenty-nine awardees from the pool of blood donors through the MBD: 4 gold, 12 silver and 13 bronze.
One awardee expressed in his social media post, that he prays for good health and more strengthen to continuously perform this noble act to save more lives.
Among the gold awardees is the minister of the BARMM’s health ministry Dr. Rizaldy Piang, whose honor was handed by Dr. Teodoro J. Herbosa, secretary of the DOH with Undersecretary Dr. Abdullah B. Dumama, Jr.
In July this year, the NBVS of DOH awarded the BDA Inc. as Top 1 NGO partner for 2022 with 300 blood units collected.
With this recognition and awards, MBD program hopes to invite more volunteers and blood donors to join this noble cause to help save lives.
It announces its 58th MBD on September 10, 2023 at Brgy. Rosary Heights Covered Court in Cotabato City- BARMM.
Be a healthy Muslim, share your life, donate blood.
(Below is the awardees during the National Sandugo Awarding August 2023)
AUGUST 8, 2023/ COTABATO CITY-BARMM. A famous quote says “education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world”.
With education in a form of community trainings, members of cooperatives and people’s organization (PO) who are composed of farmers, transitioning combatants, women, youth, indigenous people and others are learning together necessary knowledge and skills relevant for the organizing, operation and management of their groups.
Trainings conducted are in relevance to the project PROACTIVE: Programme on Assistance for Camp Transformation through Inclusion, Violent Prevention and Economic Empowerment.
These activities help in building the capacities of the project beneficiaries to become equipped to handle and manage their organizations and the sub-projects to be provided to them by the project.
- Sustainable agriculture
- Community-based Enterprise Planning Technique (CEPT)
- Basic marketing strategy
- Disaster risk and reduction management
- Operation and maintenance
- Organizational and Project Management
- Basic financial management
Some similar trainings are also being conducted for the members of Local Social Formation (LSF) who are organized to respond into pressing concerns in the community related to peace and security.
“In participating training like this, we learn knowledge which cannot be taught or learned in school”, Lailanie M. Arsani of Panggao, Munai, Lanap del Norte- Camp Bilal, stated.
Abdulnasser G. Akmad of Camp Badre said that he joined the training for new learning or knowledge.
“I myself believe that there is no evil knowledge. It just depends how you will use that knowledge. If you use it for good or bad. In other way learning is also a way to be aware of such things”, he told.
Asraf Gunda Batuaan from Camp Bushra learned that “a secretary is different from an auditor”.
Simple knowledge like this is already relevant to awaken and enlighten the participants about project process for them to understand that development assistance comes with a shared responsibility towards sustainable benefits for all.
With the PROACTIVE, there are 24 cooperatives being provided with capacity development support and livelihood assistance based on the potential enterprise identified through CEPT.
Twenty-five People’s organizations are formed with various capacity building activities and to receive infrastructure sub-projects.
There are 24 LSFs who are organized and will be granted with an assistance to be used for a project that shall be responsive to an identified peace and security concerns in the community.
Organizing community organizations twinned with education and trainings have been very relevant for the groups to become independent and self-reliant knowing the process of organizational management, project implementation, operation and maintenance, which are all vital towards project sustainability.
The Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA Inc.) as the implementing agency, has been facilitating the said trainings for the cooperatives, POs and LSFs across the 16 barangays in the six major camps of the MILF namely Camp Abubakar, Maguindanao- Camp Badre, Camp Bilal, Camp Bushra, Camp Omar and Camp Rajamuda.
With the project’s approach, beneficiaries and other partners and stakeholders are united, discuss and work together the needed actions towards progress and peace. They feel the attention through the development assistance long been inadequate for the conflict-affected areas, like the PROACTIVE brings to them.
PROACTIVE as a project that supports to camps transformation and development is a collaborative programme of the United Nation Development Programme (UNDP – Philippines) and the Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA Inc.) under the European Union Framework for Assistance to Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) Mindanao Peace and Development Programme - Peace and Development in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (MINPAD-PD BARMM).
COTABATO CITY-BARMM/ August 14, 2023. People’s Organizations from the eighteen barangays across the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) came together for a common goal to celebrate their progress and hopes as a people. This was through a Product Expo on August 10, 2023 2023 at Robinsons Mall of Al-Nor, Cotabato City.
