The European Union (EU), with co-funding from the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation and Development (AECID), formally launched their support to the Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society (CBCS) under the Support to Bangsamoro (SUBATRA) Programme today in Cotabato City. 

One of the SUBATRA Programme’s intended results is building civil society capacities to meaningfully contribute to a smooth and timely undertaking of the transition of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).  Specifically, the CBCS aims to harness the role of civil society to strengthen alternative dispute resolution (ADR) and prevention of violent extremism (PVE) mechanisms at the grassroots level. 

“We are pleased to support the BARMM in ensuring that the Bangsamoro people will continue to enjoy the peace dividends, following the signing of the peace agreement and the establishment of BARMM,” said Christoph Wagner, head of cooperation of the ED delegation in the Philippines.

Wagner added that the SUBATRA Programme through CBCS will enhance the capacities of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in BARMM to implement community and CSO-led ADR and PVE measures.

“The CBCS will also help strengthen the participation of CSOs in advocating for a people-centered development agenda at the Bangsamoro Transition Authority and the local government,” Wagner added.

Guiamel Alim, CBCS founding chair, said the SUBATRA grant will also help BARMM strengthen its transitional justice and reconciliation programs at the grassroots level. 

“Together with the Kadtuntaya Foundation, Inc., Teduray Lambangian Women’s Organization, and Kalisan Action Network, Inc., CBCS will work closely with the different sectors, including religious, women, youth, and indigenous peoples, among others, to push for holistic and people-centered approaches to ADR, PVE, and transitional justice interventions,” said Alim.

​​Jorge Moragas Sanchez, Spanish ambassador to the Philippines, said the Bangsamoro transition period allows everyone in the Bangsamoro region to participate in peacebuilding.

“We sincerely hope that our partnership with the BARMM and CBCS through the SUBATRA Programme will lead to sustained peace and development in the Bangsamoro region,” said Moragas.