The Ministry of Human Settlements and Development-BARMM in the Philippines has announced the intensive training course on land use and urban development was concluded on Friday, August 18, 2023, at the Acacia Hotel, Davao City.

The intensive training course on land use and urban development was started in August last year, 2023, for well-selected technical personnel of the Ministry of Human Settlements and Development (MHSD), the Housing Arm of the BARMM, was concluded on August 18, 2023, with the grand culmination program held at the Acacia Hotel, Davao City.


After finishing the last module of the training on Built Environment that was held on August 16-17, the trainees, composed of service directors, provincial directors, division chiefs, housing and homesite regulation officers (HHROs), and information technology staff, finally graduated with their cultural attires on and were inspired by the dignitaries’ uplifting messages.

Before finally receiving their certificates, awarded by officials from the MHSD, University of the Philippines (UP)-Mindanao, The Asia Foundation (TAF), BTA, and Office of the BARMM Senior Minister, the participants prepared and presented their comprehensive land use planning projects for selected municipalities in the different BARMM provinces.

The municipalities chosen by the groups were Paglat for Maguindanao, Balabagan for Lanao del Sur, Tabuan-Lasa for Basilan, Luuk for Sulu, and Sapa-Sapa for Tawi-Tawi. Representatives who served as presenters were HHRO IV Zuhaira U. Ebrahim, Provincial Director Benjamin D. Alangca, HHRO IV Mursidier A. Sajili, Provincial Director Najira S. Hassan, and Raynan Francis B. Cabato, respectively.

With their concerted efforts and applying what they have learned from the course, the groups, with their representatives, presented the history, general strengths and weaknesses of the municipalities, the respective new vision, mission, goals, strategies, and the comprehensive land use plans for the sustainable improvements of the places.

Knowledge sharing session then took place where professors from the UP-Mindanao presented their observatory reports on rebuilding Marawi City after they visited Ground Zero and had a walkthrough around the city.

Professors Minerva Rosel, Micah Amor Yares, Ryan Songcayauon, Angelo Felix Regalado, and Isidoro Malaque III carefully explained Development Controls, Infrastructure Development, Built Cultural Heritage, Public Open Spaces, and Citizen Participation, respectively that all centred on effectively and sustainably rehabilitating Marawi City.


Minister Hamid Aminoddin D. Barra and Director General Esmael W. Ebrahim delivered important messages that set the tone for the succeeding presentations during the plenary session.

Minister Barra explained how Islam encourages the development and beautification of the land for Allah SWT loves all things beautiful, and he shared the principle and significance behind working with excellence and perfection.

“We should be at our best in everything that we do as we are not just accountable to the Bangsamoro government and people; we are also accountable to the Filipino people and, ultimately, to Allah SWT,” he reiterated.

Meanwhile, DG Ebrahim expressed his happiness and gratitude to all involved in the process for their openness and contribution to ensuring Bangsamoro’s bright future.

“This training is crucial for the improvement of the status of the Comprehensive Land Use Plans (CLUPs) in the BARMM; it made us realize and internalize the importance of CLUP, the mother plan that is not just to secure awards for the LGUs but to ensure sustainable developments,” he said.

Crisanto V. Cayon, TAF Chief of Party and Dr Sylvia B. Conception, UPSTREAM President, warmly welcomed everyone to the event.
Cayon underscored the outcome of the training that it has made the participants articulate in planning and visualizing urban development.

He also encouraged continuing the partnership to explore other opportunities like tapping the Civil Service Commission (CSC) to give service credits to the course.

On the other hand, Dr Concepcion conveyed her excitement as the partnership has opened doors to many interactions between the BARMM and the UP-Mindanao.

“For whatever capacity-building activities and technical assistance, just tap us at the UP-Mindanao, and we are ready to be of service,” she remarked.

Dr Malaque gave the conference’s rationale, stating that it was conducted in a participative, output-oriented, and experiential way to provide authentic planning solutions for the BARMM context that will be shared with the decision-makers.

He compared the event to the Kadayawan, which means the celebration of abundant harvest as the trainees harvest knowledge and skills from the course.

Before the program ended, Member of the Parliament Don Mustapha A. Loong, the Chair of the Committee on Human Settlement, inspired the group with his message, where he first thanked the MHSD for inviting him. He recounted the experiences and applicable learnings.

He has had from his works and the different countries he has visited.
He underlined the noteworthiness of investing in the people, innovations, adult learning, strengthening communication, and the passion for helping and advocating sustainable development.

The training course was the product of the partnership between MHSD, UP-Mindanao through the UPSTREAM and TAF that was formalized after the parties’ virtual signing of a Memorandum of Agreement on April 6, 2023.

The UPSTREAM designed and developed training needs assessment, modules, and evaluation tools. At the same time, TAF provided funds and supervision under the Forward Bangsamoro Program: Democratic Governance Assistance to the Bangsamoro Transition.

The event was also graced by UPAA Davao Chair Napoleon E. Concepcion, civic leader and journalist Samira A. Gutoc, and Executive Assistant of the Office of BARMM Senior Minister Abunawas ‘Von Al-Haq’ Maslamama, Binwalyd K. Lumenda.


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