The Maguindanao Civil Society Organizations Consultative Meeting which was participated by sixty seven (67) leaders was held last November 24, 2016 at Pagana Native Restaurant, Cotabato City and organized by three major CSO Networks operating in the province of Maguindanao such as the Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society Organization (CBCS), Peoples CART (P-CART) and League of Bangsamoro Organizations (LBO).
Basically, the consultation aimed to draw the line of relationship between CSO’s and ARMM government. It was also held to build an enabling environment for the CSOs to lay down their sentiments and plans for the betterment of governance of the region.
The activity was composed of five (5) major sessions held. The first session aimed at understanding the concept of CSO – Government Relation on the context of Cotabato City Government Experiences through the inputs of Dr. Danda Juanday, the City administrator of Cotabato City.
The second session was a workshop where the participants identified different issues pertaining to the eight thematic issues/areas – Poverty Alleviation, Health, Education, peace & Security, Human Rights, Gender and Development, Disaster Risk Reduction/ Crisis Management and Governance and provided recommendations to the identified issues.
The third session was an open forum where the participants free flowing added some other significant issues not mentioned among the pressing issues that also needs further focus and attention by the Government and CSO partnership:
a. A need of capacity building to the CSOs especially those that are envisioning to handle multi-million pesos projects;
b. A need for the CSOs to participate meaningfully in governance of the local governments;
c. A need to cleanse the list of 4Ps beneficiaries through geo-tagging of their respective houses;
d. A need to mechanized the rice farming in the province and provision of farm inputs and post-harvest facilities;
e. Tahiriya Curriculum was recommended to balance the education and integration of Islamic Values in K to 12;
f. A need to strengthen the RA 9003 in the local levels and establishment MRF (Material Recovery Facilities) at the Barangay;
g. Support to “Backyard refrigerator” project (Backyard gardening) and introduction of “floating rice” to the flooded areas of the province;
h. A need to strengthen the Local Child Protection Program at the barangay and municipal level;
i. A need to address the uncomfortable truth that mostly the LGU organized CSOs were accredited and can accessed programs and projects at the municipal level, not the legitimate and mobilized CSOs;
j. A need to support for the farmers affected by series of Armed conflict and El Nino through finding proper financing instructions for capitalization;
k. A need to proper staffing, right salaries and balanced curriculum in the Madrasahs; and
l. A need to submit this consultation output to the Office of the Regional Governor through the ARMM Regional Summit.
The fourth session was a synthesis given by Mr. Emran Mohammad from Bangsamoro Communication Network (BCN) where he agreed that all observations were true and that there is a need to capacitate every CSO that deals with ARMM; Express everyone’s sentiments, issues and needs to the regional government through this plan and elevate it during the ARMM Regional Summit; plan to advocate and wait for the response of the regional governor.
Finally, there were eight thematic issues identified as Poverty Alleviation, Health, Education, Peace & Security, Human Rights, Gender and Development, Disaster Risk Reduction/ Crisis Management and governance.
After discussion of thematic issues, CSO/stakeholders recommends steps and mechanisms that will ensure the sustainability of ARMM Regional Government and CSOs and also sustainability of all interventions of the regional government aimed at reducing poverty incidence, alleviation the poor living conditions of the Bangsamoro people in ARMM. Many Hoped this summit will open the direction and interest of the CSOs partnership with ARG.
The fifth session was a closing program given by Mr. Abdullah “Evhoy” Villaruel of the CO Multiversity sa Mindanaw (COM) followed by closing prayer led by Ustads Jaafar.
By Mark Hussain