In the event, the POs displayed and marketed their own-made products that represents their identity, culture, needs and life as a people.
They were able to sell their products to development partners from international organizations and to the different ministries and offices of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).
The Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA Inc.) reported that with this activity, development partners and the Bangsamoro Government see and learn about the existence of these POs determined to improve their organizations and their locally established businesses.
Participating POs from the said event went home with high hopes, smiles on their faces and the unforgettable memories they experienced from this one-day celebration of common hopes to peace and development.
This Product Expo is in relevance to the project SUBATRA-ECSO: Enhancing CSOs Capacities for Inclusive Development Interventions in BARMM in Support to Bangsamoro Transition- funded by the European Union and the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation.
COTABATO CITY-BARMM/ August 14, 2023. According to the data presented, 68% of the total priority projects in camp communities remains overlooked. The data is based on the Camps Transformation Plan (CTP) of 2021.
The Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA Inc.) reported this fact to the audience of international organizations and to the different ministries and offices of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) during the Donors’ Forum conducted on August 10, 2023 at Robinsons Mall of Al-Nor, Cotabato City.
In the said event, development partners expressed continuing commitment to peace and development in the Bangsamoro Region. Officials and representatives from the Bangsamoro Government and the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) likewise articulated their disposition to support initiatives in the camps and for the communities in need of assistance.
This Donors’ Forum on Camps Transformation and Development in Support to Bangsamoro Transition is in relevance to the project SUBATRA-ECSO: Enhancing CSOs Capacities for Inclusive Development Interventions in BARMM in Support to Bangsamoro Transition- funded by the European Union and the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation.
COTABATO CITY-BARMM/ August 14, 2023. Information about access to and how to were some of the key points elucidated to and between the members of the people’s organizations (PO), the civil society organizations (CSO) and the ministries and offices of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) during the CSOs Mainstreaming in Support to Bangsamoro Transition on August 10, 2023 2023 at Robinsons Mall of Al-Nor, Cotabato City.
With the facilitation of the Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA Inc.), PO members and the CSOs were able to communicate directly their concerns and queries to the officials and representatives of the BARMM and the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) regarding the services they needed at the community level to help improve their living conditions.
BARMM and BTA openly responded to their concerns, which was significant to bridge the gaps and helped in managing the expectations from the grassroots level.
This CSOs Mainstreaming is in relevance to the project SUBATRA-ECSO: Enhancing CSOs Capacities for Inclusive Development Interventions in BARMM in Support to Bangsamoro Transition- funded by the European Union and the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation.
The signing is for the Bangsamoro Camps Transformation Project (BCTP) between the Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA Inc.) and the Community and Family Services International (CFSI) on July 28, 2023 in Cotabato City.
Relevant to camps transformation, the project aims to improve the access to socio-economic services and basic infrastructure of the communities within the Six (6) previously acknowledged Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) camps.
Present in the signing were Mangontawar Macacuna, chairman of the BDA Inc. Board of Directors, Steven Muncy, executive director of CFSI, Rhadzni Taalim, executive director of BDA Inc., Noraida Abdullah Karim, CFSI Director for Mindanao Programme and Ali O. Salik, coordinator of Joint Task Forces on Camps Transformation (JTFCT) MILF.
Chairman Mangontawar expressed his gratitude for the trust that was extended to BDA being the lead partner of the BCTP project.
He said that, “we are very committed, In shaa Allah, to strive hard as we are guided by one of our core values which is striving for excellence”.
BDA exec. dir. Taalim emphasized the importance of said agreement for the transformation of the target communities in the Bangsamoro.
“Let us remember that we are not just implementing a project, but we are contributing to the positive transformation of communities and lives of the Bangsamoro people”, Taalim said.
An inception workshop was facilitated and concluded on the same date wherein roles and responsibilities of each party were discussed and clarified.
BCTP helps in supporting the gains of the peace process and the legitimacy of the Comprehensive Agreement on Bangsamoro (CAB).
It is funded under the Bangsamoro Normalization Trust Fund (BNTF) administered by the World Bank.
July 29, 2023/MAGUINDANAO-BARMM. In the Philippines, July is a Nutrition Month with this year's theme "healthy diet, gawing affordable for all". Relevance to this theme is the inclusive provision of social services to indigenous people (IP) communities and other vulnerable groups in the six barangays in four municipalities of Maguindanao, Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).
