The Institute for Autonomy and Governance (IAG) is preparing for the fieldwork of its research entitled "Empowering Madrasah in the BARMM through Public Policy and Regional Autonomy and its Contribution to Countering Violent Extremism."


Last week, the IAG research team and dedicated field researchers convened in Zamboanga City to strategize the study's methodology and ensure effective data collection.


The significance of this study cannot be overstated, as it aims to address the critical need to empower the madrasah system in light of the prevailing security challenges posed by violent extremism, both locally and globally. The research seeks to uncover the vulnerabilities and resilience of the madrasah system, shed light on the contextual factors influencing it in the Philippines, and examine the challenges and opportunities presented by public policy accommodation and regional autonomy for the development and relevance of madrasah.


While violent extremist activities have decreased in certain areas, such as Basilan and Sulu, the persistent threat and evolution of extremist tactics in other parts of the region call for urgent action. It is imperative to reduce the vulnerability of madaris and strengthen their resilience against the pull and push factors and recruitment strategies employed by violent extremists.


Aligned with the national government's commitment to enhancing the capacity of state actors and local government agencies in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) to implement conflict-sensitive and human rights-based counter-extremist strategies, this research will provide valuable insights into madrasah education in the BARMM. Stakeholders' perspectives and recommendations will inform policy improvements, program development, and the effective utilization of regional autonomy to empower the madrasah for holistic development and their role in preventing and countering violent extremism.


The outcomes of this study are expected to play a pivotal role in shaping policies, programs, and regional autonomy frameworks that effectively empower madaris in the BARMM to combat the evolving threat of violent extremism.