UP to intensify involvement in BARMM

UP to intensify involvement in BARMM

University of the Philippines Mindanao Professor Lyre Anni Murao disclosed the University of the Philippines’ (UP) plan to create a UP Bangsamoro Development Institute (BDI) to contribute to inclusive and sustainable peace and development in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

Professor Murao made this announcement at the forum, “Peace Talk: Conversations on the Bangsamoro,” held at UP Diliman, Quezon City, on March 22, 2024, commemorating the 10th anniversary of the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro. 

Professor Murao represented UP as Chairperson of the Technical Working Group (TWG) for the Creation of UP Bangsamoro Development Institute (BDI) and as Chancellor of UP Mindanao in the forum organized by the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity (OPAPRU).

“The UP Bangsamoro Development Institute’s vision is for a peaceful and prosperous BARMM harnessing the full potential of the Bangsamoro towards one nation,’” she said. “Our mission is to serve as enablers of collaboration, providing a safe partnering space, and bridging BARMM stakeholders for inclusive and sustainable peace, growth, and development,” she said. 

She described the BDI as being open to collaboration. “The BDI is conceived as a partnership of UP and BARMM and other stakeholders and potential collaborators, such as state universities and colleges, higher education institutions, and other agencies, committed to bolstering education and socio-economic development in the Bangsamoro region,” she said. 

“Collaboration is the key to making things happen for BARMM. We are not imposing; we do not want to be intrusive. Instead, we are building a co-creative space,” she said. 

“We had stakeholder consultations last year, and UP realized that any collaboration should align with the BARMM agenda. UP plans to take a phased-in approach at a pace that is comfortable with BARMM,” she said. 

She stated that academic institutions have resources, namely their people, who can provide knowledge and innovation for academic, technical, and scientific collaboration.

“Our current university president, Atty. Angelo Jimenez is a Mindanaoan. He wants UP to emphasize public service, believing this is his way of contributing to his homeland,” she said. 

She reported that BARMM is among the country's top 10 fastest-growing Philippine regional economies. “We now have private investments coming into BARMM, and I have the same feedback about the tourism in the area, the improved infrastructure, especially the farm-to-market roads, supporting businesses financing, and, most especially, trust in the BARMM government, the youngest autonomous region in the world,” she said. 

In the open forum moderated by OPAPRU MILF Peace Process Director Wendell Orbeso, she responded to a question by sharing inputs from their recent dialogues with the BARMM stakeholders. “There are still areas that need help in BARMM, such as areas with no power, where education is still a problem, and hospitals are still level-1. That's where UP plans to come in and extend whatever assistance the university can give,” she said. 

She mentioned education, health, food security, energy, water, financing, disaster risk reduction, and climate resilience as key areas to which the university can contribute to. 

“UP has always had a heart for the BARMM,” she said, a fact she supported by the statement that “at least 70 projects were implemented by UP units in BARMM over the past twenty years, albeit separately.” 

“Imagine what we can do if we consolidate and converge our efforts to create synergy,” she said. PR


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