This is through distribution of nutritious food packs to 480 beneficiaries coming from various sectors such as indigenous people, women and widows, solo parents, person with disabilities, orphans and elderlies.
For some we have talked to, the food pack received is beneficial to their daily meals, especially that they remain displaced due to unstable peace and order in their remote village in the uphill of the barangay.
"We often have two instead of three meals in a day because of little income. We do farming to sustain our daily needs. Right now, we are still at the temporary shelters provided by the BLGU because there is still a threat of armed conflict in our homes. We hope to have permanent homes because the condition is difficult."
The provision of food packs to vulnerable groups is in relevance to the SUBATRA-ECSO: Enhancing CSOs Capacities for Inclusive Development Interventions in BARMM in Support to Bangsamoro Transition, specifically for Output 4.4 "access to basic social services and social protection projects of vulnerable/marginalized groups is improved".
The Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA Inc.) facilitated the distribution on July 29, 2023 for the first two barangays in Datu Hoffer. This was in partnership with the Raja Mamalo Descendants of Southern Philippines, Inc., Barangay Local Government Units (BLGUS) of Tuayan and Talibadok all in Datu Hoffer Maguindanao and in coordination with the Joint Task Force on Camps Transformation (JTFCT).
Partners from the BARMM and the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA), the Municipal LGU of Datu Hoffer and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) joined the distribution.
The Ministry of Indigenous People's Affair (MIPA-BARMM) representatives from Offices of MP Froilyn Mendoza and MP Ramon Piang of BTA provided short information about the programs and services of their offices that the people may access and avail.
SUBATRA-ECSO as a project is funded by the European Union (EU) and the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID).
June 10, 2023. We present to you the compiled stories of decommissioned combatants we met in relevant to the implementation of the program in support to camps transformation and development. Here’s the link for the full narratives of our peace advocates highlighted below.
JULY 2023/ COTABATO CITY-BARMM. For the employees in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), the Values Transformation Training (VTT) strengthens their faith, developed their attitude, character and behavior as public servant.
Some remarked that the facilitation of the VTT is fair and inclusive, where there is more understanding, no judgements and there is respect regardless of religious affiliation of the participants.
VTT is a three-day activity that teaches the importance of self-reflection for self-change and personality development.
It helps the individual assess one’s self based on the teachings of Universal values. VTT motivates the participant understand how faith becomes the foundation of good values for a person to grow and develop and become an effective and productive member of the society.
Further, it supports the principle that change must begin with one’s self.
Since 2019, numerous employees in the BARMM were illuminated by the influence of the VTT and this has helped them be reminded of the relevance of faith-based values guiding them to become a better public servant.
Data shows that in 2022, there were 660 employees in the BARMM who underwent VTT. They are coming from various ministries/ offices such as the Office of the Chief Minister, Ministry of Health (MOH), Ministry of Finance and Budget Management (MFBM), Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Agrarian Reform (MAFAR), and from the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA).
290 personnel from the Bangsamoro Government completed VTT in year 2021.
In 2019, employees from MAFAR, Ministry of Interior and Local Government (MILG) and the Bangsamoro Planning and Development Authority (BPDA, then RPDO) learned about the iconic VTT.
For some of the participants, the training promotes inclusivity in diversity. “Indeed, religion is not hindrance in public service”, one participant told.
Other participant was amazed by the visual presentation of the training materials. “It is my first time to see visuals about Islami Values. I am happy that there is now a promotion of moral governance”, he stated.
The implementation of the VTT in BARMM is being worked out by the BDA Inc. as official facilitator in coordination with the Development Academy of the Bangsamoro (DAB-BARMM).
Aside from the workforce of the BARMM, VTT has also become enlightening for other sectors in the Bangsamoro Region.
In 2019, the Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA Inc.) has inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Ministry of Basic, Higher and Technical Education (MBHTE) through its Technical Education and Skills Development (TESD) Office in agreement to integrate the Values Transformation Training (VTT) in the Bangsamoro Scholarship Program that provides short courses to identified trainees in the Bangsamoro Region.
7, 700 trainees underwent VTT in 2020. Two thousand eight hundred sixty in 2021 and 3, 394 in 2022.
