STRENGTHENING PEOPLE’S PARTICIPATION IN LOCAL GOVERNANCE FOR POVERTY REDUCTION IN BENGUET AND MT. PROVINCE IN THE CORDILLERA REGION
CONSOLIDATED REPORT For the Period from January to June 2019 Bagnen Proper and Monamon Norte, Bauko, Mt. Province Bobok-Bisal, Bokod, Benguet Pasdong, Atok, Benguet
PROJECT BACKGROUND The Localized Anti-Poverty Project (LAPP) was on its second year of implementation (August 2018 July 2019). Major activities conducted last year includes Project Orientation, Official Launching and MOA Signing with BLGU, MLGU and Shontoug; Validation and Updating of CBMS, BPRAT Formation, BPRAT Quarterly Meetings, Monthly Monitoring and Quarterly Assessment, Semi-annual and Annual Evaluation.
Signed MOA indicates the commitments of the partner LGUs in Bokod and Atok (MLGU and BLGU) as well as Shontoug as the project holder. Validated CBMS was the basis of the community and BPRAT members in the identification of their prioritized needs submitted to BLGU for inclusion in the barangay Annual Investment Plan (AIP) for funding. On the other hand, formed BPRAT are now the main actors of the project who lead the identification and prioritization of the two pro-poor projects included in BLGU AIP, proposal preparation and submission to MLGU and the different Multistakeholder partners as well as the monitoring or following it up for funding.
PROJECT GOAL AND OBJECTIVE Empowerment of formerly poor, voiceless citizens for their active participation in local governance.
ACCOMPLISHMENTS BASED ON OBJECTIVES/INDICATORS SET To promote local governance system which were formerly controlled by elected local officials into community-participated governance system that prioritize pro-poor projects and services.
Community activities like Monthly Project Monitoring, BPRAT Quarterly Meetings, Leadership Training, Project Proposal Making and How to Advocate Pro-Poor Development Agenda contributed to the attitudinal change of community members from a very silent into an active community-members.
During the community assessment conducted in Bokod last May 30, 2019, participants claimed that through the LAP Project, unity and cohesiveness of community-members was enhanced. They further realized that all ordinary citizens have the right to talk and participate in Barangay Council meetings. This realization resulted to their active participation and cooperation in community activities especially that they were now recognized by the BLGU. The different sectors and community representatives participated in the identification and prioritization of at least two Pro-Poor project (Production of Native Chicken/ Itek/ Duck and Mushroom Production) which were already included in the BLGU AIP and budget.
With the training on Project Proposal Making conducted in May 2019, BPRAT members were able to prepare the proposal for the two identified Pro-Poor Project for submission to the different Government Line Agencies for possible funding once the endorsement from the BLGU and MLGU are available.
BPRAT members also observed that community members became interested and have the initiative to plant coffee which they did not like before because of the inspiration from the actual sharing of the different government line agencies and other community partners that coffee has a big demand in the market.
In Pasdong, Atok, community representatives became active in participating meetings etc. and even other activities of the Barangay since partnership was built. They were engaged in the identification of their livelihood needs and integrated in the BLGU AIP. The members volunteered to start coordinating with DTI, BSU and PENRO regarding the need of trainings to be undertaken. Other members are in-charge of assisting and monitoring in the implementation of the three livelihood projects in the community while some follow-up of their AIP.
In Bauko, 2 CSO’s actively participated in the AIP and prioritized four (4) pro-poor projects in two barangays.
To organize multi-stakeholder partnership into a Socio-Economic Development Team (SEDT) that is willing to support the identified and prioritized pro-poor social and economic services per barangay.
As an off-shoot of the Multi-stakeholders Forum and Meeting participated by Bokod MLGU, BLGU, community representatives and the different Government Line Agencies, the SEDT was formed. Members of the Socio-Economic Development Team (SEDT) include DTI, DOLE, DAR, PENRO, BSU, and DA.
Since the SEDT assured the community to assist them whatever endeavor they will be asking as long as it is within their mandate, Bobok-Bisal submitted a Project Proposal on the Procurement of Coffee Processing Equipment and a request for a training on Financial Management/Simple Bookkeeping to DTI. The training on Financial Management/Simple Bookkeeping was scheduled on September 2019. Additional three Project Proposals on Native Chicken Production, Mushroom Production and Acquisition of DRRM Vehicle were prepared by the BPRAT members and presently securing the endorsement of the BLGU and MLGU before submitting to target Funding Donor.
In Pasdong, Atok, a private group supported three livelihood such as Hog Raising, Equipment and Materials for Baking and Ginger Tea Production and are currently implemented in the community. Seminar on Swine Raising and Management as well as Meat Processing was given by the Department of Animal Science in Benguet State University in response to the request letter submitted by the BPRAT members. Different meat processing like longanisa, tapa and tocino were taught to the community members.
