UNYPAD facilitates the voters’ education on Bangsamoro Electoral Code (BEC) under the ACTIVATE Bangsamoro III program in collaboration with The Asia Foundation (TAF). (Photo courtesy of UNYPAD)

SPECIAL GEOGRAPHIC AREA, BARMM (December 13, 2023) — The United Youth for Peace and Development (UNYPAD) facilitated the series of community discussions and voters’ education on the recently approved Bangsamoro Electoral Code (BEC).

The activity was conducted under the ACTIVATE Bangsamoro III program in collaboration with The Asia Foundation (TAF) and with financial support from the United Kingdom (UK) Government.

The purpose of the program is to teach the Bangsamoro people, particularly the youth and people with disabilities, in the SGA and Lanao Del Sur areas, about responsible, meaningful, and moral participation in the upcoming 2025 parliamentary election in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, adhering to the rules outlined in the Bangsamoro Electoral Code.

Barangay Buricain first hosted the Pigcawayan Cluster (Proposed Municipality of Pahamuddin) on December 9, followed by Barangay Mudseng for the Midsayap 1 Cluster (Proposed Municipality of Kadayangan) on December 10, and Barangay Nabalawag for the Midsayap 2 Cluster (Proposed Nabalawag Municipality) on December 11 this year.

With the support of the stakeholders, all of the aforementioned activities were conducted successfully.

With the assistance from local champions, officers from UNYPAD’s Provincial and Municipal chapter, and community organizers, the UNYPAD Development Management Center’s (DMC) trained project personnel to coordinate the events.

The participating sectors were briefed on the key features of the Bangsamoro Electoral Code during the events such as the distribution of the Bangsamoro parliament’s members and the prerequisites for each office.

UNYPAD President, Dr. Rahib L. Kudto, presided over the final segment of the first series of the community conversations along with a number of the organization’s senior officials.

Present wereg Anisa Matula, who represented the Women Affairs Committee, Dr. Anwar Saluwang, the Secretary for Budget and Allocation, Nasrullah Abdullah the Deputy Director of the UNYPAD’s Development Management Center, and representatives from the MBHTE’s SGA provincial offices.

Dr. Saluwang shared updates on the development of the municipalities under the SGA. He stated that a plebiscite will be used to formalize the creation of the municipalities and that a bill currently exists for it.

He also urged the populace to actively engage in the plebiscite that would decide whether or not formal local government will be established in the SGA’s jurisdiction.

“Our status will remain the same as what it is today if the YES vote does not win during the plebiscite for the creation of the municipalities in the SGA,” he explained. 

In his message, Dr. Rahib Kudto discussed what a moral and authentic political party should be. He expressed appreciation to the partners, particularly the TAF, for their support to the project, and emphasized to the attendees the significance of actively participating in the electoral process.

“We must select leaders who will truly represent the interests of the Bangsamoro People as we are engaged in a political struggle,” the UNYPAD head said.

Participants received IEC materials created by partners like MOSEP inscribed with important data and key themes from the BEC. (Sahani S. Ansa writer contributor, BMN/BangsamoroToday)

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