Civil society organizations across southwestern island provinces of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi (Basulta) are poised to mount an aggressive campaign to counter alleged claims that Moro residents in that subregion are against the Bangsamoro Basic Law.
This was the consensus reached during the first steering committee meeting of the Mindanao Civil Society Organizations Platform for Peace (MCSOPP), through the Maranao People Development Center (Maradeca), Inc. held at the Grand Men Seng Hotel in Davao City on May 19.
The aggressive information campaign activity would form part of the preparations for the implementation of the second phase of the MCSOPP project with the United Nations Development Program.
The allegation that the Basulta residents were against the BBL was raised during the discussion that civil society organizations would like to correct.
The MCSOPP has recommended “to clarify the issue and prove that there are organizations in the island provinces doing initiatives or underground movements to support the BBL”.The recommendation was to strengthen information dissemination and campaign, including media access to mass communication.
“By having this, it could counter or fight the anti- BBL campaign and different strategies undertaking by the anti-BBL groups to frustrate the BBL in the island provinces,” the steering committee meeting has said.
“To quote what Prof. Octavio said: let us not be over confident, let us campaign, let’s everybody have registered, and let’s correct it by looking what we can do for the forthcoming plebiscite because it’s going to be show time”.
The meeting participants suggested that civil society groups may use battery operated two-way radio handsets “as a means to reach out to larger audiences considering the irregular power supply and signal in the island provinces”.
The meeting was held to discuss between and among the members of the steering committee with the presence of the Bangsamoro Transition Committee representative, Abdullah Cusain, the UNDP-approved project proposal, and including the grant agreement between the Maradeca and UNDP on the financial guidelines based on the UNDP standard as well as the activity designs.
The new project management team was also introduced to the committee during the meeting as part of the agenda.The gathering also provided opportunity to hear updates on the status, positive development as well as issues and challenges to the BBL based on observations and experiences in the different provinces of ARMM from the members of the committee.