|UP President Angelo Jimenez
|Deputy Speaker Abdulkarim Misuari
|MSU President Basari Mapupuno
"UP is all hands on deck for the people of Mindanao!"
University of the Philippines President Angelo Jimenez made this declaration before Bangsamoro leaders at the UP-Bangsamoro Development Institute Summit Consultation on September 13, 2023, in Davao City.
President Jimenez, the first UP president from Mindanao, offered to establish the UP-Bangsamoro Development Institute. Its goal is to help strengthen the human capital and improve the socio-economic conditions in the region.
“The youth are full of potential. UP shall contribute to making quality education accessible to the marginalized sectors,” he said.
Jimenez cited Mindanao as key to the nation's progress, being the second-largest island with its wealth of natural resources, but noted the region’s distressing socio-economic statistics.
“UP must serve the people here who deserve the fruits of development and peace,” he said.
He cited lasting peace as among the most pressing issues in the region and acknowledged the previous national administrations’ interventions for peace and development.
“We recognize the Bangsamoro people's historical struggles, aspirations, and rights. The university is committed to supporting initiatives that foster dialogue, reconciliation, and sustainability,” he said.
He brought up the passage of the Bangsamoro organic law, the establishment of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority, and the current Philippine Development Plan.
“These offer a grand opportunity to work together to sustain Mindanao's recovery and economic growth,” he said.
He noted the rich cultural heritage of the Bangsamoro, as well.
“We intend to work closely with local communities to preserve and promote its heritage through cultural exchange programs, exhibitions, and awareness campaigns,” he said.
In closing, he said, “I know we are many peoples, but we are truly one nation. But today, especially today, we are each and everyone, Bangsamoro!”
Vice-President for Academic Affairs Leo Cubillan proceeded to present the concept and six pillars of the proposed Institute. The pillars are education, health, capacity-building, environmental sustainability and resilience, partnerships, and rehabilitation.
Bangsamoro Transition Authority Parliament Deputy Speaker Abdulkarim Misuari and Mindanao State University President Atty. Basari Mapupuno led their respective delegations at the Consultation.
Deputy Speaker Misuari welcomed the UP initiative.
“Our response is, ‘It's about time,’ and, ‘It's never too late,’” he said. “For a brighter future, education is the best part. With the Bangsamoro, we are ready to receive better education,” he said.
For his part, MSU President Mapupuno said, “I convey the collective excitement of the Mindanao State University as we embark on this transformative journey, hand in hand with the UP and the Bangsamoro government, towards the establishment of the UP-Bangsamoro Development Institute,” he said.
Aside from Deputy Speaker Misuari, the Bangsamoro delegation likewise gave comments. These were Member of Parliament (MP) Rasol Mitmug Jr., Health Minister Rizaldy Piang, Environment Minister Akmad Brahim, Transportation & Communications Minister Abu Amri Taddik, representatives of MP Aida Silongan and Interior and Local Government Minister Naguib Sinarimbo, Policy Research & Legal Services Director Nassef Adiong, Labor & Employment Consultant Dong Anayatin, Indigenous Peoples Affairs Director Judith Tinio, Human Settlements & Development Director Salem Demuna.
The Mindanao State University delegation likewise gave comments. The chancellors of the eleven MSU campuses were present.
The UP delegation, led by President Jimenez, had National Scientists Emil Javier and Carmencita Padilla, Regent Gladys Tiongco, the vice presidents, and the heads of the eight UP constituent universities and one autonomous campus. EVP Alcantara and other officials also contributed inputs to the discussion.