Day 2 opened with a plenary session with two government agencies directly involved in charting the track for peace and development in Mindanao –the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA).
MinDA Chair Luwalhati Antonino gave a preview of the role of higher education institutions (HEI’s) in Mindanao 2020, a framework plan to ensure a harmonious growth to improve the quality of life through Peaceful and Sustainably Developed Mindanao. In her speech, she highlighted the need for HEIs to undertake social and scientific researches that support the development needs of the region, most especially those that aid policy and decision making. Antonino also made the pitch for the establishment of a Mindanao Knowledge, Research and Policy Center.
Half-way through his term as OIC regional governor of the ARMM, Mujiv Hataman relayed his experience in weeding out corrupt practices, most especially in the Department of Education, through adopting transparency measures, such as the open government web portal. He also mentioned that the reform agenda of his administration includes education, thus emphasizing the need for HEI’s in the region to produce quality teachers who are willing to be part of the workforce of the public school system of the ARMM.
An open forum closed the morning affair.
Schools Serving Society Day 2: Sectoral reps give perspectives on Mindanao in forum
Representatives from non-government organizations, women, the indigenous peoples and the technical group behind the crafting of the Mindanao 2020, gave insights on how the different higher education institutions in Mindanao can partner in their respective advocacies.
Speaking in behalf of non-government agencies directly involved in peace and development issues in Mindanao, Miriam Suacito of the Nagdilaab Foundation relayed how partnerships enable concrete measures of human and economic security in target community. “Education has no meaning if it’s not part of the community,” Suacito clamored as she staked the need for higher education institutions to provide relevant information awareness to the community.
A briefer on the current situation of the indigenous peoples’ (IPs) communities in the greater picture of the Mindanao situation was provided by Jimid Mansayagan of the group, Lumad Mindanaw. In his speech, he mentioned critical concerns besetting the IPs, such as economic marginalization, unresolved ancestral domains, and withered indigenous knowledge, systems and practices (IKSP). The latter, he asked HEI’s to help them conserve through objective research studies.
No less than the first lady of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), former executive director of the National Commission for Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) and a progressive community organizer, Sitti Djalia Turabin-Hataman spoke on the role of women. Speaking of her experiences as a member of the women’s group Pinay-Kilos, Turabin-Hataman pointed on how one’s collegiate education should be put to a more relevant purpose through initiating community-building projects. Further, HEIs in Mindanao should lead in providing both the development and opportunity for women.
Marian Roces of the private think-tank, Brain Trust Inc. recalled the processes involved in crafting the Mindanao 2020 framework and urged HEIs to invest more in research that benefit the communities where they are located, given the renewed requirements of both government agencies and private enterprises.
The fifth speaker, Col Romulo D. Quemado II of the Philippine Navy was slated to talk about civil-military relations but a pressing concern made him unavailable.
An open forum closed the afternoon event.