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Economic Charter reform to help solve education problems in BARMM – Dimaporo

House Committee on Muslim Affairs chairperson and Lanao del Norte Rep. Mohamad Khalid Dimaporo emphasized the importance of addressing the issues affecting education in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

Dimaporo said the issues in BARMM’s educational sector could be addressed by attracting more foreign investors through amendments to the economic provisions of the 1987 Constitution.

In a press conference recently, Dimaporo said the ambush by extremists in his province last month that resulted in the death of six soldiers highlights the failure in basic education.

“What was worrisome about that ambush, there were pursuit operations, and If I’m not mistaken the leader of that ISIS group surrendered to the provincial government,” Dimaporo said.

“Bata pa sila, mga 15 years old. They can’t even speak Tagalog, they can speak only Maranao and that’s proof that these groups, these extremists are staying in the pinakabukid area, away from everyone. Now that is a symptom of a failure within the BARMM area.”

“This is the failure of basic education, and I hope nobody will take offense to this. It’s an old historical culture or mindset that the Philippines is a Catholic country, therefore Catholic education. So, the very traditional mindset of Muslim Filipinos in the far-out areas might feel that they don’t trust bringing their kids to DepEd schools,” Dimaporo said.

By opening up the economy, Dimaporo said more Madrasa schools could be put up in BARMM.

“This brings us to the debates for RBH 7 … We’re really limited with funds in the government. If we are going to solve the Madaris issue within the BARMM, ang daming pondo rin ang kailangan ng education, I think they were saying P300 billion last night. This is why we need partners in development,” he said.

Dimaporo expressed his belief that the military solution will not fully solve the conflict in BARMM, but an economic solution will have a larger impact.

“It’s an investment for ourselves, for our religion, to come into the Philippines and help establish proper Madaris system so that our children in Muslim areas can read and write Arabic and not be thrown into areas where they will end up being recruited by terrorist organizations,” Dimaporo said.

“What happened in Lanao del Norte, the attack, the surrender of the ISIS leaders, brings to light again the problem that we have and how do we solve that solution,” he added.

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