PARTNERSHIP — Parliament Speaker Pangalian M. Balindong and Deputy Speaker Hatimil E. Hassan are joined by delegates from the Embassy of Japan led by its Deputy Chief of Mission Yasushi Yamamoto and officials from the United Nations Philippines during the recently concluded “Bangsamoro Friends Forum” held at the Shariff Kabunsuan Cultural Complex. The Japanese government reaffirmed earlier its support to development of the infant Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. (GALao, OPS, BTA Parliament)
COTABATO CITY — The Embassy of Japan together with the United Nations Philippines successfully hosted Tuesday, February 18 a “Bangsamoro Friends Forum” held at the Shariff Kabunsuan Cultural Complex, this city.
The one-day activity was attended by members of the BTA Parliament, Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) ministers, partner stakeholders, and representatives from the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP).
The forum served as venue in sharing key developments related to the Bangsamoro Peace Process and of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) in order to identify the needs and the gaps.
For the Normalization, topics included were the progress of decommissioning, security, socio-economic development, confidence building measures, transitional justice and reconciliation, and the Bangsamoro Normalization Trust Fund (BNTF).
Inter-Governmental Relations Body was also tackled, while part of the BTA covered the First Bangsamoro Development Plan and Development Priorities and the Summary of Budget Appropriation.
In a statement, Deputy Chief of Mission of the Embassy of Japan Yasushi Yamamoto has pledged to continue their full support for the BARMM through projects that will bring greater stability and prosperity in the region.
“Japan will always be devoted to help in the Mindanao peace process,” Yamamoto emphasized.
Speaker Pangalian M. Balindong said the avowed objectives of the BARMM must be centered around a common goal, which is to improve socio-economic condition such as better healthcare, more productive agricultural programs, better roads , bridges, seaports and airports, better educational programs with special program for Madaris and Islamic education, better communication portals and facilities, as well as wider variety of occupational opportunities for those who seek jobs.
“In order to address the needs and gaps encompassing such objectives and its dynamics, we must be able to adopt an achievable, doable, feasible program to address specific challenges and constraints within a specific time frame. If we begin correctly by adopting the appropriate programs and policies, we have by then installed a strong foundation from which succeeding administration of BARMM could base its socio-economic and political platforms,” Balindong stressed.
Balindong added with the steadfast involvement of all the ministries and offices, as well as active participation of international donors and partners, materializing all relevant initiatives geared towards lasting peace shall now become more attainable.
“We are now properly positioned to pursue our vision through enactment of valuable laws, and officially empowered to make things happen,” he said.
Bangsamoro Chief Minister Ahod Balawag Ebrahim expressed his gratitude to the Embassy of Japan for their continuous support in the BARMM.
“We are fortunate to build friendships with those who support the Bangsamoro, who can stand through the test of time” and “go beyond the halls of bureaucracy and formalities,” Ebrahim said.
The activity was also supported by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). (GALao, OPS, BTA Parliament)
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