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For four (4) months period, Kaagapay reached twenty-one (21) communities and two (2) secondary schools through its pre-employment orientation seminar (PEOS) that aims to increase the level of awareness, particularly of women and girls in the communities, on issues of labor trafficking especially in overseas employment and on how to avoid and prevent this incident.

From January to April 2015, PEOS were conducted in thirteen (13) barangays and two (2) secondary schools in Cotabato City, six (6) barangays in Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao and two (2) barangays in Midsayap, North Cotabato. In total, these PEOS were attended by one thousand three hundred twelve (1,312) individuals with nine hundred forty-eight (948) women and three hundred sixty-four (364) men.

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The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) will cease to exist by June 2015. This is because during this time the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) will be put in place – replacing the ARMM and repealing the laws which created it namely: Republic Act (RA) 6734 and RA 9054. Before the abovementioned date, it is hoped that a law which will be the legal foundation of the new political entity – the Bangsamoro – will be approved by both houses of Congress signed by the President into law and will be submitted to the peoples in affected territories in the plebiscite ninety (90) days after it was promulgated into law.

The concrete change in the political landscape in this part of the country is the result of the political negotiation between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). Just as the ARMM is the concrete result of the political negotiation between GPH and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) in 1996, the Bangsamoro will be the political concession between the GPH and MILF which will be regularly set up in 2016.

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This reflection was based on a three-day seminar on Community Based Disaster Risk Management Training for Basic Sectors Leadership conducted on October 17-20, 2014 held at Family Country Hotel, General Santos City. The participants come  from different areas of  Region  XII and parts of Maguindanao  like Cotabato City, Pagalungan, Paglat, Datu Montawal, Upi, Lebak, Basilan, General Santos City and other areas.  It was started by the preliminaries followed by the opening remarks and key notes of Sr. Mela Fellizar Cagay and Director Reynaldo M. Bungobong CESE, DILG of Region X11.

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Unacceptability” is currently the term used in describing the status quo of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) which was lauded by the then Bangsamoro people and members of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) who claimed that by installing ARMM is a way of recognizing their right to self-determination thereby providing them the space to enjoy peace and development in the region that has long been denied from them.

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Attended by close to a hundred women and witnessed by few men, the Asian Women’s Forum on Climate Justice was successfully realized through the initiatives of International Institutefor Research and Education (IIRE) Manila, Mindanao Tri-people Women Resource Center, Inc., Focus on Global South and Stop the War Coalition.  This  was conducted at the University of the Philippines  Balay Kalinaw, Diliman, Quezon City last July 2-3, 2014  which was attended by  fifty six (56) organizations  from different regions of Luzon  (with thirty-eight  organizations),Visayas  (with three)  and  Mindanao (with  fifteen organizations)  mostly from the grassroots women organizations.   International delegates from Pakistan, Indonesia, Malaysia, France, Canada and Netherlands were also present. The forum aimed for the following objectives:  (1) convene women leaders from different Asian countries to share and learn on the issues of climate change and how the situation affects grassroots women in different situations; (2) establish network and linkages among different women’s groups especially at the grassroots level; ; and (3) foster closer communication and develop mechanisms for effective campaigns on climate justice among women and climate justice activists across Asia.

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