This research addressed the role of Bangsamoro civil society organizations (BMCSOs) and the conditions that allow their participation in Philippine peacebuilding efforts. Using an institutional approach, the researcher collected qualitative data from BMCSO members and other peace actors. Findings reveal that local CSOs contribute to effective and long-term peacebuilding with their knowledge of the conflict context. BMCSOs effectively perform advocacy, socialization, and social cohesion, particularly in steering stakeholders' reactions toward constructive participation, raising awareness of the causes and costs of conflict, and facilitating dialogue. Institutionalizing venues for CSO participation and funding availability promotes robust engagement of BMCSOs in the Bangsamoro region. However, the study also identified challenges such as external co-optation, reliance on external support, and influence of local political agenda. The results emphasized the importance of empowering and assisting BMCSOs, particularly youth CSOs, in overcoming these obstacles and establishing a more inclusive and long-term peace in the region. Collaboration with the state, developing self-reliance, and strategic leadership and management skills were critical strategies for BMCSOs.
Yasmin Tagorda, Mindanao State University-Marawi, Philippines
Francisco Magno, De La Salle University-Manila, Philippines
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