ARMM Gov. Hataman Underscores Good Governance and Partnership in Nagdilaab’s Convenio Launch

Isabela City, Basilan (May 19) – The regional governor of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) likened the proposed Bangsamoro regional government to be created with the enactment of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) to a brand new car that would replace the older model ARMM vehicle to better deliver government services and bring peace to Mindanao.

The BBL is like a 2015 model that will replace the dilapidated ARMM 1986 model, said ARMM regional governor Mujiv Hataman before a gathering of civil society and community organizations in Isabela City, this morning. But like any car, the new model will need a good driver for it to perform better than the older ARMM model, he said.

The governor further likened the good driver to good governance on the part of the political and other government leaders that is needed to ensure the delivery of services and projects to local governments. The governor talked about good governance in relation to the theme of the event in which he was guest speaker, the holding of the annual partnership forum of the Nagdilaab Foundation, Inc. (NFI), which is “Strengthened Partnership for Peaceful, Sustainable, and Empowered Communities and Local Government Units”. NFI has for several years been implementing programs and projects in Basilan for peace-building, community development and environmental conservation in partnership with the Zamboanga-Basilan Integrated Development Alliance, Inc. (ZABIDA). This morning it launched its next four-year program for Basilan that will focus on disaster risk reduction and management, peace education and security, economic enterprise development and good governance.

NFI’s 2015-2019 multi-pronged program cycle dubbed as Convenio II is funded by the Agencia Espanola de Cooperacion Internacional para Desarollo (AECID) and the Spanish foundation Manos Unidas. Among others it will engage with some 20 barangays in the municipalities of Lantawan, Maluso and Al Barka in efforts like peace education, good governance and disaster risk reduction management, with special emphasis on women participation.

During the opening ceremony of the forum, ZABIDA executive director Esperancita Hupida underscored the indispensability of the partnership between NFI and its local community principals to enable the residents to be totally engaged in the projects. ZABIDA board director Dr. Grace Rebollos also launched the consortium’s book titled as “ZABIDA Social Empowerment Partnership”.

Others who gave solidarity messages were: Muida S. Hataman, Provincial Director – TESDA-ARMM on Economic Productivity, youth leader Arsamer Abundi on sectoral empowerment, provincial governor Jum Akbar on participatory governance, and 104th Brigade Commander Col. Joselito Bautista on peace and security.

Hataman cited Basilan’s Akbar Municipality as a model of good governance because as he revealed although the town does not receive Internal Revenue Allocations from the national government, it has been implementing and completing infrastructure projects ahead of other towns solely from the funding support the ARMM extends to it. He said the municipal government has been investing in the purchase of construction equipment to more efficiently undertake its infrastructure projects.

Hataman said the ARMM has invested over P2-billion during his term for road projects in Basilan. Many of the municipal and provincial roads, he said, are now concreted such that the number of road accidents have increased because vehicles are running faster. There are also young people now using the concreted roads for drag racing, he said.

He, however, expressed disappointment with Isabela City because the ARMM has not been able to do any road project here because it is not part of the ARMM territorial jurisdiction. Isabela, the capital town of the province predominantly populated by Chrsitians, continues to oppose inclusion in the envisioned Bangsamoro region.

He said that good and effective governance in Basilan’s LGUs will encourage the national government to give more funds to Basilan. He said that because of ARMM’s performance, its annual funding has increased from the P11-billion in his first year as regional government to the P50-billion budget allocated for next year.

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ZABIDA Witnesses Senate’s Public Hearing of the BBL in the City.

On Thursday, May 14, more than 400 participants came to attend the Senate’s Public Hearing of the Bangsamoro Basic Law presided by Senator Ferdinand “BongBong” Marcos at a local hotel in the city.

Different personalities/grouped of persons were acknowledged to present and read their position papers, statements and comments.
Among these were the City Officials, spearheaded by the chief executive Ma. Isabelle Climaco-Salazar , Basilan Governor Jum Akbar, Private Sectors, Indigenous Peoples Council of Leaders, Civil Society Organizations such as the Bangsamoro Network for Solidarity and Accountability-Zamboanga City Chapter, and Interfaith Council of Leaders, Silsilah and the Inter-religious Solidarity for Peace (ISP) of the Peace Advocates Zamboanga (PAZ).

