ENHANCING LOCAL GOVERNANCE PARTICIPATION: THE PDI EXPERIENCE IN LGU-NGO PARTNERSHIP Aurea G.

Miclat-Teves Project Development Institute 44 Segundo Street, Heroes Hill Quezon City I. Introduction The Project Development Institute was established in 1989 with the vision of “building self reliant communities through people’s initiatives.” It is committed to the pursuit of genuine land reform and rural development of peasants and indigenous peoples. The strength of PDI lies in its participatory approach not only toward development programming but also in transforming these development initiatives at the ground level into policy for advocacy at the regional and national levels. Its strength also lies in its negotiating strategy that obliges the government to provide land and other resources as well as resolve issues in favor of the peasants and indigenous people. PDI has been active in the marginal areas of Central Luzon and Northern Palawan. Gains have been achieved in empowering the marginalized people in the countryside by transforming landless peasants to small-owner cultivators, and turning the indigenous peoples into successful claimants of their ancestral domain and actively participating in local governance. The vision of PDI provides a guide for a people-centered approach to genuine and sustainable development anchored on good local governance. We adhere to the following principles: The primacy of developing the full human potential in which people are at the core of development initiatives. Holistic science and appropriate technology. The search for solutions in the complex milieu of development problems has to be undertaken with the perspective that situates specific problems in the larger social and ecological context. This approach facilitates the use of sustainable agriculture and appropriate technology. Cultural, moral and spiritual sensitivity that nurtures the inherent strengths of local and indigenous knowledge, practices, and beliefs while respecting the cultural diversity, moral norms and spiritual essence of Filipino society. Self-determination that respects the right of the people to decide on the course of their own development and relying on the inherent capacity to achieve this. Gender sensitivity that recognizes the importance and complementary roles and the empowerment of both men and women in development.

Institutional viability that acknowledges that sustainable development is a shared, collective and indivisible responsibility which calls for institutional structures that are build around the spirit of solidarity, convergence and partnership between and among different stakeholders. Ecological soundness that upholds nature as our common heritage and thus respecting the limited carrying capacity and integrity in the development process to ensure the right of present and future generations to this heritage. These principles guide PDI in its mission to institute partnerships with people’s organizations, NGOs, local government units and the private sector in land reform and rural development. They are built upon a community-based approach to management of land and resources recognizing and encouraging the participation of communities in the development process and seek to address the full needs of the peasant and indigenous people in PDI’s areas of work. They aim to develop the full human potential of peasants and IPs. However, sustainable human development cannot be achieved without responsible governance. The Integrated Participatory Development Programming (IPDP): PDI’s Development Framework The IPDP framework is being used by PDI in all its development initiatives. It aims to develop grassroots-oriented Integrated Area Development Plans, which will detail and prioritize the necessary intervention projects appropriate to specific communities. The IPDP has three main components: community development planning, area management and review and assessment. The IPDP is participatory. Development planning is undertaken through a participatory development process. This process allows the people to discuss freely their problems, their present condition as well as finding ways to overcome any predicament. The IPDP is integrated. It integrates the various sectors involved in development. It allows the various sectors to come and work together for sustainable human development, including health services, education, agrarian reform, agriculture, etc. These sectors complement each other toward achieving the development vision and goals of the community. The IPDP is sustainable. The activities of the IPDP are planned according to the capabilities of the people. It is adaptable because it is easy to use and can be applied as an effective planning tool by any sector of society. The IPDP is an adequate and suitable development approach or strategy that comprehensively addresses the needs of the people. (Full text of the IPDP is found in Annex I) Based on the environmental scanning and problem-focused group discussion (through the IPDP) conducted by PDI in Central Luzon and Northern Palawan in the mid-nineties, the key issues and problems that concern the peasant and IP communities are as follows: weak POs or unorganized peasants; lack of leadership capacities and skills, especially in engaging and negotiating with the government; they lack skills to engage others in discourse or push their agenda; but their basic problem is their lack of land and other resources for a decent human existence.

