November 5, 2021. Datufaizal Macacana 36, (2nd photo below), travels from Poblacion, Datu Odin Sinsuat in Maguindanao to Brgy. Saniag, Ampatuan in the same province from Monday to Thursday to fulfill his responsibility as Instructional Manager (IM) to the learners of the Alternative Learning System (ALS)- a component of the Camps of Learning Project that promotes literacy in communities within the six major camps of the MILF acknowledged in the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB).
He started working as an IM for ALS in camp communities, particularly in Camp Omar in year 2019. Faizal understands the complexity of working in remote areas, especially in a camp, known to be a battlefield during the armed- conflicts in the past years. For him, he chose this job in belief that he can help serve those people who did not have education due to war in the past.
Faizal was a 4th year in secondary education when he learned about the conflict in Mindanao, particularly in Bangsamoro where he was born. “My father was often on duty in Camp Abubakar those times, for many months, so I knew and understand the struggle of the Bangsamoro”, he stated.
With his job as IM at present, Faizal feels good for the experience of being able to work with the local government unit (LGU) and the people in community.
He wishes enlightenment for his learners about the importance of education.
“I hope that I can help them be motivated towards education, that poverty is not a hindrance to learn, because at present, there are many opportunities in the Bangsamoro, that can assist people to improve their lives”, Faizal told.
Colleagues of Datufaizal for literacy sessions in Camps Omar are Aisa Mantikayan, Noraina Sambad and Nor-ain Kaliman.
Meanwhile, a colleague of Faizal from Lanao del Norte, named Aisah Acob, 29 also shares story of her work as IM in the remote village within the Camp Bilal, particularly in Brgy. Tamparan, Munai, Lanao del Norte.
For Aisah, what she loves most about her role as IM is being able to be an instrument in providing learning for those people who did not have the chance because of the war, poverty and low access to basic services.
She hopes that by teaching, her learners would learn things that are useful for daily lives.
“I want them not just a reader but a leader in the future. I use the quote “Be a READER today, tomorrow a LEADER”, for them because I have this learner who is a barangay councilor. She cannot read even simple words and sentences, only understands simple Filipino words. And for that she cannot fully participate in the development of the community because she is not confident and capable enough due to poor literacy”, Aisah stated.
In Camp Bilal, Aisah is joined by Norayah Mananggolo, Ibrahim Dangcogan and Aslimah Maminta.
Amerah Anta, 40, is also an IM working for the ALS learners in Brgy. Inug-ug, Pikit, North Cotabato, a village within the MILF’s Camp Rajamuda.
She shared that facilitating the learning session for the learners in a camp community is not easy. But her years of experience in the job, since 2016, equipped her with more knowledge and determination- moreover, knowing and understanding that this is part of her contribution to the Bangsamoro struggle.
“I wish that they will all complete this program, and whatever they learn from ALS will be significant in their lives”, Amerah expressed.
In Camp Rajamuda, Amera is working with Shaffreah Kuta, Sulaipa Unggui and Layra Mahmod.
Bedorie Panaudan, 34, has been working as an IM in Camp Bushra since 2016. Being an IM, she is very happy for the ability to share knowledge.
“I am happier when I see their eagerness to learn. Through this ALS, I can help in giving hope to the people in camp communities”, she stated.
Bedorie is working with Yasmin Abdulmanan, Mojahid Magazoga and Saniah Oga are facilitating the ALS classes in Camp Bushra.
Another IM, Sabrina Masacal, 25, is facilitating ALS sessions in Camp Abubakar, particularly Brgy. Tabuan, Kapatagan, Lanao del Sur.
She said that she loves doing community services. Sabrina is a social worker and applied for this job knowing that she can help those people who are in remote areas by sharing knowledge.
“I wish that my learners will acquire knowledge that they can use for their selves and have the courage to do what they wanted in life”, Sabrina told.
Sabrina is working with Noraina Mamantek, Analiza Pagayawan and Samera Bagnas. In Camp Abubakar.
