Friday 05 October 2018

The British Council in the Philippines, together with ANC, opened the floor to conversations on the newly-signed Bangsamoro Organic Law on 20 September at the 2018 version of the BangsaForum. 
Celebrating National Peace Consciousness Month in September, the BangsaForum is part of the British Council-convened peace hub conversations in partnership with the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. This year’s discussion revolved around the process that the Bangsamoro Organic Law will have to go through, including the plebiscite in January 2019, the ARMM transition, planned rehabilitations and the normalisation. The discussions will also touch on the economic and social implications of the BOL, and its effect on the women, children, the youth and the indigenous peoples.  
Faced with a long history of conflict caused by land issues, weak governance and lacking meaningful healing and reconciliation, the region remains as one of the poorest in the country. The recently passed Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL), a landmark legislation, is aimed to propel self-governance and transform Bangsamoro into a peaceful and progressive region in a more inclusive manner.     
The ‘BOL is a social document meant to address injustices in the past, accommodate cultures and be responsive to people’s faith’, said Undersecretary Nabil Tan, Deputy Presidential Adviser on Peace Process.
Through the joint efforts of the government, MILF and the Bangsamoro people, ‘we are now seeing the crucial transition of Bangsamoro into the national consciousness of Filipinos. We encourage (especially) the youth to spearhead this (reform) for Bangsamoro, for this is for their future’, said Commissioner Maisara Latiph, Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC).
A national conversation on Bangsamoro and peace process is crucial because it is important for every Filipino to understand the role of lasting peace in Bangsamoro to the rest of the country.  'We are all indeed connected. The Bangsamoro is not separate and different from the rest of the country - we need to weave the narratives of peace and the Filipino people', said Sitti Djalia Turabin-Hataman, Executive Director, Anak Mindanao. 
The British Council programmes such as CSO–SEED and Safe, Cohesive and Just Communities continue to support the peace work in Bangsamoro through social entrepreneurship, active citizen trainings, peace hub conversations and social action projects to create safer spaces for collaborations toward a peaceful and progressive Bangsamoro.
'We hope to continue to create opportunities to bring people together and engage with all sectors of society especially the youth, women and indigenous groups to build more peaceful communities', said Pilar Aramayo, Country Director of British Council.  
The event is co-convened by the Delegation of the European Union to the Philippines, Royal Norwegian Embassy, Oxfam and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, in collaboration with Sipat Lawin Inc. and International Organization for Migration (IOM).  
BangsaForum 2018 is hosted by Karen Davila. Catch it on ANC on these dates: 
  • 6 October (Saturday) 10.30 PM
  • 14 October (Sunday) 10.30 AM

We have already completed this programme. For opportunities and other queries in relation to our work in the Philippines, please email us at

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