Region IX is one of the areas seriously affected by the recent Mindanao conflict. It is a multicultural region with ethnic communities belonging to Christian and Muslim groups. As such the need for inter-cultural consensus, respect and understanding emerges.
Recent developments widened the gap between these communities. The issue of intercultural conflict play a vital role in obstructing peace in the area. But the conflict in Mindanao cannot be explained in purely religious term. More important, the historical context must be fully considered. It, therefore, presents a very challenging case study to serve as a foundation for the building of the cultural, social and political bridges across the two cultural traditions.
The region is also identified as one of the depressed communities of the Philippines. low literacy rate, high poverty incidence, proliferation of marginalized groups such as refugees/evacuees, deportees, out-of school youth, street children and drug dependents. How are the problems crested by the existence of these groups addressed by the government and non-government organizations? What is the impact of the presence of the marginalized groups in the City? What other steps should be taken to alleviate the plight of these marginalized groups?