Key Expert Dr. Reginald Pastrana (standing) discusses the programme overview during opening program of the two-day inception workshop. (ZSDiolanan,Publication and Media Relations Division, BTA Parliament)
COTABATO CITY —The Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) Parliament in partnership with the European Union (EU) funded “Support to Bangsamoro Transition” (SUBATRA) programme successfully concluded a two-day “inception workshop” with select Members of Parliament (MPs), from February 25-26, 2021 held at Robinsons Hall, Mall of AlNor, this city.
During the course of the workshop, resource persons led by Key Expert Dr. Reginald Pastrana discussed the following topics: capacity baseline report (background of the project, overall objectives, purposes); establishment of indicators, baseline and targets; inception report (key achievements, project management, assumptions and risks, activity plan); presentation of the draft 2021 Project Annual Workplan (under Purpose 2); and the presentation of the Strategic Plan of the Parliament Secretariat.
In his message, Speaker Pangalian M. Balindong expressed his sincere gratitude to the European Union for initiating the SUBATRA Programme, which he said is an ‘essential mechanism to strengthen the capacity-building initiatives of the infant Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao’.
“The Bangsamoro government is eternally indebted to you for your kindness and generosity in seeing to it that our people will immediately benefit from the economic gains of the peace agreement. I am most delighted that the organizers have come up with a two-day workshop for the benefit of select Parliament members, officers and staff that would better capacitate them to discharge their mandate. This is quite timely because there is presently a need to maximize our efforts and resources to address the institutional problems created by the pandemic and other unforeseen factors since the Parliament convened its first session in March 2019,” Balindong said.
The Speaker added prevailing circumstances and challenges, however, did not prevent them from doing their duties.
“Our performance, as stewards of the transition government, is very much in focus now because we are currently seeking the help of the national government to extend the term of office of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority. An extension is necessitated because our deliverables in the original transition have been sidetracked by the pandemic. Critics of our proposal argued that we already squandered our opportunity and that an extension is useless and does not serve its purpose,” he said.
Deputy Speaker Atty. Omar Yasser C. Sema thanked the Members of Parliament on their active participation and for staying during the whole course of the workshop.
“We hope that SUBATRA can capitalize on what we have presented as our output last year and maybe from there we can improve it. We hope and pray that this project will continue until its culmination in 2025. The Parliament under the leadership of Speaker Balindong is committed to work with SUBATRA and we will closely work together for the benefit of the Parliament, and of course, for the benefit of the people in the region,” Sema said.
Meanwhile, SUBATRA programme provides technical assistance for capacity building of executive and legislative branches of the BTA during its transition and further Bangsamoro Government after its transition. The specific objective is the establishment of an enabling democratic governance environment for a smooth implementation of the transition in Bangsamoro.
SUBATRA programme has two purposes. First is the ‘Purpose’ 1 with the aim to enhance capacity of the BTA’s executive branch to efficiently handle the transition through improved capacity of the executive branch superstructure to plan, impulse and monitor transitional policies as well as enhanced capacity of the administrative machinery, especially key governance ministries, and to implement policies and deliver basic social services. Purpose 2, on the other hand shall enhance the capacity of the Bangsamoro Parliament to exercise its law making, oversight and representation functions.
The inception workshop seeks to attain the following: introduce the participants to the project, familiarizing them with its purpose and objectives and informing them of its design features and assumptions; present the baselines established and appropriate targets for Purpose 2 under the SUBATRA programme; present the draft Inception Report under Purpose 2 under the SUBATRA programme; to provide a platform and a sound basis for a wider consultative process of the SUBATRA 2021 Annual Work Plan (under Purpose 2); and identify any gaps in the project’s scope and enhance the project with additional experiences and perspectives from the respective participants.
The workshop will have the following outcomes for the collective benefit of the participants, other stakeholders, and the SUBATRA project: it would lead to a common understanding of the baseline under Purpose 2, the project’s goals and objectives, the targets, and an agreement on the strategies that should be undertaken to successfully meet these goals and objectives; it would facilitate experience sharing and the dissemination of best experiences that could be meaningfully integrated into the project; and gain insights on the views and comments on the draft Inception Report and the first-year work plan.
Also present during the workshop were SUBATRA Acting Team Leader Keith Morgan and Bangsamoro Planning and Development Agency Director-General and SUBATRA Project Director Engr. Mohajirin Ali. (GALao, Publication and Media Relations Division, BTA Parliament)
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