One hundred five health professionals learned about VTT in year 2020. For them, the training reminded them of the importance of value-based healthcare service.
VTT was also integrated to the program for the decommissioned combatants (DCs) of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). There were 357 DCs who completed values training in 2020.
Members of cooperatives supported by the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) are also being required of VTT. In 2021, there were 605 members completing the values training and in 2022, 640 cooperative members were able to finish the values transformation course.
“VTT is significant for the social and spiritual development of our clients at MOST who are members of the cooperatives we are supporting”, MOST stated.
In 2022, there were 390 beneficiaries of the project SUBATRA-ECSO: Enhancing CSOs Capacities for Inclusive Development Intervention in BARMM in Support to Bangsamoro Transition who completed the VTT.
VTT has been a strong foundation of the BDA Inc. since inception. It has become its essential tool to organize, mobilize, and sustain its volunteers within and outside BARMM.
JUNE 30, 2023. / MAGUINDANAO-BARMM. In rural communities in the Bangsamoro Region, sharing of meals among neighbors is a common practice that speaks of the generosity and compassion of communities to each other. This tradition has been observed since the time of our ancestors and has been passed on from generation to generation, up until now.
With the recent celebration of the Eid’l Adha (Feast of Sacrifice), the spirit of sharing has been felt further by hundreds of families in some communities in the Bangsamoro who received free Qurban meat.
Qurban meat are from the sacrificed animals (goat, sheep or cow) that were offered in honor of the divine act of Prophet Ibrahim (A.S.) who was willing to sacrifice his son in obedience and faith to Allah s.w.t.
Every year, this act of worship is performed by Muslims around the world who has the capacity to provide for any of the said animals, which meat are distributed to poor families.
This deed has become relevant to sustain the teaching on the importance of sacrifice and sharing in the name of faith.
The family of Tima Mispil Engkas, 29, a mother of eight in Barangay Kedati, Talayan, Maguindanao Del Sur, is among the beneficiaries of the Qurban Program where they received free meat.
Farming is the source of income of the family to survive the day-to-day life.
Tima was not able to attend school so there is no permanent job for her. She is a full-time housewife taking care of her eight children.
Her husband cultivates corn and rice. While waiting for harvest season, the husband drives a pedicab to earn income.
In receiving Qurban meat, Tima expressed gratitude being delighted of having something special to serve for the family during this time of the year.
According to her, the family usually celebrates Eid Adha with “tapay”, a traditionally prepared fermented rice common in the province of Maguindanao in BARMM. This is consumed and shared together after the Eid prayer.
This Eid, Tima prays for forgiveness of their sins and asked Allah for the blessings to the family.
Despite the challenges in life, Tima remains hopeful for a better future for her children.
She hopes for assistance from the Bangsamoro Government and for the development of their community.
Also, from Maguindanao, is a mother named Fatima Uyag of Brgy. Upper Taviran, Kabuntalan.
She has three children whom she looks after since they are still young and small.
The husband is a fisherman and sometimes works as a construction worker.
The family struggle to have enough food on daily basis.
"It is painful to see our children in this state, but we are used to this life condition”, Fatima said.
They can only eat depends on what is earned for a day. There are even times where there is none at all.
However, Fatima is still thankful because her family is happy being together.
The family is also a recipient of free Qurban meat on Eid’l Adha.
Fatima was very happy saying that they only get beef when there is Qurban on the neighborhood or as sponsored by some organizations.
"We are happy and excited every Eid'l Adha because this is the only time, we can eat beef." Fatima stated.
She added that “if not for this free Qurban meat, we could have not spent our Eid with any special food because we cannot afford it”.
She sends thanks to the donors who give Qurban meat.
“May Allah reward you all and increase your wealth so that you can help more poor people like us”, Fatima conveyed.
The distribution of Qurban meat to thousands of families in selected communities in the provinces of Maguindanao (del Sur and Norte) and Lanao del Sur was facilitated by the Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA Inc.), as part of the implementation of Qurban Program 2023 from June 25-30.
This year, the program is sponsored by partners from Turkey like Turkiye Dyanet Vakfi (TDV), Insani Yardim Vakfi (IHH) and Weltweiter Einsatz für Arme (WEFA.