ALS facilitators in Camp Badre namely Abdullah H.Esmail, Kalindato Bato, Zainudin Kusain and Muslimin Abdul have to cross a river to reach their learners in the remote village of Brgy. Datalpandan, Guindulungan, Maguindanao, including the indigenous people community- who are thankful for reaching out to them despite the distance to bring them literacy.
At present, there are four hundred eight (480) number of ALS learners across the six major camps of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) where the CLP is being implemented.
They are vulnerable sectors in the community like women, out-of-school youth, elderlies, indigenous people and others who were not able to get formal education due to poverty, difficult access and armed conflict in the past years.
It is noted that the implementation of ALS in camp communities is well- coordinated with the BARMM’s Education Ministry for the areas under the Bangsamoro Region. Communities outside the region like Brgy. Inug-ug in Pikit is with the Department of Education- North Cotabato Division (Region XII) and Lanao del Norte Division (Region IX) for Brgy. Tamparan in Munai.
The project is funded by the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID).
Narrated by Anisa, the chairman called her to go to Manila for an activity that she barely knows.
“That time, according to her, we can only follow orders, no question or complaint”, Anisa told.
In obedience, she packed her things and get the plane ticket provided and was ready to board for the task given to her together with a colleague in the organization.
She recalls that it was month of January 2000, months before the all-out-war that year, broke out between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
Upon arrival in Manila, Anisa immediately dialed the phone number given to her, then someone fetched them from the airport.
They reached the hotel where they stayed for the activity, which they later knew was about a meeting or consultation with women of MILF and MNLF organized by the government.
Today, Anisa is telling this story to the young and present staff of Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA) to share them narratives of how the agency and its people worked despite the uncertainties and lack of resources.
BDA now BDA Inc. (as non-government organization) was established in 2002 as development arm of the MILF primarily mandated to lead, manage and determine relief and rehabilitation in the conflict-affected areas of Mindanao.
Anisa is one of the senior employees and volunteers of BDA Inc. and remain a dedicated and committed Bangsamoro woman worker up until today.
“I joined BDA in 2004 when we were informed that the MILF is calling for volunteers to work for the agency. I was then a member of the secretariat of the late Hashim Salamat (MILF Founding Chairman).
She recalls that it was in 2004 when BDA volunteers worked together for the development of the Values Transformation Training (VTT) along with other modules that guided the agency during its early years.
Anisa was among those who worked together during the early days of BDA, that time with very limited resources and recognition of partners and stakeholders due to its peculiar identity; not a government organization nor non-government organization.
“Our life then at the agency was purely driven by volunteerism”, Anisa shared.
According to her, there was no specified salary or allowance for all the workers. Everyone was aware and understood that the services rendered for the agency were part of the Bangsamoro struggle and the hard work and efforts were all counted and be rewarded hereafter.
Anisa is the eldest of four children; three girls and one boy. The family is from Kurintem, Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao. The mother managed a small coffee shop serving local dishes with native brewed coffee, where she earns a living for the family aside from farming.
The father passed away when Anisa and her siblings were still young.
“In fact, I cannot remember him, because maybe I was too young that time. What I know is that, our mother was three-month pregnant with our youngest when Ama (father) left us in this world.
As one of pioneering volunteers of the BDA, Anisa is known as the “Ate ng Lahat” (big sister to all). She is the most frank, furious, courageous yet honest and generous friend, fellow and a sister to everyone she works with.
“Tatalakan ka nya ng todo-todo, pero pag marinig na nya ang kwento mo, sasabihin nya na lang “aday mambu/ kawawa ka naman. (She would scold you intensely, but later when she hears your story, she would say “how poor you situation” with sympathy”),” a friend describes Anisa.
As a Moro woman, she learned about Bangsamoro struggle when she was in elementary school and has become active at the age of fifteen (15).
“We were told to join the training for the Medical Team of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF). That time, no MILF yet”, Anisa said.
As youth, she was aware of her being active in community activities and joining and responding to the call and recruitment at the community level seemed natural for her.
“No one was ordering me to join, it was really me who voluntarily involving myself”, she told.
