4th April 2014 — the Ateneo de Naga University-Institute of Bikol History and Culture cooperation with the Center for Local Governance and Center for Culture and Arts, with the support from High School ’75 of Ateneo de Naga University, held the Forum on “Building Peace in the Bangsamoro, Prospects and Challenges at the Bro. Richard Michael S. Fernando, SJ Conference Hall.
The Presenters for the forum were from the Office of the President of the Philippines-Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPPAP) namely: Prof. Miriam Coronel Ferrer, Chairperson, Government Peace Negotiating Panel for Talks with the MILF; Former Agriculture Secretary Senen Bacani, Member of the Government Peace Negotiating Panel for Talks with the MILF; and Atty. Anna Tarhata Basman, Head of the panel’s legal team.
The panel presented the challenges and prospects on the Framework Agreement Bangsamoro (FAB). Prof. Ferrer, discussed the BFA’s issues like what it is not and What it is; What it means to the ordinary child in Mindanao-that is a chance to go to school and have the equal opportunities with other citizens of the Philippines; arrangement between the Philippine Government (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) that would allow a unique change and transformation in the society; Executive Branch’s role in the Peace Agreement; and Sub-state being used instead of autonomous government, among others.
Panel Member Bacani presented the timeline and highlights of the signing of the of the FAB on October 15, 2012; Annex Transitional Modalities and Arrangements signed on February 27, 2013; Annex on Revenue Generation and Wealth Sharing signed on July 13, 2013; Annex on Power Sharing signed on December 8, 2013; Annex on Normalization and Addendum on Bangsamoro Waters signed on January 25, 2015; and the connectivity of the islands of, Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Basilan and Tawi-tawi.
Atty. Anna Tarhata Basman focused on the Power Sharing Annex and Revenue Generation and Wealth Sharing specifically the government structure for the ARMM, particularly the process of the election of the Chief Minister and his Cabinet; List of responsibilities of the Government; Devolution of the local government and duties of the National and Local Government; Foreign Policy, and Administration of Justice, Rights of the Indigenous People.
The forum was attended by the representatives of Government Offices, Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Camarines Sur and the Local Government Units, Academic Institutions, and the Members of the Association of Schools of Public Administration in the Philippines–Bicol Chapter; Civil Society Organizations and representatives from the Bicol Islamic Education Foundation.
The event received considerable support from Engr. Anthony Ferrer, who heads the Ateneo HS ‘75.
-Benita Michele C. Verdadero