The Center for Popular Empowerment (CPE) , in partnership with Ateneo School of Government (ASoG), La Salle Institute of Governance (LSIG), University of the Philippines College of Public Administration and Governance (UP-NCPAG), Active Citizenship Foundation (ACF), Barangay Bayan Governance Consortium (BBGC), and Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) announces its call for nomination for Barangays and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) who are worthy of citation in promoting and practicing participatory good governance in Greater National Capital Region area. Awarding Ceremonies will be on November 27, 2009.
In a political system that has been dominated by elite traditional politics, governance has been almost been synonymous to patronage, where public goods and services are dispensed not as a matter of public duty but as a favor by a patron to his/her dependents. The business of local governments had been divorced from the quest for public good and has been hijacked to serve the political perpetration of those holding the helm of power. In a political setting like this, poverty, which breeds dependence, becomes a weapon to be used by those in government positions rather than a problem to be addressed in the pursuit of genuine popular development.
A host of reforms in local governance have been introduced in 1991 with the passage of the Local Government Code (RA 7160). The LGC sought to decentralize powers and functions from the national governments to the local government units. One of the major reforms introduced by the law was the recognition of the importance and the critical role of civil society in governance by establishing mechanisms and processes for popular participation.
Almost two decades after the enactment of the Code, the reforms that it has envisioned and mandated remains to be fully implemented and realized. Most of the traditional politicians holding local elective positions, at best, merely paid lips service to participatory governance while others have found ways to go around the provisions of the law.
There are, however, progressive local government officials, who not only abide with the provisions of the law, but in fact breathed life into the concepts and principles of participatory governance. These are the men and women who broke off from the traditional mold of governance and braved the untested waters of participatory governance. These are the local governments that used innovation, creativity and imagination in exercising popular participation and made it work for them.
Bayanihan sa Pamayanan Awards seeks to recognize beacons of participatory governance. Through these examples, Gawad Bayanihan aims to showcase that participatory governance practices are not empty concepts but are, in fact, workable, practical and effective.
Bayanihan sa Pamayanan Awards salutes partnerships between people and their local governments. It celebrates the breaking down of barriers between the government and its constituents – barriers that prevent local governments from reaching out to community stakeholders in addressing their needs, interests and welfare, barriers that blocks community folks from taking part in the development of projects and programs that their local government implements on their behalf. Gawad Bayanihan bears witness to the exemplary initiatives that prove that people and government working as partners is an effective, efficient and liberative way of governance.
The Award Criteria
a. Innovativeness. Gawad Bayanihan seeks to recognize governance practices that displays creativity, and adaptability that has significant impact on its target communities.
- New means / ways in doing traditional programs and projects
- Trailblazing / pioneering work in new areas of governance
- Introduction of new ways of partnership between local government, civil society and the community
b. Replicability. The initiative although, unique and trailblazing, may be replicated in other areas of similar situation and context.
- Uses resources that are commonly available in different localities.
- Responds to situations that is common across local government units.
- Is not heavily dependent on outside resources that not not usually at the disposal of other local government units.
c. Sustainability. The participatory governance initiative may be maintained, expanded and further developed.
- Makes optimum use of local resources that is readily available in the community.
- Creates a sense of ownership among the stakeholders in the project so that they are willing to maintain the project beyond the project time period.
- Mobilizes the resources of the people and civil society organizations and other stakeholders within the community
d. Transformative. The initiative has transformed power relations at the community level. The project impacts on the terms of reference between the local government and the community.
- Elevates the target community and their organizations from being mere beneficiaries to stakeholders or co-owners of the project/program
- Institutionalizes consultative, co-production and resource sharing mechanisms in program planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation
- Transforms the role of the local government from being a benefactor to being a facilitator of goods, services and programs that responds to the needs and welfare of the target community
- Develops a sense of accountability within the local government to the target community
- Lessens the dependence of the community to outside interventions and increases their self-reliance
- Has an impact on the distribution of control and ownership of essential resources / opportunities
Governance initiatives with the following characteristics are eligible for the awards:
(a) Programs and projects that were initiated by the local government which gives meaningful and significant participation of civil society organizations and the target communities;
(b) Civil society-initiated programs and projects that involved the processes and institutions within the local government that involved partnerships in the development and implementation of local government programs/projects.
(c) Initiatives that were jointly initiated by the local government and its civil society partners in implementing local government programs, projects and services.
1. Submission of nominations (October 12-31, 2009)
Individuals/Organizations may fill up the nomination forms that will be provided and submit their nomination to the Bayanihan sa Pamayanan Awards Secretariat.
2. Level I / Eligibility Screening (November 1-8)
The Bayanihan sa Pamayanan Awards Steering Committee will review all nominations in terms of adherence to the eligibility criteria. The Steering Committee shall likewise make recommendations for all nominations that will be submitted to the Level II screening.