Then when there was MILF, Anisa became part of the Social Welfare Committee (SWC), the women wing of the organization. She joined the organizing of the committee at the community level, going to municipalities in various provinces of then Kutawato Empire.
That time, Anisa had to stop schooling for two years since they have to travel from mainland to Island provinces.
It was after two years when she decided to pursue her studies through the Alternative Learning System (ALS).
Anisa got a degree of Bachelor of Science in Commerce major in Management in Shariff Kabunsuan College (SKC) in Cotabato City. Away from family in DOS, Maguindanao, she lived by a relative in Cotabato City with the hard work of her mother who was solely sustaining her needs as student.
Growing personally and professionally at the BDA, Anisa remains loyal to the agency whose marking its nineteen years of service this year 2021.
“I stay here at BDA because I consider this as the legacy of the late MILF Chairman. I cannot forget his words saying ‘working at BDA is a form of jihad, help the Bangsamoro, the community in whatever effort you can without expecting salary because jihad has no equivalent benefit in this world’.
With the establishment of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), Anisa shares the joy for her fellow Bangsamoro for the significant progress in the history of the peace process between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
“Of course, I feel happy about the BARMM. For me it is a fruit of peace process, but not of the jihad (struggle). Because the fruit of jihad is only at the hereafter, in heaven”, Anisa stated.
At present, Anisa is working as cashier at the BDA where she helps to the overall financial management of the agency.
She possesses the history of BDA that is relevant as she takes the role of managing the resources of the agency in a transparent, flexible and policy- driven manner.
“We say that there is dynamics at the BDA. We came from a revolutionary organization, the MILF, so we tell our partners ever since that there is difference in our context. So, we have to agree on the policies and regulations on the use of funds, not only according the global standards but to consider the local context”, Anisa told.
Over the years, BDA has been determined in developing and strengthening its capacity as an organization looking into various aspects such as project management, administrative and financial management, community organizing and mobilizing, linking and networking, others.
Throughout these efforts, all actions were driven by the core values of the agency guided by the principle of “change must begin with one’s self”.
Anisa is gratified by the accomplishments of BDA knowing its humble and peculiar beginning as an organization.
“Yes, I am happy because BDA was able to excel and did not fall down”, she told.
Looking ahead, she hopes that BDA can sustain its best practice on equipping its staff to become more dedicated through the VTT and study circles.
She was third year in college when her father passed away. For the family, it was challenging because they were dependent to the head of the family for daily sustenance including education. The mother was a full-time housewife.
Julhaina Cadon, 46, said that when that happened, the family really struggled to move on. However, despite the challenges, she finished her education with a degree of Bachelor of Science in Psychology in a university in Cotabato City.
“When I finished, alhamdulillah I was able to find a job immediately. I worked at the office of Southern Philippine Council for Peace and Development (SPCPD) particularly in cash division as cash assistant” Julhaina told.
She narrates that because of that job, she was able to provide for the education of her other siblings who all earned a professional degree from college. There were two engineers, one with BS Biology diploma and one with BS Business Administration.
With her experience of providing for the family, Julhaina developed further sense of responsibility, including on the matter of managing financial resources.
In 2002, Julhaina joined the Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA), the development arm of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
“I was informed by some friends about the call for Bangsamoro professionals to volunteer in helping the Bangsamoro people who are in need, through the BDA”, she said.
Julhaina was among those who responded to that call because she saw it as one way to contribute to the Bangsamoro jihad (struggle).
Back then, she was already aware of the struggle in her homeland since the family supports the noble fight. Her uncles and cousins were members of the MILF. So, it was not hard for her to understand that working at BDA that time, provides no definite salary or none at all.
At the agency, Julhaina was tasked a job related to finance since her previous work was the same. She worked as cash assistant, which she was already skilled in. That time, BDA was engaged in different small partnership where she was in-charge of the “in and out” of funds on activity based. She was also in charge of submitting the financial report of the office.
In the beginning, it was still hard for her even if she already has an experience on finance- related tasks.
As a graduate of psychology, she can only rely on her previous job as reference. However, Julhaina understood that working at BDA as part of Bangsamoro struggle alludes that: “there is NO as an answer to an order, we can only obey”.
