A significant Press Conference and signing of Memorandum of Understanding between the Bangsamoro Information Office (BIO) and Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society (CBCS) was held at Glamour Convention Hall, Cotabato City on August 17, 2022. The activity was attended by more than forty Officers and Personnel of BIO and CBCS with a dozens of tri-media officers and reporters.

BIO is an Information Office under the Office of the Interim Chief Minister of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region while CBCS is one the largest Moro civil society organizations (CSOs) – a network of more than a hundred Moro organizations operating in different part of Mindanao.

BIO Executive Director Ameen Andrew L. Alonto in his rationale and message of commitment conveyed that: “My sincerest gratitude to CBCS for helping the Bangsamoro people in serving the people even before the inception of BARMM, we’ve already seen their support when I was still a Staff of former OPAPP now Office on Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity (OPAPRU) as we are witness to their efforts for the success of the peace process.”

He also stressed that with this partnership with the CSOs: “we are optimistic that we can deliver awareness and information up to the grass-root level. We can sustain the peace and development agenda of the Bangsamoro Government and make it a more people-centered.”, and ended with optimism that with this MOU signing, BIO commits itself that this will be a start of that strong an enduring partnership.

On the part of CBCS Commitment, Guiamel Alim chairperson of CBCS stressed the importance of both tri-media or traditional media and the widely prevailing social media. He however emphasized that: “social media platform can be used for many purposes and even as an instrument for both good or evil purposes.”

On the other hand, Mr. Alim also emphasized that: “that some people in the provinces especially those of outside core territories don’t get correct information. Or information are either distorted or manipulated which usually being capitalized by individuals with vested political interest or those oppose to the BARMM leadership. Being able to communicate effectively is one of the most important tools in transferring information to produce a greater understanding.”

He ended with assurance that CBCS is committed to help in providing an institutional and effective information arm in the Bangsamoro Government to promote transparency, moral governance and enrich the quality of public discourse – the reason they agree to partner with BIO to achieve common goal for effective and strategic communication in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region.

Interim Chief Minister Hon. Ahod Balawag Ebrahim through video message expressed his gratitude for the BIO and CBCS initiatives of collaboration and said: “I see the partnership as a meaningful collaboration as the Bangsamoro Government can now echo its messages to the unreachable societies through BIO and CBCS. I hope that the partnership will create an environment that communicate vital information to our fellow Bangsamoro in a convenient and comprehensive manner.”
And added that: “With this, I am expressing my support to your collaborative efforts that were anchored on solidarity and efficient information dissemination. And I hope to see more meaningful partnership in the future.”

Mohammad Asnin Pendatun, Cabinet Secretary of the Bangsamoro Government updated the media entities and guests on the general developments that detailed the achievements of the Bangsamoro Government both in programming and legislations aspects.

The MOU signing of partnership was followed by the Press Conference attended by no less than twelve local media entities from the tri-media operating in Cotabato City and nearby provinces.

In the Media interaction were the main resource persons are Cabinet Secretary Mohammad Asnin Pendatun, BIO Executive Secretary Ameen Andrew L. Alonto and Guiamel M. Alim, CBCS Chair.

The issues thrown by the media reporters and journalists to the Resources persons ranges from issues of poverty, the new composition of BTA Members, to unifying media outlets for all Bangsamoro Government Offices.

Other media entities also have queries on the situational incidents from man-made to natural calamities up to the Bangsamoro Governments intervention in the Rehabilitation and development of the most affected areas in Marawi City.

The three resource persons substantially discussed the matter with issues brought about by inquiring media personalities. One striking question tossed by media to CBCS Chair, “Is CBCS have the plan to ask money from the government agencies to fund their activities? Mr. Alim quipped that: “We had never asked money from any government agency to fund our activities”. And jokingly said: “But it is good that you asked that question because from now on I will now ask BIO to give us money.”