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The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) will cease to exist by June 2015. This is because during this time the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) will be put in place – replacing the ARMM and repealing the laws which created it namely: Republic Act (RA) 6734 and RA 9054. Before the abovementioned date, it is hoped that a law which will be the legal foundation of the new political entity – the Bangsamoro – will be approved by both houses of Congress signed by the President into law and will be submitted to the peoples in affected territories in the plebiscite ninety (90) days after it was promulgated into law.

The concrete change in the political landscape in this part of the country is the result of the political negotiation between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). Just as the ARMM is the concrete result of the political negotiation between GPH and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) in 1996, the Bangsamoro will be the political concession between the GPH and MILF which will be regularly set up in 2016.

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Unacceptability” is currently the term used in describing the status quo of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) which was lauded by the then Bangsamoro people and members of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) who claimed that by installing ARMM is a way of recognizing their right to self-determination thereby providing them the space to enjoy peace and development in the region that has long been denied from them.

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Attended by close to a hundred women and witnessed by few men, the Asian Women’s Forum on Climate Justice was successfully realized through the initiatives of International Institutefor Research and Education (IIRE) Manila, Mindanao Tri-people Women Resource Center, Inc., Focus on Global South and Stop the War Coalition.  This  was conducted at the University of the Philippines  Balay Kalinaw, Diliman, Quezon City last July 2-3, 2014  which was attended by  fifty six (56) organizations  from different regions of Luzon  (with thirty-eight  organizations),Visayas  (with three)  and  Mindanao (with  fifteen organizations)  mostly from the grassroots women organizations.   International delegates from Pakistan, Indonesia, Malaysia, France, Canada and Netherlands were also present. The forum aimed for the following objectives:  (1) convene women leaders from different Asian countries to share and learn on the issues of climate change and how the situation affects grassroots women in different situations; (2) establish network and linkages among different women’s groups especially at the grassroots level; ; and (3) foster closer communication and develop mechanisms for effective campaigns on climate justice among women and climate justice activists across Asia.

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This reflection was based on a three-day seminar on Community Based Disaster Risk Management Training for Basic Sectors Leadership conducted on October 17-20, 2014 held at Family Country Hotel, General Santos City. The participants come  from different areas of  Region  XII and parts of Maguindanao  like Cotabato City, Pagalungan, Paglat, Datu Montawal, Upi, Lebak, Basilan, General Santos City and other areas.  It was started by the preliminaries followed by the opening remarks and key notes of Sr. Mela Fellizar Cagay and Director Reynaldo M. Bungobong CESE, DILG of Region X11.

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In celebration of the National Migrant Workers Month and in commemoration of the 116th Philippine Independence Day, around twenty-seven (27) children of OFWs from Cotabato City and Maguindanao, ages 7 – 12 years old, were gathered on June 12, 2014 at Ummah Development Center Foundation, Inc. (UDFI), Cotabato City as part of the Recreational and Educational Program for Children of OFWs.

The program provided an opportunity for the children of OFWs having access to socializing and social learning among them as they have team-building games. It also became a venue for increased views on their basic rights as children of OFWs as these were taught to them. The program also became an opportunity for developed skills on visual arts as they were encouraged and asked to draw what their dreams are as children of OFWs.

In the end, five (5) children were selected and awarded with recognition and special gifts who portrayed the best drawing and interpretation.

The second set of this program will be for the 13 – 20 years old OFW children on June 20 – 23, 2014 at Tukuran, Zamboanga del Sur during the 8th Mindanao Youth Camp of the Alyansa ng Kabataang Mindanao para sa Kapayapaan (Alliance of Mindanao Youth for Peace).


 

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by camp26

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