Bayanihan Sa Kalunsuran (BAKAL II): Reducing Poverty in the Philippines through Participatory Urban Governance
Bayanihan Sa Kalunsuran or Bakal Project is a project being implemented by the Institute of Politics and Governance (IPG), a capability-building center that develops and undertakes education and training program for NGOs, POs and local communities to enable them to effect participatory democracy, people-centered development and good local governance. It has been accredited by the Civil Service Commission as a training institute for local governance practitioners
The project aims to strengthen and institutionalise participatory governance in 7 urban poor areas in the Philippines contributing to the implementation of the 1991 Local Government Code and the achievement of the MDGs. By providing training, knowledge, opportunities and resources to communities and local governments it will develop LGU-citizen’s co-financing and co-production of public service programmes—a participatory service delivery approach, and strengthen the abilities of communities and governments to undertake participatory governance. As a result urban poor communities will be able to articulate their needs, engage with and influence the political process and have access to the basic services they require especially at this time of the global financial crisis. The project will institutionalise participatory decision making mechanisms and processes, and build partnerships between Local Government Units (LGUs) and community based organisations.
Through a programme of training, advocacy, lobbying and gender awareness the project will work towards a more gender sensitive and less discriminatory public and political environment promoting women’s equal political participation and decision making.
The project builds on and consolidates the effective and groundbreaking work already being done in local governance by the Institute of Politics and Governance and the community organisations with which they work across the Philippines. After in-depth consultation with urban poor men and women the decision was taken to focus the project on livelihoods and health as the two most critical areas for action in meeting their immediate needs and the MDGs in their communities.
The project will work in seven urban areas throughout the Philippines including 3-5 areas in the National Capital Region, 3 areas in Cebu City, 3 areas in San Jose de Buenavista, Antique, 3-10 areas in Daraga, Albay, 3-10 areas in Zamboanga City and 2-3 areas in Cotabato City. This project will help develop and support some of the most advanced and effective local governance work in the region.
CPE is the program partner and implementer in San Jose del Monte, Bulacan and in the National Capital Region (NCR).
In San Jose del Monte, Bulacan, CPE will work with The Library Foundation- Sexuality, Health and Rights Educators (TLF-SHARE) together with the Barangay Health Workers (BHWs), Kaisahang Gabay ng Bayan (KAGABAY) and the Kamanggagawa Ko workers cooperative. The program components to be implemented will focus on health (STI, HIV, primary and community –based health care program), delivery of water services, housing and livelihood. The program will be supported by Councilors Nolly Concepcion and Igna Aguirre. During the program launching, Mayor Eduardo V. Roquero, M.D. gave its support for the implementation of the program.
In the National Capital Region, the BAKAL 2 Project will be implemented in three cities: Quezon City, Pasay City and Caloocan City.
In Quezon City, the project partner will be the Alliance of Progressive Labor (APL)- Women which will be implemented in Barangay Pasong Putik Proper. The co-production program will focus in livelihood development. The project will also ensure that the programs pledged by the city government in support of the barangay development program created by the POs and NGOs in the barangay will be delivered.
In Pasay City, the program will focus on integrated health development program which will particularly promote participatory feeding program, community-based primary health program by using alternative means (acupuncture, herbal medicines), and solid waste management program. Housing concerns will also be addressed, which was evidently expressed as a priority need of the residents. During the participatory planning process, they analyzed and realized that securing housing and land rights will pave way for the improved delivery of basic utilities such as water and electricity. Through the leadership of Punong Barangay Nilo Ilarina , Barangay 91, where the project will be implemented, has initiated a process of participatory barangay development planning (see related story).
In Caloocan City, the project will be implemented in Barangay 176 or popularly known as Bagong Silang, which is considered as the biggest barangay in the Philippines , with around one million population. it became a resettlement area during the administration of former President Marcos. Bakal 2 will help in promoting health and nutrition, especially among the children in the various day care centers operating in the barangay.
Bakal 2 will be implemented in two years, which is being supported by the One World Action (OWA), a London –based campaign organization on good governance and women empowerment.