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.
Bayanihan sa Kaunlaran sa CSJDM, Bulacan:Barangay Development Planning through Participatory Learning and Action
The Center for Popular Empowerment, together with the Sangguniang Barangay of Graceville and the local chapter of Akbayan! Citizens’ Action Party in the City of San Jose del Monte, Bulacan, conduct BDP-PLA which will facilitate the formulation of the 5 years comprehensive and multi-sectoral development program of Barangay Graceville. It will start on August 27-30, 2009. CPE acts as the capacity building partner and facilitator for the BDP-PLA process.
Punong Barangay Len Garcia, who is also a member of Akbayan, initiates a participatory process in development planning. “ We should involve people in identifying priority programs that will be funded by the local development fund. It is only through people’s participation that genuine development will be achieved, “ said the multi-awarded Punong Barangay.
The planning process will be participated in by not less than 50 community members, wherein issues , vision, goals and objectives, as well as projects, programs and activities will be slated for the barangay. The community will plan for the economic,
Unlike before, where annual investment plans are focused only on infrastructure projects, the BDP-PLA process will address and promote holistic and sustainable approach to local development. It will have an integrated and comprehensive plan on economic, environmental, physical/land use, social and institutional development sectors,” said Ed Chavez, Executive Director of CPE. He also added that the process to be done will be aligned with the Rationalized Local Planning System (RLPS)—the planning process being encouraged by the DILG, DBM and NEDA through the Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) that facilitates a simpler but participatory and rationalized process of local development planning in the country.
Akbayan Citizens Action Party also took part in the process because according to their local party leaders, participatory local planning and budgeting is part of their vision in pursuing participatory democracy. Gerry Bautista, local Chair of Akbayan in the city said that in progressive countries being ran by progressive political parties, participatory budget process helps in building alternatives and institutionalizing people’s participation in the development process.
The process can also facilitate the process of empowering citizenry because it will give them opportunities that may increase their self confidence in engaging the state by airing their views and ideas on how to pursue development and change in 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.
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.