ADZU Peace Institute holds forum on Mindanao Policy Agenda Template PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 09 August 2015 14:40

The traumatic Zamboanga siege of 2013 galvanized the Philippine Jesuits to organize Mindanao Conversations on December 2013. Jesuits and lay collaborators gathered to reflect on the directions of the Jesuit mission in the Philippines, particularly in Mindanao.

The event resulted in seven action points, including one on supporting social movements and advocacies that promote social justice and the common good. This action point is the basis for the forum #NewMindanao: TAPAT that will take place on August 13, 2015 at the Sapphire Ballroom of Grand Astoria Hotel, from 1 to 5pm.

TAPAT stands for The Advocacy Policy Agenda Template. This poalicy agenda was drafted by a Mindanao Conversations technical working group that sifted through the social agenda of the Jesuit-run universities in the country. The group identified the top five policy agenda that will most benefit Mindanao: Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL),Freedom of Information Bill, Philippine Mining Act, Indigenous Peoples Rights Act, and Electoral Reform.

The TAPAT forum is organized by the Ateneo de Zamboanga University Social Development Council through the Ateneo Peace Institute.

Organizers of the #NewMindanao: TAPAT will present the framework of engagements for the Policy Advocacy Agenda of the Ateneo universities but focusing specifically on three: Philippine Mining Act; Freedom of Information Bill; Indigenous Peoples Rights Act.

Congressman Teodoro “Teddy” Baguilat Jr. of the Lone District of Ifugao will be the resource speaker. Baguilat has extensive background in all three issues. In the current Philippine Congress, he chairs the agrarian reform committee. He is also vice chair of committees on national cultural communities and on peace, reconciliation and unity.

Baguilat is one of the principal sponsors of the Freedom of Information (FOI) Bill. He is a known champion of the rights of indigenous peoples in the country as well as champion of environmental causes.

ADZU will conduct activities to tackle the two other priority agenda.  In the offing is a thematic forum on the BBL on August 27, 2015 at Royce Astoria. The Ateneo Center for Leadership & Governance (ACLG) will soon implement electoral reform programs, in preparation especially for the 2016 national elections.

Aside from supporting social movements and advocacies for social justice, the six other action points from Mindanao Conversations are: Forming Leaders for Mindanao and the Common Good; Jesuit Universities and Institutions in Mindanao as Convenors and Consensus Builders; Dialoguing for Peace through Intra- and Inter-faith Initiatives; Rejecting an Economy that Excludes and Developing Initiatives for the Creation of Wealth and its Equitable Distribution to Mindanawons;  Appropriating and Integrating Ignatian Spirituality for Social Transformatios; and Advocating for Cultural Transformation and Regeneration in Mindanao.