Pagalungan, Parang CSWG Conduct Series of Dialogue on BOL

COTABATO City – The Community Security Working Group (CSWG) conducted a series of dialogue from September to October this year in selected barangays of Pagalungan and Parang in Maguindanao aimed at educating the communities on the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) and design plan for the workshop of its peacebuilding project.

BOL is the legal translation of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB), a peace deal signed by the Philippine Government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in 2014 which seeks to establish a new autonomous political entity called Bangsamoro.

Organizers held the activity at Barangays Damalasak, Galakit and Layog in Pagalungan and Barangays Campo Islam, Moropoint and Cabuan in Parang, all in Maguindanao province.

After discussing the BOL, the CSWG officers held a planning for the future workshop on conflict transformation and peacebuilding in municipal level by October 2018.

The undertaking was attended by Barangay officials, community leaders ‘and different sectors’ representatives.

In Pagalungan, the CSWG officers were able to meet Municipal Mayor Datu Salik Mamasabulod to give an updates on the progress of the project both local, regional, national and international level.

Mamasabulod expressed appreciation to the CSWG’s regular updating. He also committed to support the peace initiatives of the group and even encouraged the officers of having partnership in campaigning for the winning of “yes” for BOL.

Yusoph Lumambas, the Project Officer of this program said that the project is being supported by the European Union. It aims at empowering communities in the Bangsamoro to resolve local conflicts and improve local governance in collaboration with government authorities. 

The undertaking builds on the results of a previous EU-funded “Promoting Public Participation in the Peace Process” which included the pilot-testing of Community Security Working Groups in two locations in Central Mindanao. 

“The project is being implemented by UNYPAD, TLWOI and CR across 12 different barangays within the municipalities of Pagalungan, Parang, North Upi and South Upi all in the Province of Maguindanao,” Lumambas said. 

The project implementers have been working alongside communities, local and regional government and civil society organisations.

The project’s primary objectives are the following: 

a) To increase the capacities of communities as well as local government bodies to identify, articulate and take responsibility and action to address issues and concern that cut across conflict divides. These issues typically relate to human security and development needs;

b) Create inclusive spaces for dialogue and joint action between communities; between communities and local authorities; and between local, regional and national levels; 

c) Involve local, regional and national government bodies in the implementation of the project and; 

d) Document the learning of this experience; and reflect on the learning comparing it with other similar national and international initiatives. This will contribute to institutionalising and replicating the experience beyond the 12 target communities.

The UNYPAD since its inception in 2004 has implemented various peace and development projects in Maguindanao, North Cotabato, Lanao del Sur, and Sultan Kudarat province and very recently the implementation of their program targeting youth on educating them on the, negative impact of violent extremism and radicalism.