COTABATO CITY — “We’ll keep that in mind,” says Kristin Dadey, Chief of Mission of the International Organization for Migration – Philippines (IOM), to the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources, and Energy (MENRE) – BARMM about the Ministry’s need for technical assistance for the overall capacity development to explore and harness renewable energy sources in the Bangsamoro region.

MENRE Deputy Minister Akmad A. Brahim told the IOM when they paid a courtesy visit to the Ministry today, 13 September 2021, that the MENRE is exceptionally grateful for the help that IOM has extended in capacitating the personnel of the Ministry, particularly the technical team of the Energy Management and Development Services (EMDS).

Since early this year, selected MENRE officials and employees have been attending basic and advanced training on the effective utilization of the Geographic Infographic System (GIS) that would further enhance energy development in the BARMM through an effective geo-referencing, plotting of geotagged and digitizing maps. The IOM conducted this series of training for the Ministry.

EMDS Director Nasiri B. Abas underscored a provision in the Republic Act 11054 or the Bangsamoro Organic Law, stating that “the use of the renewable energy shall be promoted for power generation to achieve the sustainable development goals and promote low carbon energy generation policies.”

“With the energy services still new in the BARMM, we are in a period of institutional strengthening,” says Director Abas.

“We already have secondary data, but we still need to validate them. We have been inspecting and exploring potential energy sources in the BARMM. However, while transitioning, we may need the additional technical assistance from our partners in performing these tasks efficiently,” the Director added.

Kristin Dadey noted the updates from the Ministry while saying that “exploring renewable energy sources is good,” especially that the island provinces of Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi experience difficulties with power generation.

In addition to the agenda on renewable energy sources, MENRE and IOM also shared updates on the normalization process, highlighting the commitment of the Bangsamoro in the provision of assistance (e.g., housing, education, socio-economic) to the decommissioned and soon-to-be-decommissioned MILF-BIAF combatants.