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BTC Encourages Citizens to Take Part in Plebiscite on Bangsamoro Organic Law

The passage of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) last July 2018 gives hope for a lasting peace in Mindanao. There is, however, much work to be done in defining the areas of the Bangsamoro, setting up governance structures, and, putting into motion administrative agreements.

Atty. Omar Sema of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission identified information dissemination as one of the challenges in building the Bangsamoro. He said that by bringing the knowledge and salient points of the law to the most basic members of the Bangsamoro constituency would facilitate a better understanding among communities.

“The participation of the people is crucial as they will be the beneficiaries of Bangsamoro Organic Law’s promise of long lasting peace. Another challenge is how to deliver the message across diverse communities where Christian, Lumad and Muslim co-exist,’ said Comm. Omar Sema during the Kapihan with Media session held at EM Manor Hotel, Cotabato City last September 24.

Comm. Sema added that when the BOL is ratified, it would totally change the landscape of the political intramurals of the Bangsamoro. He emphasized that if the salient points of the law is misunderstood, it would lead to deeper divisions in Mindanao.

Ammier Dodo, representative from Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society said that the civil society organizations would continue to monitor the peace situation on the ground especially with the campaign period approaching.

Dodo also anticipated the work that must be done in terms of ensuring governance structures where people have a voice.

Ali Melicano, MyPeace Boses ng Kabataan representative, announced its information dissemination drive through colleges and universities in Midsayap, North Cotabato and nearby municipalities.

The plebiscite is scheduled on January 21, 2019. The Commission on Election has announced that the campaign period will begin on December 7 and end on January 19.  

The media forum was organized by BALAY Rehabilitation Center with the support of Miserior Germany. It was attended by various local media personalities. The activity aimed to provide an update and look at the challenges after the Bangsamoro Organic Law was signed last July.

BALAY is a non-government organization that has been working on peace building initiatives in different areas in Mindanao and actively supports the Bangsamoro peace process.