Empowering Civil Society Leaders in Bangsamoro through Basic Leadership Seminar

Fifty civil society leaders from different organizations in the provinces of Cotabato and Maguindanao attended “Empowering the Future Democratic Leaders of the Bangsamoro” last July 6-8, 2017 at Microtel by Wyndham, Lanang, Davao City.  This is first of a series of Basic Leadership Seminar organized by the Democratic Leadership and Active Civil Society Empowerment in the Bangsamoro or DELACSE Bangsamoro.

This event introduced, and at the same time, deepened the understanding of different sectors about the history, values, leadership style, ethics and morality, political landscape, and people of Mindanao and Bangsamoro. In her introductory speech, DELACSE Bangsamoro Project Manager April Dela Cruz said, “To deepen their knowledge of the political context and to motivate them to take active role in shaping the emerging Bangsamoro political framework, first, we need to empower them and tell them that the future of Bangsamoro is in the hands of democratic leaders… in their hands.”

The three-day seminar covered the topics on Islamic Values, Leadership, Ethics and Morality which was delivered by Aleem Abdulsalam Alabat, Shari’ah Expert and Member of the Steering Committee of the Bangsamoro Leadership and Management Institute; and Roles and Functions of Democratic Political Parties and the Civil Society in Governance which was presented by political analyst and Executive Director of Institute for Political and Electoral Reform Prof. Ramon Casiple.

Ms. Irene Santiago, Chairperson of the Government Implementing Panel for the Bangsamoro Peace Agreements and Prof. Amina Rasul, President of Philippine Center for Islam and Democracy (PCID) gave a brief background on the status of national administration’s initiatives towards a Federal government, and the civil society organizations’ roles in Mindanao Peace Process and in prevention of violent extremism.

On the other hand, Mr. Lambert Ramirez, Program Manager of Bottom-Up Budgeting Program Management Office of the DILG underscored to the participants how they can push forward responsible citizenship in nation building highlighting their roles as civil society leaders in the entire democratic process.

Workshops and open forum were also conducted to further impart the roles of civil society in nation building through observing the democratic process.

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 intends to prepare decision-makers and civil society leaders to be actively engaged in designing the new Bangsamoro political framework. The EU’s pledge to peace and development in Mindanao is not limited to the DELACSE project, but it has been a long-term development actor and a partner for peace in Mindanao. It remains steadfast in strengthening this commitment in the future. In fact, the EU has granted 400,000 euros or P20.8M pesos for capacity-building programs and activities that will facilitate a more democratic leadership and strengthen the empowerment of civil society active in the Bangsamoro.

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