The Ministry of Human Settlements and Development, the Housing Arm of the BARMM, convoked representatives from different BARMM organizations and partners for a consultation on the Bangsamoro Housing and Human Settlements Plan, held at the Surya Hall, 2nd Floor Robinsons Mall of Alnor Hotel and Convention Center, Cotabato City on March 25, 2024.

In his inspirational message, Minister Atty. Hamid Aminoddin D. Barra recounted the Bangsamoro’s struggle in attaining self-determination, which led to the current maintenance of the autonomy.

“The Bangsamoro region in the Philippines has long faced significant challenges in providing adequate housing and human settlements for its residents. These challenges are rooted in a range of factors, including historical conflict, displacement, and unequal access to resources and services. In order to address these challenges, the Bangsamoro government, through the MHSD, has been tasked to develop a comprehensive Housing and Human Settlements Plan,” Minister Barra said.

He also shared the series of awarding ceremonies of free housing units to the neediest beneficiaries identified by the MHSD with assistance from respective Local Government Units and stakeholders, such as the most recent in Brgy. Simsiman, one of the barangays under BARMM’s Special Geographic Area (SGA) in Pigcawayan, North Cotabato. He then shared a few Qur’anic verses that mention the importance of planning.

“This is the kind of consultation where we in the MHSD lead the direction of human settlements in the region and hope we are guided to face the right direction by our partners because we cannot do the planning alone,” said Bangsamoro Director General Esmael W. Ebrahim, who then emphasized the importance of the consultation in service to the Bangsamoro.

Abdulhamid C. Alawi, Jr., Chief of the Housing and Human Settlements Division (HHSD), presented the BHHSP as an open government partnership initiative following the national program on OGPinas, a combination of the powerful forces of government leaders and civil society advocates to promote transparent, participatory, inclusive, and accountable governance.

He also presented the BHHSP Portal, an open, collaborative, and agile knowledge base that shares sector plans, projects, activities and programs (PAPs), studies, and concepts. The website, accessible through, is a collaborative platform for shaping a sustainable and inclusive future for the Bangsamoro.

Representatives from different Ministries, Agencies and Offices, non-government organizations and private partners, actively participated in the consultation providing insights on their perspective of human settlements and the possible effects and connections to their respective sectors.

“The goal of the activity is the enhancement of the BHHSP through the stakeholders’ inputs on the plan’s draft chapters 1-4, additional features on the BHHSP portal and comments on the PAPs,” said Amera Aisah L. Macalangcom, Administrative Officer V of the Policy Development and Coordination Regulation Division.

“At the end of the consultation, let us bring together the spirit of collaboration and participation that animated our discussions. The challenges we face in providing adequate homes and communities are profound, but with collective action and determination, we can overcome them,” concluded Salem C. Demuna, REA, Director II for Operations and Management Services.

With the HHSD, the activity was facilitated and supported by the Catholic Relief Services (CRS).