Livelihood skills needed to sway Moro men from guns

PAGADIAN CITY (MindaNews/1 November) – Moro men who are serving political warlords or members of armed groups such as the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Moro National Liberation Front must be taught technical and livelihood skills to encourage them to lead productive lives.

We have to teach them new skills so they would live productive lives and they won’t be using firearms anymore,” said Manny Maulana, a civil society leader, during a visioning session for the Bangsamoro held in Pagadian City on October 31.

“Kung naa sila’y dako-dako nga income tungod sa ilang livelihood skills, dili nana sila mogunit ug armas pa (If they earn a bigger income from their livelihood skills, they would no longer find it necessary to hold guns),” Maulana said.

He added that although the skills offered by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority) could be enough, there is a need to make this aspect specialized in the Bangsamoro area.

“There should be a bureau or a department in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao that will focus on training our Muslim brothers for the new skills,” he said.

The Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro signed in March 2014 provides for the decommissioning and demobilization of the Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces, armed wing of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, as part of the normalization process.

The decommissioning and demobilization would depend on the progress made in the implementation of the terms of the peace pact. (Pingping Deliverio/for MindaNews)