LAST Monday, a memory on Facebook reminded me that exactly three years ago this month, I became part of the Duterte Administration for peace building work for the Bangsamoro. President Rodrigo Duterte appointed me to be part of the expanded Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC). The BTC was the body that drafted the Bangsamoro Basic Law which eventually became the Republic Act 11054 or the Bangsamoro Organic Law.
Looking back, I ask these questions,”What is missing? What else do we need to do for the Bangsamoro and to build lasting peace in Mindanao?”
I believe that any sustainable community development requires a collective effort with a clear vision in mind and a concrete plan. This effort should start with the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) as the transition government that functions executive and legislative work. But this is not enough. The BTA cannot do all these. They need the help of the private sector.
Forming valuable partnerships is crucial in addressing the challenges in sustainable development and peacebuilding. But although we often engage in mutual coordination, cooperation, and collaboration of efforts, my office agrees that there is a need for convergence at both the top level and on the ground or community beginning with a strategic alliance among partners and stakeholders.
Fortunately, a friend of mine organized a group we call “Z”.
The group started with a conversation among friends on how to help the Barmm. And in this conversation, two simple questions that were raised echoed mine. First, “How would you envision a convergence of efforts happening at both the top level and on the ground or community level?” And second, “What unifying approaches do you see we need, or lack and would like to see to achieve our goals?”
The conversation has evolved into a plan of the group’s members to consolidate our efforts. The Z Group is composed of extraordinary individuals who are “dedicated to the upliftment of the Bangsamoro people and the progress and development of the Barmm.” Among us, you will find esteemed members from various sectors — private, government, military, and diplomatic. Onboard are executive directors of local and international non-government organizations representing their NGOs and INGOs, researchers and members of the academe, businessmen. Our distinguished members also include high ranking foreign dignitaries and a senator.
My friend likens the Z Group’s alliance to a symphony which, by definition according to an online site, is an ensemble of musical instruments composed of sections of different musical instruments —strings, woodwinds, brass, and percussion— where “this large group of musicians play together with coordinated rhythm and expression” and “is usually led by a conductor, who stands in front of the entire ensemble and directs the musicians.”
And my friend animatedly describes it further this way: “While watching or listening to a symphony orchestra‘s performance, one might hear the first tune played by a single instrument, say the first violins, followed in accompaniment by the second violins and the other string instruments. Each section plays their part and joins in as the conductor signals how softly or powerfully the musical instruments blend. The symphony then builds up into a beautiful and seamless combination of strings, brass, woodwinds, and percussion leading to a grand finale.”
The Z Group is a formidable group of individuals who are bent on seeing to it that we combine our efforts to our maximum capacity. And if, just like a symphony orchestra, we perform in tune with each other and with synchronicity, then the grand finale under the baton of the conductor represents our vision for the Bangsamoro under the direction of the BTA.
The development in the Barmm starts with the BTA working as a team, as one. Like an orchestra, the Chief Minister is the conductor. He knows the value of each and every member of the parliament and applies the principle of inclusivity in governance.
The “Z” group can help bridge understanding and cooperation of the public and private sector. In the days to come, I look forward of the concrete work and contributions of this group.