Despite these successes, poverty and political tensions persist in the region. It remains the poorest in the Philippines, and a lack of resources, along with corruption, means the local government structures are weak. These all contribute to the prevalence of local conflicts.
In the predominantly Muslim region of Western Mindanao in the Philippines, we are working with communities to resolve local conflicts, and strengthen relationships between them and local authorities.
The Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro was signed between the Government of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in March 2014. The agreement ended four decades of conflict, and envisioned the establishment of a new self-governing region in Muslim-dominated areas of Western Mindanao, called the Bangsamoro.
Locally known as “rido” or clan wars, these conflicts are sporadic in nature yet last for generations, often becoming flashpoints between the state and revolutionary armed groups. While some cases have been resolved, there is a need for improved social and institutional structures for preventing and resolving these conflicts, and for ensuring the security and safety of the people of this region.
In 2018, Conciliation Resources, alongside our local partners, began new work which aims to empower communities in Mindanao to resolve local conflicts, and improve governance in collaboration with government authorities.
Working in 12 communities across four locations, this work increases the capacity of communities, civil society leaders, local and regional government bodies to identify and address areas of conflict. It also creates spaces for dialogue within communities and between communities and the authorities. Building on our previous pilot-projects in two regions of Mindanao, we are developing 10 new Community Security Working Groups across the region.
This work is led by Conciliation Resources’ local partners - The Teduray Lambangian Women´s Organisation (TLWOI) and United Youth for Peace and Development (UNYPAD).
TLWOI is a federation of 35 community-based women's organisations of indigenous peoples in the province of Maguindanao. UNYPAD is a youth organisation which mobilises and supports young people to become leaders in their communities.
Conciliation Resources has been working with local partners in Mindanao for the past five years, supporting communities to contribute to the peace process and play an active and meaningful role in the creation of a new Bangsamoro. The work particularly focuses on increasing the engagement of marginalised groups including women, youth and indigenous peoples.
This project is supported by the European Union.