ZABIDA forges support deal with eight marginalized groups in Zambo, Basilan PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 12 December 2015 11:38

Eight basic and generally marginalized sectors in Zamboanga City and Basilan Province will receive sustained support from the Zamboanga-Basilan Integrated Development Alliance, Inc. (ZABIDA) and its  collaborating organizations to promote their human rights in the next four years.

Leaders of the sectors, namely those of persons with disability, women, farmers and fisherfolks, youth, internally displaced persons, indigenous peoples, informal settlers/urban poor, and children, signed a memorandum of agreement with ZABIDA and the collaborating agencies of Commission of Human Rights (CHR) and Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) during the “Sectoral Rights Advocacy Campaign Launching Program” last Thursday, December 10.  The day is observed worldwide as International Human Rights Day, marking the issuance of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations in 1948.

In his message at the launching program held at Marcian Garden Hotel, ZABIDA president Fr. Angel Calvo, CMF said ZABIDA will assist the selected sectors to discover and evaluate their various human rights problems, issues and concerns, which will then be translated into action plans. The action plans will be the basis for further programs that bring in support and assistance from government and non-government institutions intended to meet the human rights and developmental needs of the participating sectors, he said.

Through this partnership, Fr. Calvo said, we shall establish a support roadmap based on the real needs and aspirations of the sectors, within the framework of their socio-cultural conditions.

Over 200 representatives of the sectors attended the event, including some delegates of civil society peace-building multi-network called Mindanao Peace Weavers from the Basilan-Sulu-Tawi-Tawisubregion that a day earlier participated in a one-day forum on the Mindanao peace process also sponsored by ZABIDA.

Speaking on behalf of the group, VandrezelBirowa told the assembly that the sectors’ “issues are our (Mindanao Peace Weavers’) issues, too, as we are taught that our core values should anchor on respect, love and to live in harmony. One of the issues we discussed is the rights of the indigenous peoples, (recognizing) the importance of addressing  and preventing human rights violations through the mechanisms of the peace process.”

The city government of Zamboanga will play an enabling role in the agreement since it earlier entered into an accord with ZABIDA to implement the  various projects of the latter’s Convenio II  mother program. The program will be funded by the Spanish government through its Agencia Espanola de CooperacionInternacionalparaDesarollo (AECID) in the next four years starting on 2016. Aside from the local governments of Zamboanga and selected towns in Basilan province, the human rights component will be assisted by CHR and DILG. DILG city director Prof. MohTahaArakama and CHR’s Atty. Juvelyn Macapili signed the MOA on behalf of their agencies.

The eight assisted sectors will be located and mobilized under 34 barangays. The main actions  will be along formalized planning, advocacy, impact assessment, and special support activities.Among these will be the institutionalization of the Barangay Human Rights Action Centers. (ZABIDA)