Julhaina was with the finance section of BDA for twelve years until she was designated as Operation’s Officer for one year for the Tahderriyah Project with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and a Project Coordinator for three years of the Program for Local Economic Development Through Enlightened Governance and Grassroots Empowerment (PLEDGE), with the International Labour Organization (ILO).
Commitment over self- interest
It was in 2017 when she was appointed back to the Finance Division of the BDA.
She said that it was a long story why there were changes of position for her at the agency.
She conveys that letting go of responsibilities may be hard and sacrificing your own interest is unavoidable, but as a volunteer, she is already committed and dedicated to the Bangsamoro cause.
Back at finance works, Julhaina leads the management of the financial resources of the BDA. It is noted that the agency continues to institutionalize its operation as an organization wherein finance matters are vital.
“Finance is very important in any organization not just in BDA because it is the backbone of the organization. Financial resources are there in order to operate and serve as the fuel of the human resources. No matter how many human resources or good the plan is, if the organization doesn’t have financial resources to sustain it, it would not be realized” Julhaina stated.
She agrees that it is very important in every organization especially on how it will be managed properly to sustain the operation. (She expresses that the importance of finance in an organization is contingent to its proper management that contributes to the sustainability of operations.) In the case of the BDA, an organization that started with very limited resources and still dependent on projects funds, financial management is indeed crucial.
However, Julhaina is confident that BDA, with its years of operation, the agency is already capable of handling financial resources. (However, Julhaina is confident that with its years of operations, BDA is already more than capable of handling financial resources)
“Currently, the financial system of BDA is already practiced. Our policies and guidelines are in placed. We already have our administrative and financial manuals, also operational manuals that serves as guidance on how we move forward when it comes to financial operation of BDA” she told.
Julhaina added that despite of this, the manual can still be enhanced depending on pertinency, must be aligned to the current trends, moreover to the context of the Bangsamoro.
She shares experience on the journey of the BDA to systematize its financial management along with the institutionalization of the agency in general.
“It was not easy, because we know for a fact that in Bangsamoro, there is really a different context,” Julhaina said.
BDA receives project from different donors and each of them requires variety of financial policies that the agency has to adhere (in addition to its own policies)
“So, we have to deal with that and we have to carefully cascade that information to our staff at BDA, because imposing a policy was not that easy. Some would refuse to believe and obey, but we have to work more considering local context”, she told.
Julhaina believes that at BDA and in the Bangsamoro, in general, financial management is not only about complying to the policies and guidelines.
“It is as if working for the global standards while considering the local context”, she said.
Why centavo matters for accountability?
For Julhaina, working for finance is equivalent to accountability. Hence, her team at finance division continuously work together to ensure that every centavo in a whole project cost for instance, is well-accounted.
“In a project, there is work and financial planning, where each activity is provided with specific budget to deliver the expected outputs of the project. We do accounting to see if each cent is spent according to its purpose”, she said.
In doing this, Julhaina and her team has been used to confrontations from other staff in the office whenever they impose policies and look for unrecorded amount.
However, such situation is usually settled easily with proper communication and information, and by the cooperation of other people in the organization.
“It is quite difficult but it is our responsibility, because we are entrusted. And for the case of BDA, as development arm of the MILF, whatever our performance is will always have impact to the capacity and image of the Bangsamoro”,
She added that “we always carry the name of the MILF, and attached to that is the peace process that the whole Bangsamoro has been in, so we are always reminded of that”.
BDA was established in 2002 in accordance with the humanitarian, rehabilitation and development aspects of the GPH-MILF Tripoli Agreement of 2001. The agency was primarily mandated to lead, manage and determine relief and rehabilitation in the conflict-affected areas in Mindanao. Further, BDA was created to help build capacity of the Bangsamoro for future governance role.
Julhaina believes that BDA shall strive more on financial management as it is a vital part of project and organizational management, and hopefully to contribute to the governance function of the Bangsamoro.
“We were trained on this field for past 19 years, dealing with different policies imposed by various donor and we are pleased that for that years of service, BDA’s performance on financial management remains acceptable to international partners”, she told.
