IN PHOTO: Mr. Tirso Tahir from BLMI (white shirt) along with Sama-Badjao community leaders from Tawi-Tawi’s different municipalities participate in Focus Group discussion on July 4th @ Ems Compound, Bongao Tawi-Tawi

Sama-Badjao community leaders hold Focus Group Discussion

BONGAO TAWI-TAWI (June 7. 2021)-Community leaders from Sama-Badjao of Tawi-Tawi have participated in a Focus Group Discussion (FGD), Sunday, June 4 hosted by Dr. Gabra Abdurahman at Ems compound, Bongao. 
Civil Society Organization (CSO) and Officer from Bangsamoro Leadership and Management Institute (BLMI) Mr. Tirso Sulanting Tahir spearheaded a series of activities in the Bangsamoro grassroots communities aimed at enhancing the Bangsamoro community leaders’ participation in peace building and other productive engagement sin their respective communities.

Various programs of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) particularly those allotted for the province and the call for extension of Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) to 2025 were among the topics discussed.  The participation of Sama-Badjao in BARMM governance was highlighted during the FGD.

Our relentless participation in peace-building to sustain the gains of peace process is an apparent indication of Sama-Badao benchmarking as peace loving people despite our present socio-economic condition and political situation, Tahir said.

We humbly appeal to BTA particularly to Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) who leads the government of the day to increase the number of Sama-Badjao political representation in BTA-BARMM and in other ministries and agencies, Hadji Ali Jikiran, former school teacher and Bangsamoro community leader said.

Mr. Karim from Simunul municipality said that for the interest of justice and inclusivity, the Sama-Badjao of Tawi-Tawi should be proportionally represented in the Bangsamoro Parliament and in BARMM ministries and its agencies. 

 May the leadership of MILF in BARMM and the BTA as a whole will provide a special affairs office to look into the plight of Sama-Badjao and provide both short term and long term intervention to alleviate their socio-economic condition, Mr. Alawi said.  

The Sama-Badjao has been perceived as the most peace-loving tribe in the Bangsamoro Region, yet they are just less assertive in grabbing opportunities but not passive. Their leniency, hospitability and the province bountiful in natural resources were among the driving factors to the heavy and continuous influx of other tribes from neighbouring provinces that adversely affected the province tranquillity and gradual depletion of its rich natural resources.