The Institute for Autonomy and Governance (IAG) has recently published two extensive studies shedding light on the prevention and countering of violent extremism (P/CVE) in BARMM. These reports provide valuable insights into the implementation of the National Action Plan on Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism (NAP P/CVE) and the state of madrasah education in BARMM in relation to P/CVE. Both studies were funded by the Australian Government and are now available on the IAG website, with limited printed copies available at the IAG offices in Manila and Cotabato City.

The research, presented to a multi-stakeholder gathering in Manila on March 21, 2024 and Cotabato City on April 2, 2024, highlights both positive developments and areas for improvement in BARMM's fight against violent extremism.


Positive Developments:

  • Collaborative Approach: The "whole-of-nation" approach adopted by the National Action Plan on Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism (NAP P/CVE) receives widespread support from national agencies, BARMM itself, local governments, and civil society organizations.
  • BARMM's Action Plan: The localized P/CVE action plan featuring initiatives like Project TuGON and the Bangsamoro Community Resilience Project (BCORP) demonstrates a strong commitment to addressing the region's specific needs.
  • Community Participation: A significant majority of participants in P/CVE programs report positive experiences and believe these programs are making a difference.


Challenges and Recommendations:

  • Strengthening Monitoring and Evaluation: Robust Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability, and Learning (MEAL) systems within NAP P/CVE and the Bangsamoro Task Force for Ending Local Armed Conflict (BTF-ELAC) are crucial for program effectiveness.
  • Funding: Consistent and adequate funding, secured through ongoing lobbying efforts, is essential to sustain P/CVE initiatives.
  • Communication: Targeted communication strategies are necessary to raise local awareness about the NAP P/CVE and bridge the knowledge gap.
  • Culturally Sensitive Programs: Tailoring interventions to address the specific needs of each locality within BARMM is vital for success.
  • LGU Empowerment: Empowering Local Government Units (LGUs) through ongoing support, technical assistance, and institutional strengthening is crucial for building long-term solutions.
  • Building Trust: Openness and accountability, including clear selection criteria for program benefits, are essential for building trust.
  • Collaboration: Establishing clear roles, responsibilities, and funding mechanisms for regional and local government units fosters a streamlined and efficient approach.


Madrasah Education:

  • Positive Signs: The elevation of the Bureau of Madaris Education and the creation of public Madaris are positive steps.
  • Vulnerability: Concerns remain about the vulnerability of some madrasah schools, particularly near conflict zones or where violent extremist groups are present.
  • Resilience Factors: Strong leadership, parental involvement, religious guidance, community partnerships, and countering misinformation contribute to a Madrasah's resilience.

Recommendations for Madrasah Education:

    • Expedite Public Madrasah Implementation: Overcoming legal challenges to operationalize public Madaris is crucial.
    • Model Selection: Considering overseas models emphasizing moderation, like the one in Singapore, could be beneficial.
    • Addressing Vulnerability: Supporting efforts to drive out violent extremist groups and fostering peacebuilding initiatives are essential.
    • Financial Sustainability: Exploring a mix of solutions, including continued government support, tiered tuition structures, and fostering partnerships, is recommended.
    • Collaboration: Collaboration between the Ministry of Basic, Higher and Technical Education (MBHTE), Department of Education (DepEd), LGUs, and civil society organizations is crucial.
    • Revive Muslim Education Program: Filling the Undersecretary for Muslim Education position in DepEd is necessary to revitalize the program and enhance its role in P/CVE efforts.