She ended that “Every centavo counts because it is part of the resources intended to help address the needs of the people- and that’s when peace starts. Also, when each cent is spent according to its purpose, there will be no mistrust, no corruption. Centavo contributes to peace because it speaks of the trust, that is very important to build and sustain harmony and understanding between people and partners.”
October 22, 2021. Ministries and offices of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) pledged support to the Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA Inc.) for the implementation of the Project- Enhancing CSO Capacities for Inclusive Development Interventions in BARMM in Support to Bangsamoro Transition (SUBATRA-ECSO).
Ministries of Health (MOH), the Agriculture, Fisheries and Agrarian Reform (MAFAR), Indigenous People’s Affairs (MIPA) and, the Interior and Local Government (MILG) and the offices of Bangsamoro Information Office (BIO) and Bangsamoro Women Commission (BWC) expressed their support during the courtesy meetings organized by the BDA Inc. from October 18-22, 2021 within BARMM Compound in Cotabato City.
This undertaking is part of the initial steps for the implementation of the Project- Enhancing CSO Capacities for Inclusive Development Interventions in BARMM in Support to Bangsamoro Transition (SUBATRA-ECSO). The project, aimed to contribute to a peaceful, cohesive, secure and inclusively developed Bangsamoro is funded by the European Union and the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation.
COTABATO CITY. The Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) and the Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA Inc.) launched the Support to Bangsamoro Transition Justice and Society: Enhancing CSO Capacities for Inclusive Development in BARMM o SUBATRA Justice and Society ECSO Project on September 30, 2021 via zoom.
Together with the European Union (EU) and the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID), the project aims to contribute to a peaceful, cohesive, secure and inclusively developed Bangsamoro.
In a message, Hon. Ahod Balawag Ebrahim, expressed delight to the event and recognized the important role of civil society organizations (CSOs) in advancing the peace process and in achieving peace and development in Bangsamoro Region.
His Excellency Jorge Moragas, Spanish Ambassador to the Philippines highlighted the significance of international cooperation complementing national efforts on peace building.
Mr. Christoph Wagner, Head of Cooperation, Delegation of the European Union in the Philippines believed partners in peace and development should not look in the side approach or one project or another but need to see what can be done together, how to partner from all different levels in the government of Bangsamoro with the local government units, with civil society, with business sector, with development partner and the national government.
The SUBATRA-ECSO project will work with the BARMM ministries and offices who also graced the event:
- Bangsamoro Planning and Development Authority
- Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Agrarian Reform
- Ministry of Health
- Ministry of Trade, Industry and Tourism
- Ministry of Indigenous People’s Affairs
- Bangsamoro Women Commission
- Office of the Chief Minister - TMS
Other ministries and offices will be coordinated like the Ministry of Interior and Local Government (MILG), Ministry of Public Order and Safety (MPOS), Development Academy of the Bangsamoro (DAB) and the Bangsamoro Information Office (BIO).
BDA Inc. will lead various CSOs in the Bangsamoro based on their experience and field of expertise related to peacebuilding for the project implementation. These CSOs will help in implementing projects that shall respond to the needs of vulnerable and disadvantaged communities in the region:
BDA Inc. believes that the SUBATRA-ECSO Project will. be helpful in sending the message of peace in BARMM and of the history and gains of the peace process between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
(COTABATO CITY). For families living in the uphill of Brgy. Datalpandan, Guidulungan, Maguindanao, life would be better if development assistance reaches them.
In a community dialogue on October 19, 2021, during the World Bank visit in the village, one member of indigenous people particularly told their will to get vaccinated of the COVID-19 but expressed hope for the health ministry of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) to come in their barangay so that the people will no longer need to travel from a far to get a vaccine.
As response, the Rural Health Unit (RHU) in the barangay explained that the road is difficult to reach the village uphill and the vaccine requires a specific storage, which is not ideal for long rough travel.
Dr. Bashary Latiph, Minister of the Ministry of Health (MOH) said that the BARMM together with development partners have been working hard making sure that every Bangsamoro will be able to have easy and accessible facility that will cater for their health needs.
