The City Mayor of Cagayan de Oro Hon. Oscar Moreno called it historic referring to the launch of the book entitled Regional Peacebuilding and Development Framework and Agenda (RBDFA) on March 13 2019 at the Gloria Laureana San Pedro Rosales Theatre, Capitol University.

L-R DILG 10 Regional Director Arnel Agabe; GIZ-COSERAM Chief Program Adviser
Hervig Meyer; Cagayan de Oro City Mayor Oscar Moreno; DILG Undersecretary Marivel
Sacendoncillo; and DILG Assistant Secretary Felix Manuel

The book is a product of collaboration between the Regional Peace and Order Council 10, the Department of Interior and Local Government 10, the Gesselschaft fur Internationale Zusammernarbeit – Conflict Sensitive Resource and Asset Management (GIZ-COSERAM), 24 member technical working groups of national government agencies and civil society organizations, and eight faculty members of Capitol University.  This collaboration took place in a period of 11 months and comprised of several activities – training on research principles and guidelines and data-gathering tools; actual data-gathering in five provinces (Bukidnon, Misamis Oriental, Lanao del Norte, Camiquin, and Misamis Occidental) and two highly-urbanized cities (Cagayan de Oro and Iligan) of Region 10; data-analysis and report writing.

Capitol University’s faculty Amor de Torres, Imelda Pagtulon-an, Rachel Polestico, Lilian C. de la Peña, Aldrich Palarca, Edwin Du, Quivido Origines, and Lovella Naces were engaged in mentoring and guiding the 24 TWG members throughout the project. The whole project was monitored by GIZ-COSERAM Senior Program Officer Mr Walter Alquiza and DILG 10 under the watch of Regional Director Arnel Agabe.

The Capitol University Team L-R Aldrich Palarca, Quivido Origines, Amor Q de Torres,
 Edwin Du, Lilian C de la Peña, DILG Ellaine Basco, and Rachel Polestico

The book contains what most people of Mindanao already know about their peace and development situation. The persistence of this situation despite multiple programs to address it points to the need for more creative peace-building and development programs. The book clearly presents the major conflicts in the region and the historical and social context that sustain it. Access and control of resources, in particular land, is a major driver of conflict which result in poverty and insurgency and its spill-over effect to neighboring highly urbanized cities such as urban migration, unemployment, vulnerability to crimes, illegal drugs, and terrorism. The inability of policies, of government agencies and local government units to address these conflicts is emphasized as respondents during data-gathering exhibit frustration.  Conversely, these respondents are hopeful and propose peace-building approaches: more knowledge of local history, review of policies for harmonization and efficient operation, harmonizing stakeholder interests and needs, a balanced power dynamics through negotiations, mediation, and other creative peace-building approaches such as intensifying community ability in peace-building and development efforts.

The Capitol University Dance Troupe performed an amazing interpretive dance of the conflict and solutions contained in the book.

In her keynote speech DILG Undersecretary Marivel Sacendoncillo confirmed the book’s purpose – a roadmap to be read, understood, and used by all government offices at all levels for peace and development, a dream until now for most parts of Mindanao, to be realized. She highlighted the role of the academe in the production of the RBFDA by saying that the academe, in this case Capitol University, has the knowledge and research expertise to provide development programs with more insights.

This project of Capitol University with GIZ-COSERAM and DILG 10 started in October 2016.

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