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BARMM execs convene on peace programs

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Local leaders from the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) met at a summit on June 20 to discuss initiatives for sustainable development and long-lasting peace in the region.

Part of Project CIRCLE (Communities of Inclusion and Resilience through Collaborative Local Engagements), the LGU Fellowship Program on Social Cohesion and Resilience held the conference in Pasig together with various local agencies and groups.

In its official launch, the fellowship program together with the pioneering batch of leaders from different towns in Basilan, Lanao del Sur, and Maguindanao del Sur showcased their innovative programs, policies, plans, and solutions to violent extremism.

The fellowship aims to foster a community of practice among local government chiefs to promote sustainability and positive programs and practices on social cohesion and resilience.

Galing Pook Foundation chairperson Mel Sarmiento said that the key to attaining peace and order in the region is strong local governance.

“We believe that stronger local governance is a foundation to pursuing sustainable peace and preventing violent extremism. LGUs are the forefront of ensuring public safety, order, and security, and that requires building cohesive and resilient communities,” Sarmiento said.

“We have seen the power of creating spaces for inter-LGU collaboration and peer-to-peer learning among mayors and their teams, and we will constantly support the LGUs in constantly learning from (one) another,” he added.

The summit was spearheaded by the Department of the Interior and Local Government, The Asia Foundation, Galing Pook Foundation with support from the Australian Government and other local authorities.

The PNP assured the fellowship that the police force is fully committed to working hand-in-hand with LGUs.

“PNP remains fully committed in supporting this local cause, the police force will continue to work hand-in-hand with LGUs, civil society organizations, and communities to break down barriers, build bridges of understanding and pave the way for peace and progress,” PNP Chief Gen. Benjamin Acorda said in a statement.

During the meeting, DILG officially launched its new website dubbed ResilientLGUs.PH to help LGUs in disseminating information to others.

Formerly known as LGUsvsCovidPh, ResilientLGUs.PH is an information portal that provides LGUs with information on best practices, local policy templates, and tools to build resilience and inclusion through democratic governance and engagements in their communities.

The website is designed to encourage benchmarking across local governments in effectively and efficiently delivering services and addressing context-specific challenges faced by their constituents, thereby enabling resilient and inclusive communities.


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