Mindanao LGUs commit to bring community peace in more brgys PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 03 December 2011 15:29

Local government officials from selected Mindanao conflict-affected areas expressed their support for the sustainability of the Barangay Justice for Peace project (BJP) in their respective areas, during a recent event marking the culmination of the project.

At the gathering called BJP End of Congress held the other day in Davao City, the LGUs of Maguindanao, Tawi-tawi, Davao del Sur, Cotabato, Saranggani, Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur, and Zamboanga Sibugay have donated almost P8 million for the expansion of BJP activities, especially in the barangays where the impact is still not felt.

BJP is a 2-year program under the Mindanao Peace and Development Program of US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA), and is implemented by the Gerry Roxas Foundation. It aims to reduce violent conflicts in Mindanao barangays and strengthen alternative dispute resolution mechanisms in the barangays.

After two years, the program was able to train and mobilize not less than 3,000 barangay justice advocates all over their target municipalities and cities, and have resolved roughly 11,000 community conflicts.

Gloria Steele, USAID Mission Director expressed her appreciation for the commitments made by the LGUs representatives to sustain and replicate the program.
“I have worked for USAID for almost 30 years, and we have always wondered if anything that we have started will ever be sustained. This is the first time that I hear, straight from the officials that they will continue a project,” Steel said.

Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo also noted during the congress that in the entire Philippines, it is Mindanao where the barangay justice system is most important.

“A peaceful nation can move forward faster, we hope that more barangays can benefit from this kind of program,” he added.

One of the highlights of the congress is the oath taking of the Mindanao Consortium for Barangay Justice Advocates, which serves the sustainability strategy of the BJP program. This consortium was organized by the Gerry Roxas Foundation in partnership with the 8 LGU partners.

“Let us rally behind each other to achieve piece. They have already started something, let’s continue it,” encouraged MinDA Chair Luwalhati Antonino.

Antonino said that programs such as BJP is a beautiful legacy that people, especially government officials should support and replicate. — MinDa