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Dureza made his commendation during Thursday’s culminating event of the DELACSE Bangsamoro, a 13-month project funded by the European Union aimed at empowering decision-makers and civil society leaders for active engagement in the proposed new Bangsamoro political entity.

“We are truly grateful to all your efforts and for being our partner in making the Bangsamoro people, the civil society organizations further understand and strengthen their capacities as decision-makers that will bring positive change in their homeland,” Dureza said in his message read by OPAPP Assistant Secretary Dickson Hermoso.
He said the tedious work towards achieving genuine peace in Mindanao does not end in the signing of peace agreements.

“It is a never ending work of engaging, involving, hearing out the people across all races, tribes, class and location,” Dureza said.

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Dureza encouraged the DELACSE Bangsamoro Project organizers to continue to be at the forefront in promoting genuine, dignified and sustainable peace for the Bangsamoro and the rest of the country.

“All of us gathered here today don’t just want to talk, write agreements, or create development projects for the Bangsamoro people. We have come a long way in making it tangible,” he said.

Despite the five-month conflict in Marawi City last year, the DELACSE Bangsamoro Project has accomplished a lot in empowering over 1,000 participants through seminars, trainings and meetings here and abroad for the last 13 months.

“The results of the project were we were able to train politicians and civil society groups and members of the target group are capacitated to formulate and articulate comprehensive policy inputs vis-à-vis the Bangsamoro Transition Commission and actors that shape current reform efforts,” Benedicto Bacani, executive director of Institute for Autonomy and Governance (IAG), said.

Bacani said project was able to engage with more women from Muslim Mindanao, accounting 55 percent of the total participants.

DELACSE Bangsamoro Project, implemented by the consortium Konrad-Adeneuer-Stiftung (KAS) Philippines and IAG, had established partnerships with 55 civil society organizations in Muslim Mindanao.

Naguib Sinarimbo, deputy secretary general of United Bangsamoro Justice Party, said local leaders and Bangsamoro people empowerment will be nothing without changing the structure of government.

“We cannot just empower the local leaders and the people of the Bangsamoro without changing the structure of government. Parliamentary system is closer to the Bangsamoro system,” Sinarimbo said. 


The Democratic Leadership and Active Civil Society Empowerment in the Bangsamoro (DELACSE Bangsamoro) hosted its final conference, “Way Forward: Empowering Civil Society and Political Parties in the Bangsamoro”, on February 16 at Hotel Jen in Pasay City. IAG Executive Director Benedicto Bacani presented the accomplishments, lessons, and recommendations of DELACSE Bangsamoro’s 13-month run. As representatives of the constituents on the ground, CSO leaders and decision-makers of the future Bangsamoro political entity should not merely leave this milestone in the hands of elected politicians. The conference provided a venue for them to air out their concerns to the government officials and other political actors involved in the peace process to ensure that the interests of their constituents, stakeholders of the future Bangsamoro community, are heard and accounted for before the BBL is passed.