The Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) and Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) join forces with Mindanao State University – Iligan Institute of Technology (MSU-IIT) in holding the 8th Mindanao Policy Research Forum (MPRF) on September 28, from 2:00 to 5:00 pm, via Zoom.

With social justice as the theme of this year’s MPRF, the organizers anticipate a productive discussion of evidence-based research and policy solutions that can help Mindanao address inequality to end poverty and social injustice.

The MPRF is an initiative of PIDS and MinDA that started in 2015 as part of the observance of the Development Policy Research Month (DPRM) every September. This year’s MPRF theme is “#CloseTheGap: Accelerate Post-pandemic Recovery in Mindanao through Social Justice”, in unison with the DPRM theme, “#CloseTheGap: Accelerate Post-pandemic Recovery through Social Justice”.

The theme underscores the debilitating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, especially on the marginalized and vulnerable sectors, and urges policymakers and leaders to make social justice the front and center of the country’s post-pandemic recovery plan.

A COVID-19 socioeconomic impact assessment in Mindanao jointly produced by MinDA and the United Nations Development Programme revealed the harsh impacts of the pandemic on businesses and livelihoods in Mindanao, which led to job losses, food insecurity, limited access to health services, limited support for micro and small businesses, and increase in domestic violence and sexual assaults. These problems were particularly difficult for the poor and marginalized, especially those in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), which remains the poorest region in the country. BARMM has a poverty incidence of 29.8 percent, based on the latest Family Income and Expenditure Survey.

The forum will be led by MSU-IIT Chancellor Alizedney Ditucalan and PIDS President Aniceto Orbeta Jr., who will give the welcome and opening remarks, respectively.

Speakers include Dr. Ma. Christina Epetia of PIDS, Dr. Gerelyn Logrosa of the Mapúa Malayan Colleges Mindanao, Dr. May Anne Mata of the University of the Philippines Mindanao, Dr. Casper Agaton of the USTP Training Research Center, and Dr. Mark Anthony Torres of the Institute for Peace and Development in Mindanao.

Congressman Yasser Balindong of Lanao del Sur, Ms. Amina Rasul-Bernardo of the Philippine Center for Islam and Democracy, Assistant Regional Director David Mendoza of the Department of Health - Region X, and Mr. Raymund Talimio, Jr. of the Oro Chamber of Commerce and Industry Foundation, Inc. will serve as discussants. MinDA Chairperson Maria Belen Acosta will give the closing remarks. MSU-IIT Assistant Professor Yasmira Moner will serve as emcee and moderator.

To join the forum on Zoom, register at The event will also be streamed live at

To know more about this year’s DPRM theme and activities, visit ###

Main Menu

Secondary Menu