DELACSE Bangsamoro organizes first workshop-seminar in Davao; prodded MILF-UBJP to communicate effectively

From bullets to ballots through effective strategic political communications – is one of the target outcomes that propelled the Moro Islamic Liberation Front’s progressive party, the United Bangsamoro Justice Party (UBJP). Communication is an essential leadership skill and the building block of a successful organization – that is the primary takeaway of the participants of the first Democratic Leadership and Active Civil Society Empowerment in the Bangsamoro (DELACSE Bangsamoro) Project activity. The DELACSE Bangsamoro project serves as a continuation of the efforts of the Democratic Party Development (DEPAdev) project, which was centered on building genuine programmatic political parties, in preparation for a future autonomous Bangsamoro Region.

Under the two-day seminar-workshop held at the Waterfront Insular Hotel in Davao City, 40 members of the MILF-UBJP were trained to identify, understand, and appreciate the components of effective communication skills as key to a winning campaign.

The seminar was an advanced-level training workshop focused on providing UBJP members with a broad set of communication skills to effect progress via strategic communications. The participants were also trained to explore the communications process, examine current styles and identify effective communication approaches.

DELACSE Bangsamoro invited political strategist and lobbyist Ma. Lourdes N. Tiquia to lead the training and to challenge UBJP to be proactive in correcting the negative perception of the public on the Bangsamoro and its people.  Tiquia introduced the concept of a systematic framework among the participants. She said effective communication is both an art and a science – to be studied, it needs to be understood, to be understood, it needs to be broken down. Tiquia also used the “Who-Why-Why” method, saying it is only through knowing one’s identity, capabilities and motivations that it can break down barriers to effectively communicate.

As a response, UBJP Secretary General Samuel Almansoor said there is no better word to express the party’s appreciation towards the project but to say “thank you.” Almansoor even quipped that his learnings from the workshop has caused him trouble – “I now see what we are lacking and there is a lot of work to do.” But on a serious note, he said that he sees it as a challenge to keep working hard to achieve the goal of their party.

Meanwhile, as culmination of the two-day event, DELACSE Bangsamoro Project Manager April De la Cruz did a review of the expected project results of the program that is for the trained local politicians and civil society leaders to be able to further assess, plan, adapt, and update the policies and mechanisms needed for a Federal (or Autonomous) Bangsamoro region, considering any transitions from newly-established Philippine government. She said that DELACSE’s overall goal is to capacitate its trained leaders to formulate and articulate comprehensive policy inputs vis-à-vis the Bangsamoro Transition Commission and actors that shape current reform efforts in the region.

DELACSE Bangsamoro, a 13-month capacity-building project funded by the European Union (EU) and implemented by the consortium, Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) Philippines and the Institute of Autonomy and Governance (IAG), primarily intended to prepare decision-makers and civil society leaders to be actively engaged in designing the new Bangsamoro political framework.

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