The TWG BDI and BARMM consultations in May 2024

Written by Rene Estremera. Posted in Forums

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The TWG-BDI with the Cotabato-based alumni

On May 9-10, 2024, the Technical Working Group for the Creation of the UP Bangsamoro Development Institute (TWG-BDI), composed of Chancellor Murao, Martin Hilarion Mapolon, Gracita Jacinto-Ali, Maria Victoria Espaldon, UPMin Pahinungod Director Michael Gatela, UPMin Extension Director Asst. Prof. Minerva Rosel and the TWG staff members John Carlo Evardo and Nhikki Lumayag traveled to Cotabato City, where they met the heads and officials of three BARMM ministries all in one day.

In a dinner meeting upon the TWG's arrival on May 9, 2024, the Cotabato-based alumni, many of whom hold key positions in the BARMM government, pledged to support the establishment of the BDI. The alumni also discussed the possibility of creating a BARMM-wide alumni association.

On May 10, 2024, Education Minister Mohagher Iqbal of the Ministry of Basic, Higher, and Technical Education (MBHTE) received the TWG. Both parties pledged to continue the relations and collaboration between UP and the Bangsamoro education officials that started in the late 1990s through the pioneer UP Gurong Pahinungod volunteers. 

Trade Minister Abu Amri A. Taddik, Director-General Rosslaini Alonto-Sinarimbo, and the unit heads of the Ministry of Trade, Investments, and Tourism (MTIT) likewise received the TWG. Director Alonto-Sinarimbo thanked UP and UP Mindanao for their consistent support and suggested lessons from past experiences to better identify people's needs. Minister Taddik expressed his appreciation for UP's support, particularly emphasizing the need for assistance in agriculture, specifically in fishery, to ensure sustainable livelihoods for the people of BARMM. 

Finally, the TWG met with officials of the BARMM Ministry of Human Settlements and Development (MHSD) led by Housing and Human Settlements Chief Abdulhamid Alawi, Jr., and Technical and Regulatory Services Director Suharto Wahab. The TWG team explained UP's eight "basket of offerings" for the BARMM, namely, food, health, education, the environment and ecology, information and communication technology (ICT), governance, economics, and maritime science. A ninth basket was conceived from the consultations, namely, culture and the arts.

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The TWG-BDI with Education Minister Mohagher Iqbal and MBHTE officials
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The TWG-BDI with BARMM Trade Minister Abu Amri Taddik, Director Alonto-Sinarimbo (behind the minister), and MTIT officials.
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The TWG-BDI with officials of the Ministry of Human Settlements and Development

On May 22, 2024, Chancellor Prof. Lyre Anni Murao gave a public update in an interview with DZUP's Rex Espiritu in the DZUP Balita episode. In the interview, Chancellor Murao enumerated the nine "baskets" of offerings that UP can offer BARMM: food, health, education, the environment and ecology, information and communication technology (ICT), governance, economics, and maritime science. A ninth basket, culture and the arts, was conceived from the consultations. She emphasized that UP's approach should be within the context and aligned with BARMM's plans.

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Prof. Murao DZUP's Rex Espiritu

View the live interview recording here:

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