In photo- (seated left) Andrew Morris, UNICEF Philippines, Chief of Field Office in Mindanao, Dr. Marjanie Mimbamtas Macasalong, Executive Director of OBYA (seated right) during the launching of U-Report at SKCC, BARMM, Cotabato City

U-Report launched in BARMM, Philippines

COTABATO CITY – The U-Report is a social messaging tool and data collection system to improve adolescent and youth citizen engagement, inform leaders, and foster positive change was launched in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) on Thursday, July 11 at SKCC, OCM Compound, Cotabato City.

U-Report is an online platform developed and used globally by UNICEF, Voluntary Services Overseas (VSO) Philippines, and will be partnered with the BARMM Office Bangsamoro Youth Affairs (OBYA) and other organizations to support adolescents and youth engagement in raising issues and concerns in BARMM region.

This platform uses polls and alerts, collecting real-time responses for raising adolescents and young people’s voices that can guide in policy development and social accountability.

“U-Report will now give adolescents and young people opportunity to make their views known in a much more powerful way,” Andrew Morris, UNICEF Philippines, Chief of Field Office in Mindanao, said during the launching ceremony.

Morris said, “For UNICEF, we know that the passion, the ideas, and innovations of young people can transform the Bangsamoro’s future. We know that. But if young people like to do that, they need to be involved, consulted, empowered, and be equipped”.

The U-Report platform has reached communities in 54 countries around the worlds with almost seven million responders globally since it was first launched in 2011. 

“Your voice matters. Sign up to U-Report and take part on the weekly polls,” Morris stressed.

The launching of U-Report in the Philippines comes as UNICEF Philippines and partners celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of Child (CRC), the most widely ratified human rights treaty in history that has helped transform Children’s lives around the world.

Dr. Marjanie Mimbantas Macasalong, Executive Director of OBYA said “U-Report is an exciting innovation to help us understand the concerns of youths and adolescents in BARMM, especially now that we are developing the Bangsamoro youth agenda.”

“This tool can foster open communication and make sure that we prioritize issues that children and youth passionate about,” Macasalong emphasized.

Salic Macaraob, a youth leader in Marawi City, who participated in the launching program was delighted when he heard the positive response of Macasalong that their voice be heard in the BARMM.

Aleem Pangalian Solaiman, Bangsamoro Parliament Deputy Chief Minister said that this endeavor in partnership with UNICEF, VSO and other local organizations is very much welcome and he committed to uphold the young people so that their voices will make difference in BARMM.

The Ministry of Social and Development Services headed by Atty. Raissa Jajurie is very supportive to the new innovations, her ministry according to Jajurie will find ways to respond on concerns pertaining to work of their ministry to help the young people.

To become a U-Reporter, Bangsamoro youth only need to do is to log in into Facebook accounts, look for the U-Report Philippines page, open the messenger app, and click “join”. Upon joining, U-Reporters can start participating in polls and send reports.