UNYPAD supports Mindanao Peoples Caucus’ ‘Grassroots Learning Hub’

COTABATO CITY – The United Youth for Peace and Development (UNYPAD) supported the Mindanao Peoples Caucus’  Grassroots Learning Hub Culmination: “Strengthening Women's Leadership and Political Participation" over a social media talk show at the Bangsamoro Multimedia Network (BMN) studio on September 09, 2022.
Representatives of Bangsamoro Free Election Movement (BFEM), Indigenous Women Resource Center (IWRC), Women Organization of Rajah Mamalu Descendants (WORMD), and Social Welfare Committee (SWC) joined UNYPAD in the talk show.
The guests who talked during the program was Jobayra Tandalong, the Chairwoman of Board of Directors Bangsamoro Women Organization of Davao Oriental (BAWORDO) and Mary Ann Dela Torre, the Former Provincial Chairwoman of UNYPAD from North Cotabato Cluster 3.
They explained their initiatives about the Grassroots Learning Hub Culmination and why there is a need for strengthening women leadership and political participation in the Bangsamoro.
Tandalong want to have a Bangsamoro electoral code that is more inclusive so that women can participate. “As a Bangsamoro, first, I want to have an Electoral Code wherein one of its contents that we aspire is the inclusion of women’s agenda in the formulation of the platform of government on who may win in the election,” she underscored.
“Second, we hope that the Electoral Code would be an avenue to prevent any election-related violence during election. And thirdly, we hope that this Electoral Code would be an avenue for the women to be able to exercise their political rights in order to have more appreciation on how woman should vote base on her capability as individual,” she expressed.
Dela Torre from UNYPAD explained the importance of Electoral Code to women during the transition. She said, “During these times of transition, one of the objectives is to have genuine dialogues, and sensible excellent public policy.”
She said there are two critical regional laws or codes in this transition period.
“One is the Regions’ Administrative Code that sets structures of the new government of Bangsamoro. Second is the Bangsamoro Electoral Code that we’re currently discussing right now. The prospect Electoral Code is very exciting not only for Bangsamoro because it’s for everyone,” Dela Torre elaborated.

She further said that regional laws are still under national laws and added “That’s why women representation in Electoral Code is significant to have electoral positions and to ensure that the perspective and issues in the society in decision making specially women can be part of the system.”
Chairwoman Tandalong also clarified that the Electoral Code is still not legislated and it is one of the deliverables of the Bangsamoro Parliament as a basis of the 2025 regular elections. “We need to pass the Electoral Code in order to have peaceful election by 2025,” she emphasized.
When asked what their vision for the remaining years of Bangsamoro transition period, Tandalong said that as a Bangsamoro woman, she wants the Bangsamoro Electoral Code to be responsive to the needs of the Bangsamoro electorates. “The type of Electoral Code that as much as possible eradicates the ills of vote buying and end political dynasty,” she pointed out.
Initiatives for a meaningful participation was also mentioned such as capacity trainings for women with concepts and principles of transformative leadership politics and communities to prepare the women to roles and more active citizen to communities.
Tandalong further conveyed her message to the public, saying, “I am urging each one of us, especially the Bangsamoro women, to please support our call, the formulation of the electoral code in the parliament, because I believe tha, In Shaa Allah if we have a better and more comprehensive Bangsamoro Electoral Code this will become the way for us to have better Bangsamoro region that is peaceful with developments.
On the other hand, Leonora Mokudef and Elsie Mokudef, both members of Board of Directors of Indigenous Women Resource Center, shared their perspectives on the importance of Indigenous Peoples’ participation in the IP Code.
“The IP code is important for the native women because this is the basis and guide for implementation…the IP code, serves as a bridge of the duty bearer to address the programs to the native communities,” Elsie Mokudef said.
Leonora Mokudef has also emphasized that the IP code could really help and affect the IPs if passed into law because it will serve as their guide and would decrease confusion within their community on what laws to follow.
The two IP women shared their dreams and expectations in the next five years and that is to have better life for the people, participation of women, and better education for the young generations.”
They said that all development that the Bangsamoro government will impart to them, the IP community should do their counterpart so that when time comes, no one will be left behind.