Also present during the forum is Sen. Allan Peter Cayetano, media from local and national networks, peoples’ organizations, CSOs, youths and academe, government agencies and many others.

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Training-enhancement for MYDev Tailoring and Garments completers

ZABIDA-MYDev Tailoring and Dressmaking completers are enhancing their learned skills at ZABIDA Peace Development and Resource Center as their assessment venue.
According to the Monitoring and Information staff Janzel Jean M. Javier, the training enhancement is set within four (4) days for the Mindanao Youth for Development; Tailoring (18) and Dressmaking (22) completers.
“This enhancement training aims to prepare the students for their incoming assessment on the NCII,” Ms. Javier said.
The students were guided by their trainers Ms. Juvelyn M. Jaukal for Dressmaking and Ms. Malare O. Cotejo for Tailoring, both came from Tesda-accredited school Kabasalan Technical Institute and Managed by MYDev Technical Skills Manager Wilmer Almodiel and Jomarie Cuartocruz.


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ZABIDA Joins Hands with 3 Other CSOs to Strengthen LGUs’ Role in Peace Process

Development is the other name of peace, a former Roman Catholic pope once said.

And now four civil society organizations have joined forces to take that exhortation to the underdeveloped towns and provinces of the sub region of the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) through a program called “Promoting Political Climate for Stability and Peace (Pro-POLITICS). The program was launched yesterday (April 29) in Zamboanga City under the full participation of the three governors and most mayors of the provinces of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi. The fresh effort to encapacitate and motivate the local government executives is spearheaded by the Institute of Autonomy and Governance (IAG) as lead proponent, Zamboanga-Basilan Integrated Development Alliance, Inc. (ZABIDA), Philippine Center for Islam and Democracy (PCID) and Local Government Development Foundation (LOGODEF).

The program will engage the mayors and governors and other political leaders in formulating and implementing policies and strategies that shall foster good and effective governance so as to hasten peace-building in step with the evolving peace process of Mindanao, IAG executive director Atty. Benedicto Bacani said at the launching ceremony held at Garden Orchid Hotel. It will run for three years and is funded by the Australian government.

ZABIDA president Fr. Angel Calvo in his solidarity message said his consortium has been assisting local governments, mainly the barangays in Zamboanga and Basilan, to strengthen development plans and projects as means to achieve social peace for their constituents. Pro-POLITICS, he said, will attempt to interface ZABIDA’s good governance program with its long-running peace advocacies, particularly its support for the peace process and at present the implementation of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB).

PCID, on the other hand, said it will work with ZABIDA in laying the groundwork for the formulation of a new local government code to be enacted by the envisioned Bangsamoro regional government, PCID president Amina Rasul said. We shall particularly consult with religious leaders, women and indigenous peoples in Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi in their governance issues and concerns, while IAG will take care of similar work in Central Mindanao, she said.

In his message on behalf of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP), undersecretary Jose Lorena stressed that “The search for just and lasting peace is not only a legal responsibility but a moral responsibility. It is not only responsibility of government but it is the responsibility of all the people in Mindanao.” He said local governments in the Basulta sub-region have a special role in national economic development because their area is the geographical frontline in the ASEAN market integration that starts next year. The three provinces are closely adjacent to Malaysian and Indonesia, who are also part of the ASEAN economic market bloc.

Lorena said: “I would like just to underscore that the efforts to bring peace in southern Philippines is not just because we are looking at the political side of it. The government recognized also that the region is our gateway to the ASEAN and that for the ASEAN integration, peace in this part of the country is critical. It is critical in the way that we are the first liner with respect to our integration efforts to the other countries of the ASEAN, and therefore, the parameters for good governance and therefore the search for lasting peace must be the primary goal of this government.”

The Pro-POLITICS launch included a forum dubbed as “Politics and Governance for Peace: Opportunities and Challenges”. The mayors and governors discussed their concerns regarding the Bangsamoro Basic Law, particularly its provisions dealing with local governance and their representation in the regional decision-making.

Atty. Bacani said the discussions will enable the IAG to help government to forge future policies and legislations that will strengthen local government administration. (ZABIDA)

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