3. Level II Screening /Short-listing (November 1-8)
The Screening Committee shall review all eligible nominations together with the recommendations of the Steering Committee. They shall identify a shortlist of nominations that will be recommended for site validation and further documentation.
Site Validation / Interviews (November 9-18)
Teams composed of representatives from the Steering Committee and Selection Committee will conduct area visits to validate the claims submitted in the nominations. They shall also conduct panel interviews to address the questions and concerns raised on the nominees during the previous screening levels.
The Selection Committee will review the reports and recommendations of the area validation teams and shall select the awardees for the different categories.
Community Score Cards (CSC): A Tool for Social Accountabililty to be Tested in Bulacan, Caloocan, Pasay and Quezon City
Citizens engagement should be promoted in all fronts. It is our right to take part in decision-making process, planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of government policies, programs and services. People have the right to a transparent, accountable and participative governance, both at the national and local level.
Accountability in governance can be defined as the obligation of power holders to account for or take responsibility for their actions. “Power holders” are those who hold political, financial, or other forms of power, including officials in government, private corporations, international financial institutions and civil society organizations.
Social accountability is a “an approach towards building accountability that relies on civic engagement, i.e. in which ordinary citizens and/or civil society organizations participate directly or indirectly in exacting accountability.” it also “refers to the broad range of actions and mechanisms (beyond voting) that citizens can use to help government be more effective and accountable, as well as actions on the part of government, civil society, media and other societal actors that promote or facilitate these efforts”
Furthermore, social accountability is a process of constructive engagement between citizen groups and government , a means to check and monitor the conduct and performance of public officials in their use of public resources ; and a mechanism towards delivering better services, improving people’s welfare, and protecting people’s rights.
One approach to promote social accountability is through the development of Community Score Cards (CSC). In a training conducted by CPE for 40 community leaders in Quezon City, Caloocan City, City of San Jose del Monte and Pasay City (thanks to FES for supporting the activity), Ms. Corrine Canlas enlightened the group on the concepts and practice of CSC. (CPE will publish a manual on CSC within October 2009 as a result of the workshop-training held).
According to Ms. Canlas, CSC is ¨a tool to generate “demand-side” information to enhance social accountability. It can also raise awareness and promote local-level mobilization and organization. Also, it can produce meaningful information and analysis which can be understood by all stakeholders and go beyond mere protest to evidence-based dialogues.
The main objective of the CSC is to influence the quality, efficiency and accountability of public services provided at the local level.
CSC can also be a follow-up or a continuing activity for Barangay Development Planning through Participatory Learning and Action (BDP-PLA).
Based on experience, CSC can produce the following outcomes:
- Downward accountability of service providers
- Empowerment of local service users
- Enhanced transparency
- Enhanced sensitivity of service users to providers’ constraints
- Evidence of service performance and
- Agreements on local reforms
Pilot testing of CSC as a social accountability mechanism for planning, monitoring and evaluation will be tested in Barangay 91 Pasay City; Barangay Graceville, City of San Jose del Monte, Bulacan; in Barangay Pasong Putik Proper, Quezon City; and in Barangay 176 (Bagong Silang), Caloocan City.
Participatory Local Development Planning in Mindanao for Peace and Development BDP-PLA in Zamboang Sibugay
Poverty remains to be major problem being experienced in the 16 municipalities of the province. In 2003, Zamboanga Sibugay, still part of Zamboanga del Sur, was one of the 10 poorest provinces in the country. There are now 76 provinces in the Philippines. Currently, the province is listed as still part of the 10 poorest provinces. The situation did not improve overtime because the province is still listed as one of the food poorest provinces. Even in terms of education, the province’s Net Enrolment Ratio went down drastically, having the largest decrease in 2006 at 12.1%. Poverty threshold also increased from
Php9,580 in 2003 to Php12,188 in 2006.
One major intervention to address the problem of poverty and delivery of services was for all the local government units to have a clear development plan. Priority programs were identified –from the barangay level, up to municipal and provincial. In 2008, the provincial administration, in partnership with the Center for Popular Empowerment (CPE), embarked on building the capacities of local governments and civil society organizations by formulating participatory barangay development planning and budgeting. This endeavour covered 150 barangays as pilot projects, out of the total 389 barangays in the province in 8 out of 16 municipalities.
However, amidst the inflow of various funds from donor agencies , local planning system in the province, as well as all of the municipalities, has been generally weak,. There is a lack of both horizontal linkages among sectoral concerns and vertical linkages (barangay to munic
ipalities, municipalities to barangay and vice versa). Plan-to-budget linkage was also found wanting.. To compound problems even more, the supposed body mandated by law to formulate comprehensive plans and integrate them—the local development councils—are mostly inactive. These factors lead to inefficient and ineffective delivery of basic services and allocation of local government resources.
