The Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society (CBCS) launched the Bangsamoro Citizens for Accountable, Relevant and Effective Services (Bangsamoro CARES) at the EM Manor Hotel in Cotabato City on February 14 with the theme “Strengthening of CBCS-led CSO Platforms for a More Unified and Effective Response to the Current Socio-Political Challenges in the Bangsamoro”.

The launching coincides with the founding day of CBCS.

Bangsamoro CARES is a comprehensive program aimed at promoting good governance through building a platform for active citizens’ participation, and enhancing unity and solidarity among the different Bangsamoro ethnic groups. It also works towards building social cohesion between the Bangsamoro and other social and cultural groups, supporting the normalization process of the peace agreement as a vehicle to a long-term healing and reconciliation process.

The activity was attended by more than 100 community leaders, that aims to contribute transitional leadership and specifically promoting moral governance; and to pursue the unfinished businesses of the organization which will lead to community development and for the service of the people of Bangsamoro homeland.

Guiamel Alim, CBCS founding chairman, emphasized the 6 Points CBCS Post-Peace Agreement Platform Program in the Bangsamoro: 1. Building mechanism for active citizens participation in governance and Peace building, 2. Enhancing unity and solidarity among the BM Ethnic and Sectoral Groups, 3. Building social cohesion between the Bangsamoro and other social and cultural groups, 4.  Supporting the Normalization aspect of the post-conflict agreement, especially the promotion of transitional justice in the Bangsamoro, 5. Promoting support for Children, youth and Women’s Programs, and lastly, 6. Program for Disaster  Resilience and  Management.

Guiamel also presented various opportunities and challenges in the BARMM that need to be addressed by the parliament.

“This government has to address the various socio-economic-political and environmental challenges. It needs to unify and build trust among the different peoples, in order to bring about inclusive people’s empowerment,” he said

On top of the development agenda, Guiamel said is reducing poverty, to mitigate communities’ vulnerability to violence.

Other remarks made by Guiamel was the displacement of civilian population due to violent conflicts that continues; deep divides stemming from differences in ideological persuasion, faith beliefs, ethnic origins and narratives remain.

“Issues of injustices, social exclusion and marginalization are being exploited by non-state armed groups to destabilize public security and political patronage, corruption and personality-based politics in the BARMM still prevail. Political and social reforms are overwritten by corruption in politics,” he continued.

Guiamel stressed that the BTA needs to institute measures to cleanse corruption, change the image, and move for transparent, accountable and participatory governance during the transition period.

Member of CSOs, Non-government Organizations, BARMM Ministries attended the activity have shared their respective plans, contribution in achieving the Bangsamoro Right to Self-determination, and how to attain Moral Governance of the BARMM government through the leadership of Chief Minister Ahod “Alhadj Murad” Ebrahim.

Atty. Naguib Sinarimbo of Ministry of interior and local governance (MILG), Dr. Mohammad Yacob of Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Aqua Reform (MAFAR); and Atty. Raiza A. Jajurie of the Ministry of Social Welfare and Development (MSWD were also present.

Member of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) Parliament Sahie Udjah said, he will be holding advocacy on Moral Governance of BARMM to be able to enhance the poor governance of the region.

Dr. Safrullah Salik Dipatuan of the Ministry of Health (MOH) said, they recognize their role in developing a healthy community through advocacy work, monitoring and feedbacking, community organizing and communication and he said they can only do it with the help of civil society.

Yacob said that by uplifting the economic progress specifically the farmers sector is a moral responsibility of all stakeholders.

On the part of the Ministry of Social Services Welfare (MSSW), Jajurie, said what they are doing in the parliament is to strongly established meaningful bureaucracy so that the next officials who may be running the Bangsamoro parliament after 2022 can continue their good practices because they implanted a bureaucracy that is based on moral governance.

Sinarimbo said they came up with 41 programs under his office and one of the priorities is to establish strong institution of governance.

“If we have Bangsamoro government workers who are competent, and will work under system of moral governance framework, our government, the Bangsamoro people and its community will be developed”, Sinarimbo said.

The CBCS has accompanied the Bangsamoro people, the Moro National Liberation Front, Moro Islamic Liberation Front, and government during the peace processes to continue the journey to social transformation until the establishment of the BARMM.

CBCS is the biggest solidarity network of Moro Civil Society Organizations in Mindanao committed to help facilitate the empowerment of the Bangsamoro people to exercise their Right to Self-Determination towards personal, social and structural transformation in the Bangsamoro society.

By: Sittie Asiyah Bint Ahmad (