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Region IX is one of the areas seriously affected by the recent Mindanao conflict. It is a multicultural region with ethnic communities belonging to Christian and Muslim groups. As such the need for inter-cultural consensus, respect and understanding emerges.

Recent developments widened the gap between these communities. The issue of intercultural conflict play a vital role in obstructing peace in the area. But the conflict in Mindanao cannot be explained in purely religious term. More important, the historical context must be fully considered. It, therefore, presents a very challenging case study to serve as a foundation for the building of the cultural, social and political bridges across the two cultural traditions.

The region is also identified as one of the depressed communities of the Philippines. low literacy rate, high poverty incidence, proliferation of marginalized groups such as refugees/evacuees, deportees, out-of school youth, street children and drug dependents. How are the problems crested by the existence of these groups addressed by the government and non-government organizations? What is the impact of the presence of the marginalized groups in the City? What other steps should be taken to alleviate the plight of these marginalized groups?


Science and technology is perceived to be the road towards development. New inventions and discoveries leading to new technologies in both industry and agriculture will pave the way for the country to be competitive in the global market. What alternative sources of energy are available in the Region? Whaqt chemical and biological properties do local resources (plant and animal) have that may contribute to better life for human?

The continuing deterioration of the environment is a global phenomenon. It demands attention if we are to preserve planet Earth. This deterioration affects the life of the citizens in a variety of ways. Focusing our attention to Western Mindanao, to what extent does the environmental degradation affect the life of the people especially the poor? How safe is the drinking water of Zamboanga City? What problems are encountered in terms of waste management and how are these addressed? What are the regulatory pollicies on natural resource management and how are these implemented?


Preferred researches will discuss politics and governance for development and welfare. Topics of investigation may include governance structure and management; public service needs and provision; practice of participatory, accountable and transparent governance; the workings and dynamics of democracy; the state, civil society and other stakeholders; people’s participation and empowerment. Researches may delve into issues on governance and politics as cross-cutting themes in international studies, minority-majority dynamics; development and migration; political economics; human rights, peace and human security.


Topics of interest may include evaluative studies in line with Philippine agenda 21 on sustainable development; environmental impact studies; investigations on climate change; best practices and innovative project feasibility studies in solid waste management, renewable energies and food sustainability; promotion of sustainable consumption and production.


The object health and health-related problems have been one of the major concerns of a number of sectors in Western Mindanao. Programs had been designed and implemented with the hope of achieving the vision of an optimum wellness of the entire citizenry through promotion of health, prevention of diseases and rehabilitation of the sick and the dying. Whether or not the health care delivery system has been effective or not is one question. What are the areas of concern in public health or in each of the levels of health care delivery that may be looked into? in the context of the region’s health scenario, what have been the practices of the people in Western Mindanao that contribute to the attainment of health? What have been the practices that have caused otherwise? In the practice of the utilization of herbal medicine, are there other indigenous resources that may be developed to contribute in the health breakthroughs? How responsive are the medical and the allied medical education in the call of answering the community’s health needs?


Multi-disciplinary approach in researching gender, sexuality and health is encouraged. Gender and sexuality related concepts such as gender relations; patriarchy and power; rights of women; construction of discourses on women and feminisms; sexual identities, agencies and preferences. Health issues linked to population and development as areas for inquiry may include primary and community health; reproductive health and HIV-AIDS; bodily, psychological and spiritual health and well-ness; holistic medicine and science of wellness; indigenous and traditional concepts of health and wellness; socio-cultural context of health care practices and wellness promotion.


The role of education in the development of the Region and the Church has been identified as a major concern. Schooling and education are perceived by many as a venue for social mobility and economic upliftment. Over and above these, is the role of education in the development of values for cultural solidarity, the key to the resolution of the conflict in Mindanao.

In terms of a broader agenda for policy reform in Mindanao, to what extent do formal and non-formal education affect the conflict in Mindanao? How can it contribute to the resolution of this conflict?


In view of the fact that majority of the population of Western Mindanao live below poverty line, the need to look at ways and means by which this group survive in this complex society is imperative. It then becomes the task of research to look at the current responses to this problem, e.g., cooperatives, involvement of the business sector in countryside development, the underground economy, etc.

Management principles applied to small businesses can also be studied and documented.


For the region to keep pace with the rest of the world, use of information technology can no longer be ignored. Ateneo De Zamboanga, having been identified as the Center of Excellence for IT, may be an instrument for manpower development and research on IT application.

What are the needs of educational institutions, government and non-government organizations in term of information technology? What is the extent of use of IT in the Region? Are the institutions ready for IT in terms of trade and commerce (BIMP-EAGA), education, etc.?