The Ministry of Human Settlements and Development, the Housing Arm of the BARMM, in its quest to help resolve land disputes, managed the 3rd Consultation Meeting with Ministries and Offices Involved in Land Administration and Management in the Bangsamoro held at the Al Nor’s Jehan Hall in Cotabato City on February 28, 2023.

Director II Suharto S. Wahab of the Technical and Regulatory Services (TRS) officially welcomed the meeting participants from the partner ministries, offices, and agencies in the BARMM and expressed his support to attaining the main objective of the activity.

Facilitated by the Catholic Relief Services (CRS), the activity made possible the polishing and pre-finalization of the Administrative Order (AO) that will create the Inter-Agency Working Group on Land Administration and Management in the BARMM (IAW-LAMB).

Significant presentations first took place that helped the organizers in setting the tone of the meeting. ‘Land Rights, Displacements, and Transitional Justice in the Bangsamoro’ was first presented by Maria Carmen Fernandez, from the University of Cambridge, highlighting the results and recommendations set after series of intensive land conflict mapping in some parts of Maguindanao Province.

The second presentation was on the ‘Result of Land Conflict Mapping for Enduring Peace in the Bangsamoro (EPB) Project Target Areas in Pigcawayan delivered by Sahani S. Ansa of the UNYPAD.

Providing important inputs in enhancing the AO, the other participants of the meeting composed of officials and representatives from Bangsamoro Attorney General’s Office (BAGO), Office for Settler Communities (OSC), MENRE, MIPA, MPOS, and MILG.

Aside from the MHSD representatives, facilitators of the meeting from the CRS were Alexandra T. Medina, Ian C. Digal, and Bencel Giguiento, Program Manager, Deputy Program Manager, and Field Officer-Social Cohesion and Justice, respectively.

Through the Policy Development and Coordination Division (PDCD), the MHSD, in partnership with the CRS, started the initiative by calling a meeting on June 28, 2022 with MAFAR, MIPA, MENRE, MHSD, MPOS, OSC, PRLS/BTA for a Focus Group Discussion (FGD) on the proposed Regional Land Dispute Resolution Board.

The FGD was then followed by two more coordination meetings with the members, organized by the MAFAR, through which the regional platform called IAWG-LAMB was coined that connotes positive action.