Through the monitoring activity, BPRAT group had started practicing baking while the Ginger Tea group already cooked three times. However, the baking group is still waiting for the update on the training proposal which was submitted to DTI. In the Swine Raising livelihood, some recipients had already marketed their swine and were ready for the second cycle of Swine Raising.
In Bauko, two BLGU and MLGU organized. Four four (4) line agencies (DA, DAR, DOLE and DTI) have indicated their respective commitment to the project on Local Governance Model.
To form BPRATs in three sites with confidence and skills to advocate the inclusion of at least two projects in the barangay’s AIP and budget.
The formation of BPRAT in barangay Bobok-Bisal led to the recognition of all sectors in the community by the BLGU who participate in Barangay Council meetings by which community concerns and plans are discussed. Formulated Plan of Action were easily implemented because of the close collaboration and coordination of BPRAT and BLGU. In addition, BPRAT members claimed that because of the quarterly meetings, they became to know better their barangay officials and became aware of what were being discussed during their meetings and share it with their co-community-members. Closer relationship was further built between BPRAT members and the BLGU officials.
Community members also admitted that before the BPRAT was formed, the different sectors in the community do not attend the Barangay Council Meetings even they are allowed by the BLGU due to lack of awareness on what are their role in the meeting. With the BPRAT participation in BLGU meetings, BPRAT members with the community-members enhanced their initiative to help in community development. As evidence, the different sectors and community representatives participated in the BLGU Annual Investment Planning (AIP) and budgeting.
Other benefits of the BLGU with the presence and participation of BPRAT is the monitoring of all projects entered in the barangay like FMR, footpath, footbridges, Communal Irrigation System (CIS) and others because they have learned the processes and procedures in project management from planning, monitoring and evaluation. BPRAT members gained the courage to tell/voice-out the results of their monitoring especially if Program of Work (POW) and plans are not being followed. They submitted reports and document as evidence of the monitoring activity to BLGU/MLGU which the later responded on it.
With the BPRAT, BLGU responsibilities were lessened since work loads were distributed e.g. BLGU entertain visitors and BPRAT handle food preparation especially during barangay assemblies. In addition, BPRAT represent the Barangay in the preparation, submission and follow-up of project proposals to target funding partner agencies and if approved, the whole community will benefit from it.
In Pasdong , Atok, formed BPRAT demonstrated their leadership in the coordination and hauling of their livelihood equipment in their community. Despite of the on-going road construction, they helped one another and distributed their tasks. The BPRAT Meeting and Monitoring was an avenue to meet together and be updated on the latest BPRAT activities, status of AIP in the Municipality and updates of the assigned BPRAT members on the use of livelihood equipment and policies. BPRAT members were also responsible in the submission of request letter and proposals to BSU and DTI.
In effect, significant changes as voice-out by community project partners during the Community Assessment include developed self-confidence and improvement in the practice of core values in the community, became more participative in community activities, value their participation in the training, became interested in small business, feel important as the officials of the organization and their skills and knowledge were developed from their thinking that we cannot do it but we can. They also admitted that before, the Council meeting is open for the community but no one was attending. It is good that BPRAT members started to join the council meeting and they are hopeful that it would continue even if the project ends. This brought closer interaction of Barangay Council and community members.
In Bauko, through the Leadership Training, it elaborated the functions of a leader and the main roles and functions of BPRAT members clarified. The members also realized the importance of being a leader in the community is not easy, appreciated the project on Local Governance that was conducted in the community and most of all challenge to continue to serve the community despite of many tasks.
The training on How to Advocate Pro-Poor Development Agenda provided the participants additional knowledge about the Local Government Code of 1991 and How to Advocate Poor Projects using a general criteria to follow if the community proposed a project.
To develop the capabilities of BPRATs to lobby the passage of LGU ordinance that allows the accreditation of community-based in the deliberation of LGU’s AIP and budget. Because of the regular attendance of BPRAT members of Bobok-Bisal to the Barangay Council Meetings, BLGU recognized and endorsed the Bobok-Bisal Organic Arabica Coffee Producers and Growers Association, Inc. (BBOACPGAI) as the partner community-based organization in the LAP Project and, eventually, be accredited by the LGU to participate in the deliberation of LGU AIP and budget upon the passage of an ordinance.
BPRAT has already lobbied at the barangay level the preparation of the Resolution for the passage of an ordinance to be submitted to the MLGU. At present drafting of the resolution by the BLGU is ongoing.
In Pasdong, Atok, the Pasdong Bantay Shontog Movement (PBSM) is the partner organization for the LAP Project. BPRAT members are still lobbying to the BLGU for the resolution to be submitted at the MLGU for its accreditation.
In Bauko, BOPCC and BaBaTiCCo renewed their organizational accreditation at the CDA and Office of the Municipal Agriculturist (MAO). Drafted resolution for BPRAT on the passage of LGU ordinance were submitted at the barangay.