Zamboanga Sibugay has 16 municipalities and 389 barangays.. These municipalities are Ipil, Kabasalan, Naga, R.T. Lim, Siay, Titay, Tungawan, Alicia, Buug, Diplahan, Imelda, Mabuhay, Malangas, Olutanga, Payao and Talusan. The whole province has a total of 101,131 households. There are 38,868 families categorized as poor families, according to 2006 survey of the National Statistics and Coordination Board. The province is home to diverse ethnic communities: Tausug, Subanen, Maguindanao, Samal, Kalibugan, Maranao and Yakan.
As to income levels, Zamboanga Sibugay is classified as third-class province. Among the sixteen (16) municipalities, one (1) is classified as second-class municipality, one (1) as second-class municipality, nine (9) are classified as fourth-class municipalities, and five (5) municipalities are classified as fifth class.
The partnership was established when Mr. Jet Hofer sought the assistance of CPE early 2009. A team was organized to
assist in the implementation of participatory local development planning and budgeting in 60 barangays in the province of Zamboanga Sibugay. The project head is Mr. Gromeo Bilugan, a veteran and trained BDP-PLA facilitator.
A pledging session is being prepared for October 2009. The pledging session is expected to bring in support and pledges from different agencies and institutions for the development programs of the pilot barangays.
The participatory local development planning in the province is a step towards realizing an accountable and responsive type of local governance. Being a province where traditional politics have reigned for decades, the process of people identifying themselves priority development programs is a welcome development in allocating budget and prioritizing projects by local governments. It also helps in the process of building empowered citizenry wherein people are being drawn in to participate in local decision-making process and analyzing their situation.
Bayanihan sa Kaunlaran sa Barangay 91-Zone 09 in Pasay City: Building Model of Effective Peoples Participation in Governance through Integrated Local Development Program
Punong Barangay Nilo Ilarina, together with the barangay council and the residents of Barangay 91, Zone 09, have created another innovative landmark program in promoting participatory governance practice. The barangay has formulated a comprehensive and multi-sectoral medium term development program for five years. It was done through the process of Barangay Development Planning through Participatory Learning and Action (BDP-PLA). CPE serves as their partner in capacity building. The Center also served as coach and mentor in the process of BDP-PLA.
In 2002, through the leadership of then Punong Barangay Hernando Jucutan, the barangay leadership initiated a process of participatory barangay development planning that will be implemented for 5 years (2002-2007). Almost 100% of the programs and projects identified and reflected in the plan was realized in 5 years.
After the 2007 election, the new barangay captain committed to pursue and continue and further improve what PB Jucutan has started. Being an advocate of empowering governance, PB Ilarina, led the new members of the barangay council in making a new 5 years BDP.
On October 25-27 , 2008, 30 facilitators and documenters were trained on BDP-PLA process. The training was co financed by the barangay council and CPE.
After the training, on November 8, 2008, the barangay council organized an orientation seminar on to mobilize community support for the initiative, and level off on the process and content of BDP-PLA process.
Six PLA teams were formed that will focus on each sectoral concerns. The barangay folks called them “clusters”. The clusters formed were based on a DILG memo which mandates barangay governments to develop a plan for the following sectors/clusters:
- Food Security, Health and Well-Being
- Economic , Livelihood and Entrepreneurship
- Education and Sports Development
- Peace and Order , Public Safety
- Environmental Management
- Barangay Performance / Administration
After the process of data gathering, analysis, visioning, setting of goals, objectives and programs, projects and activities, as well as its annual investment plan and annual operation plan.
The comprehensive plan was proudly presented by the members of the BDP PLA Team before the other community members in a barangay assembly held on July 1, 2009. It was attended by more than 500 members of the community. Amidst strong rains, the residents stayed on to listen to the report of the BDP PLA team and actively participated in the discussion.
Programs and projects identified in the plan are now being implemented one at a time. Support from the city government has also started to come in. Equipments for their ecological solid waste management program have been delivered by the city government.
IPG and CPE will assist also in the implementation of its health, livelihood and housing component. The process was also supported by other NGOs like CFSI and PCNPC.
On September 1, 2007, CPE gave a seminar on Empowering and Participatory Governance to 30 urban poor leaders who are partners of the Claretian Urban Poor Apostolate. .
The participants, mostly are representing urban poor associations that are now facing a threat of eviction and demolition once the Central Business Ditrict is started by the city government. Read more…
Last August 29-31, 2007, twenty-five leaders and organizers working on urban poor issues have just attended a Legal Literacy Training on Urban Governance, sponsored by Saligan para sa Alternatibong Lingap Panliga (SALIGAN) and Center for Popular Empowerment (CPE). The seminar was held at CBCP-NASSA BEC in Tagaytay City. Read more…