“We want to widen our reach, to render a more intensive service. We want to make sure that no one is left behind. In sha Allah, with our development partners, we are here for all of you, to provide for your needs. I would like to thank the World Bank for the never ending support to the Bangsamoro and to the indigenous people. Thank you to everyone who have been working non-stop, realizing the dreams of everyone: a peaceful and prosperous Bangsamoro” Dr. Latiph stated.
Felino V. Samar, representative from the Ministry of Indigenous People’s Affairs (MIPA) thanks the BARMM Government and development partners for including the IP communities towards development.
“Like the case of Datalpandan, 95% are Moro and 5% are IP. But in giving the project, the IP group is counted. So, we are really thankful”, MIPA official told.
Meanwhile, women group is hoping for a livelihood assistance e.g. dressmaking, to supplement their daily income in sustaining their families.
Farmer group is wishing for a road project, especially a bridge that shall ease the burden of crossing the river in their village.
Hon. Ali O. Salik, member of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) expressed thanks for the WB visit that he described as an indicator of progress and development in the camp.
Salik is also the camp coordinator of the six major camps of the MILF and hopes that this visit will bring fruitful conversation with the beneficiaries in Camp Bad’r.
“We are confident that World Bank will continue to provide support through future project here in BARMM, in general. We really appreciate your commitment and dedication for development initiative. I hope that economic analysis before and after the project will push significant posture and positive changes to the people of camp Bad’r”, MP Salik stated.
Datalpandan is a home to mixed population of Muslim and indigenous people. Major source of living is farming.
The community has been a recipient of road project, post-harvest facility, water system, solar panel and a community learning center for the delivery of Alternative Learning System (ALS).
This has been through the Mindanao Trust Fund- Reconstruction and Development Project Phase II and III and the recent Camps of Learning Project (CLP)- wherein the Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA Inc.) functioned as project implementing agency.
In a message from the World Bank during the recent visit on October 19, Ndiame Diop country director to Brunei, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand, East Asia and Pacific stated the World Bank as an active supporter of Mindanao’s peace and development agenda, more importantly with the MILF and GPH peace process.
“As a testament to this, for more than a decade now, through the Mindanao Trust Fund (MTF) and the MTF Reconstruction and Development Projects Phases 1, 2 and 3, together with our donors, we have supported projects geared toward socio-economic development”, Diop said.
The country director re-affirmed the Bank’s commitment to helping in achieving the peace and development aspirations of the Bangsamoro.
“Through this visit, we hope to listen to the stories of your MTF RDP journey, learn from your experience and take on your recommendations on how to best support your communities and BARMM going forward”, he stated.
Brgy. Datalpandan is a community within BARMM and is also part of the territory of Camp Badre- one major camp of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) as named in the Normalization Annex of the Comprehensive Agreement on Bangsamoro (CAB) signed between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the MILF in 2014.
Assistance to camp communities has been one of priorities in support to the implementation of the CAB. It aims to help in the socio-economic development of conflict-affected communities and eventually transition from war to productive and peaceful village.
(August 18, 2021). Aisa Makiwpa, 48, is a mother to seven children. The family rely on farming for living at Brgy. Datalpandan, Guindulungan, Maguindanao- a village covered by Camp Badre, one of the six major camps of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) informed by the Normalization Annex of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB).
Aisa only reaches elementary education. Aware of her limited knowledge and literacy, she did not hesitate to avail the Alternative Learning System (ALS), an education program designed to cater the educational needs of those who were not able to access complete education due to protracted conflict in past.
“Because I only finished elementary, through ALS I had the opportunity to learn again,” Aisa said.
“The classroom being built that will serve as our school while we study ALS will also serve as a home for our children to learn. It will also be their classroom when we graduate” Aisa added.
She also mentioned that they have been in Brgy. Datalpandan for many years and its only in the recent years that they feel the so-called development.
