After careful coordinations and preparations, the Ministry of Human Settlements and Development (MHSD) has finally signed the Cooperation Agreement with its national counterpart Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) held at the Bajau Hall, Office of the Chief Minister, Bangsamoro Government Center, Cotabato City, on July 15, 2021.

Abdulraof A. Macacua, BARMM Senior Minister (SM) first welcomed the officials and guests and expressed his gratitude to Sec. Eduardo D. Del Rosario of the DHSUD, who has rooted relationship with the BARMM ever since projects to rehabilitate Marawi City after the siege were enacted.

“The MHSD and DHSUD play a vital role in developing communities, and affect its respective economies; the Filipino and the Bangsamoro alike need institutions that can provide access to, and the affordability of basic human needs”, SM Macacua said.

The signing happened mainly between Deputy Minister Atty. Jose I. Lorena, representing Minister Hamid Aminoddin D. Barra of the MHSD and Secretary Del Rosario of the DHSUD.

“In behalf of the MHSD, and in representation of our good Minister Barra, we are not only thankful, but we join the senior official in welcoming all of our brothers and sisters from the DHSUD, and at the same time, with open arms, and with open minds, we welcome this Cooperation Agreement”, Deputy Minister Atty. Lorena shared during his message of commitment.

“So, a partnership in a joint effort to bring about good communities, peaceful and reliant communities, is a responsibility of both the DHSUD and the MHSD for the country”, emphasized Deputy Minister Lorena.

“In this Cooperation Agreement, we have a long way to go. I do hope, that with this commitment between the DHSUD and MHSD, we can at least get the best practices being implemented by the national government and have them, also, observed, organized, and provide the necessary manpower to ensure that you can address the housing needs of the BARMM”, Secretary Del Rosario committed after sharing the guiding principles in implementing programs on housing.

Before the signing, overviews of the agreement were shared. One was in the context of MHSD by Director General Esmael W. Ebrahim, who shared his gratitude for the previous partnerships and assistances received from the national counterparts, emphasizing how the signing of such historic document demonstrated the national and regional governments’ cooperation in their drive for the advancement of peace in the development of the Bangsamoro people.

Meanwhile, Atty. Marilyn M. Pintor, DHSUD Deputy Secretary explained their context of the agreement and expressed their sincerest appreciation to the MHSD for opening their doors to the cooperation endeavor.

Atty. Pintor added that the agreement also ensured mutual communication and exchange of information between the parties.

For this reason, she said the DHSUD will share available materials such as, but not limited to, the Guidelines for the Formulation of the Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP), Supplemental Guidelines on Mainstreaming Climate and Disaster Risk Assessment (CDRA) to the CLUP, Guidelines on Sustainable Land Management in the CLUP, and the National Urban and Housing Development Framework.

The activity was witnessed by Atty. General Sha Elijah Dumama-Alba, Al-Hadja and other officials of the BARMM government, representatives from the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA), other ministries of the BARMM, and development partners.