With the on-going construction of the community learning in the barangay, Aisa like the other women at the village is excited to have more convenient educational facility. The construction is one of the components of the Camps of Learning Project (CLP)- aims to promote and support inclusive peace and development through programs on basic literacy with the implementation of #ALS in close coordination with the Department of Education or the Ministry of Basic, Higher and Technical Education (#MBHTE in #BARMM) targeting vulnerable sectors in the #MILF camps communities (as informed by the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro #CAB: Camp Abubakar, Camp Badre, Camp Bilal, Camp Bushra, Camp Omar and Camp Rajamuda) like women, out-of-school youth, indigenous people, elderlies, person with disabilities, others.
(AUGUST 18, 2021). Just before the all-out-war in 2000, Teng Kalidtuag, 44, of Brgy. Buldon, Barira Maguindanao already joined the armed forces of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
He is one of the decommissioned combatants of the MILF chosen to undergo support such as capability building towards the overall goal of transformation from conflict to productive and progressive community, as informed by the Normalization Annex of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB).
As a father to four children, Teng believes that moving forward from the past will be helpful for his family. He is glad to be part of the decommissioned combatants. Various assistance like livelihood support await for these combatants in line with the intention to assist them transition into civilian lives.
Teng was one of the 30 participants for the first batch of Values Transformation Training (VTT), which is among the capacity building support included in the socio-economic packages for the former combatants.
The training was on June 29 to July 1, 2021 at Molina Munoz Riverpool Resort in Parang, Maguindanao, Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).
VTT teaches the significance of values and faith for personality development, self- change and understanding one’s behavior.
"The content of this training is not a joke, at my age I do not think that my knowledge can be further expanded and develop through values transformation training," Teng said.
He was very thankful because despite the challenges they experienced he is proud to say that he was one of those who did Jihad and fought for Bangsamoro cause.
During the training, his son informed him about the death of his mother-in-law, but in the desire to learn and finish the VTT, he did not go home.
"We will all go there (hereafter) too. Instead of going home I stayed, I just want to continue and I still want to know things about values and faith. While we are still alive, study and expand our knowledge," he added.
Through VTT, the majority of the participants were able to know their fellows better, and so far, have become closer and have bonded. All of them have only one desire and that is to learn and expand knowledge to strengthen their faith.
Another participant was Saidali Akmad who stated that “having faith-based practices will help the application of the so-called moral governance".
Saidali and Teng were among the 450 decommissioned combatants who joined the VTT.
VTT comes with the concept of moral governance, being adopted by the current Bangsamoro Government in propagating change in the region.
At present, there are already four batches of VTT organized for the decommissioned combatants. The training is jointly organized by the Nonviolent Peace Force and the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPPAP) with the Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA Inc.) as facilitator of the training.
(July 23, 2021/ COTABATO CITY). “When you give us beef, we can cook food that we rarely consume in a year, it helps with our meal for the day”, Rahma Talusob, 40, said upon receiving a meat pack on Eid’l Adha (Feast of Sacrifice).
Eid’l Adha (Feast of Sacrifice) is one of the prestigious holidays in Islam. The festival is celebrated in honor of the great sacrifice of Prophet Ibrahim at the cost of his son’s life in the name of obedience and faith to the commandment of Allah (s.w.t).
Qurban meat is produced out of the animals (goat, sheep or cow) slaughtered during this occasion.
In observance of this significant celebration in Islam, the Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA Inc.) has been implementing the Qurban Program since 2014 with the support of donor partners from Turkey.
For the year 2021, hundreds of cattle are slaughtered sponsored by various organizations in Turkey such as Insani Yardim Vakfi (IHH), Turkiye Dyanet Vakfi, WEFA, Ravza and Sadaqatasi, with the BDA Inc. as local partner who facilitated the implementation of the Qurban Program.
Rahma, further told that “We are poor so there is no special dining during this day because we cannot afford. Now that you gave us this meat pack, I can prepare food that we rarely have on our family table”.
She is from Brgy. Central Labas, Midsayap, North Cotabato with two children and whose husband works as a farmer.
Beef contains several essential nutrients including protein, iron, zinc, selenium, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, phosphorus, pantothenate, magnesium, and potassium, all good for one’s health.
An elderly widow from Brgy. Tariken, Sultan Mastura, Maguindanao is also thankful for receiving Qurban meat saying that is helpful to suffice her meal for the day, mostly that she lives by herself alone.
Another mother beneficiary was emotional when asked about their daily meal in the family, implying a poor situation of food security in the community.
In Bangsamoro Region, it is a fact that food security remains a challenge, especially during the times of pandemic. The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Agrarian Reform (MAFAR) of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) has crafted its roadmap food security in nutrition in the Bangsamoro as one concrete action in addressing this significant concern in the region.
BDA Inc. with its years of managing the Qurban Program shared significant notes stating that “Through the years of implementing Qurban Program, the agency is witnessed as to how meat packs help supplement a meal for the day of the family- recipients, who are mostly poor and do not have enough resources to prepare something special during this annual Muslim celebration”, Engr. Windel Diangcalan, BDA executive director stated.
Further, distribution of Qurban meat become relevant in sending the true message of Eid’l Adha, wherein communities appreciate being reach out by the program despite the distance saying “by coming to us for this meat, we feel more of the spirit of Eid’l Adha, we feel important”.
(July 23, 2021). Each year, Muslims around the world celebrate Eid’l Adha (Feast of Sacrifice), a religious practice that reminds the Islam believers of the great sacrifice of Prophet Ibrahim in obedience and faith to the will of Allah subhanahuwataalah.
Animals like sheep or goat and cow are sacrificed in honor of this significant religious act. The meat from the animals are distributed to the poor families and communities. This good deed is encouraged among Muslims to foster empathy and mercy to people in need.
This year in Bangsamoro, hundreds of cattle are slaughtered sponsored by various organizations in Turkey such as Insani Yardim Vakfi (IHH), Turkiye Dyanet Vakfi, WEFA and Sadaqatasi, with the Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA Inc.) as local partner who facilitated the implementation of the Qurban Program.
Meat packs are distributed in different communities within and outside the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).
In Brgy. Tariken, Sultan Mastura, Maguindanao, Member of the Parliament Ali O. Salik graced the Qurban meat distribution and expressed gratitude and prayer on this special occasion.
Hon. Salik thanked the Turkey Government for the love and support to Bangsamoro, by sponsoring Qurban Program in the region annually.
“Our well wishes for our brothers and sisters in Turkey. We also pray that the spirit of Eid’l Adha, may further strengthen our faith as we journey with our own Bangsamoro Government”, MP Salik told.
BDA Inc. with its years of managing the Qurban Program shared significant notes stating that “Through the years of implementing Qurban Program, BDA Inc. is witnessed as to how meat packs help supplement a meal for the day of the family- recipients, who are mostly poor and do not have enough resources to prepare something special during this annual Muslim celebration”, Engr. Windel Diangcalan, BDA executive director stated.
Further, distribution of Qurban meat become relevant in sending the true message of Eid’l Adha, wherein communities appreciate being reach out by the program despite the distance saying “by coming to us for this meat, we feel more of the spirit of Eid’l Adha, we feel important”.
Beneficiaries expressed thanks for the meat received on this significant Feast in Islam and how the meat provided helped families enjoy this day.
Rahma Talusob, 40, of Brgy. Central Labas, Midsayap, North Cotabato with two children and whose husband is a farmer is grateful for the meat obtained saying that she can cook something special for her family on Eid’l Adha.
“We are poor so there is no special dining during this day because we cannot afford. Now that you gave us this meat pack, I can prepare food that we rarely have on our family table”, Rahma stated.
There were thousands of meat packs that benefited thousands of families across the municipalities of Midsayap, Pigcawayan, Pikit and Aleosan in North Cotabato; Sultan Mastura, Sultan Kudarat, Datu Odin Sinsuat, Upi, Parang, Mangudadatu and Mother Kabuntalan in Maguindanao;
Distribution period was from July 20 to 23, 2021 facilitated by BDA Quick Response Team, with volunteers and development catalysts, MILF Political Committee, Social Welfare Committee, Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces (BIAF), coordination with local government units and other key stakeholders at the community level.