Defining the problems and issues provided avenues for PDI to recommend solutions with the following objectives: 1. To strengthen the capabilities of peasants and IPs and peoples’ organizations in land reform and rural development initiatives, particularly in enhancing PO management skills. 2. To provide a package of services in project development and related areas to further strengthen their organizations, upgrade skills, and broaden their service coverage. 3. To develop community-based Comprehensive Development Programs using participatory methods in pursuit of genuine land reform. 4. To conscientize other sectors of society, especially intellectuals and professionals to participate in the process of realizing genuine land reform and rural development. II. Laying down the foundation: Enhancing the participation in Good Governance through institutional capacity building of PO leaders PDI has realized that in order for the communities to achieve self-reliance, the peasants and indigenous people should first have the capacity to initiate and lead the community, engage other sectors of society to push for their agenda and institute change at the community level. PDI first capacitated them through organizing, training and education at the grassroots level. PDI utilizes development approaches such as participatory planning, integrated area development, training and education for people empowerment in institution building and formed organizations committed to the pursuit of genuine land reform and rural development. By December 2006, PDI already had established three regional federations: NMGL for farmers (founded in 2001), BUKAL for Indigenous people (founded in 2004) and PASAMAKA-L for rural women (founded in 2003). Within the three regional formations are 103 people’s organizations with a membership of 9,689. Of this total 4,339 (44.7%) are men, 5,164 (53.2%) are women, and 186 (1.9%) are youth.
Table 1 PDI-NMGL PO Building November 2004-November 2006
Province Pampanga Tarlac Aurora Bataan Bulacan Nueva Ecija Zambales Palawan Total Number of POs 6 7 9 12 9 23 29 8 103 Level/Scope Barangay Level Barangay Level Barangay Level Barangay Level Municipal Level Barangay Level 1 Municipal, 28 Barangay Level 1 Municipal, 7 Barangay 2 Municipal, 101 Barangay Members Men 62 24 118 580 197 110 1,021 2,227 4,339 (44.7%) Women 93 177 248 387 228 364 986 2,681 5,164 (53.2%) Youth 0 0 39 54 0 0 0 93 186 (1.9%) Total 155 201 405 1,021 425 474 2,007 5,001 9,689

To empower communities it is imperative to establish strong autonomous peasants, IPs and women’s organizations that are able to take up sectoral and community concerns with government bodies. They are now capacitated to claim and exercise their right to be heard and to influence local government processes and decisions. III. Enabling the peasants and indigenous people for multi-stakeholder partnership and participatory governance: Penetration of Local Government Bodies The continuous expansion of community-level POs has increased the capacity of the PDI-NMGL/BUKAL/PASAMAKA-L alliances to strengthen local governance participation by penetrating local bodies. Organizational activities and mobilizations generally get the attention of local authorities and the general public thus increasing the influence of POs. They serve as primary force in the peasant’s and IP’s advocacy and claim-making in agrarian reform and ancestral domain struggles. At the local level, a PDI area management team and its partner POs meet weekly to assess, solve and define solutions to problems at the municipal level. Provincial representatives meet at the regional level twice monthly and the federation officials meet monthly at the national level to discuss the progress of work, find solutions to problems that require the intervention of PDI and schedule and monitor program of activities. The active participation of PO groups enhances the accountability and sense of responsibility of the PO member. PDI and its partner POs pursue rural development through partnerships and alliances with people’s organizations and sectoral groups such as farmers, women-IP and youth groups, the local government units, and government line agencies.
Table 2 Peasant Organization Building As of June 2007
Province Aurora Bataan Bulacan Nueva Ecija Palawan Pampanga Tarlac Zambales Total Number of POs 9 12 9 23 8 6 7 29 103 Level/Scope Barangay Level Barangay Level Municipal Level Barangay Level 1 Municipal, 7 Barangay Barangay Level Barangay Level 1 Municipal, 28 Barangay Level

PDI and its three partner POS were able to establish 103 village-based organizations in eight provinces as shown in Table 2 by June 2007. The organizations are autonomous and can independently engage local and barangay units and government line agencies on issues of vital concern such as land tenure improvement, the provision of basic infrastructures, livelihood projects and other development initiatives. PDI has been continuously developing

these organizations through constant training, consultations and meetings to increase the capacities of the members by enhancing their leadership and negotiation skills. Participation in Local Government Bodies A testament to the strength and effectivity of local organizing is the degree of penetration by our allied POs of local government bodies. As shown in Table 3, we have 285 PO leaders who have become members of various local government units and line agencies. In the field of local governance, our member-POs include 32 IP chieftains, 50 municipal Councilors, 16 Barangay Captains, 10 Barangay Secretaries, six Barangay Treasurers, three Municipal sectoral representatives and 49 Committee Officers. In Local government agencies, our members include 37 Barangay Health Workers, 12 Social Workers, 55 day care workers and 15 Barangay Agrarian Reform Committee (BARC) leaders.
Table 3. Local Government Representation, by Province As of June 2007
Province Local Representatives/ Officers 8 Chieftains 35 Councilors 25 Brgy. Health Workers 47 Committee Officers 2 BARC 5 Brgy. Captain 5 Brgy. Secretary 5 Brgy. Treasurer 9 Social Workers 6 Daycare Workers 42 Daycare officers 3 BARC 3 Sectoral Representatives 17 Chieftains 2 Brgy. Health Workers 4 Councilors 3 Brgy. Captains 1 Brgy. Secretary 2 BARC 5 BARC 2 4 3 4 1 1 1 1 1 2 1 3 1 1 2 2 3 6 2 1 5 3 2 4 Councilors Brgy. Health Workers Brgy. Captains Chieftains Treasurer Brgy. Health Workers Brgy. Councilor Daycare President BARC Councilors Social Workers Brgy. Health Workers Committee Officer Brgy. Secretary BARC Daycare worker Chieftains Councilors Brgy. Health Workers Committee Officer Brgy. Captain Brgy. Secretary Social Workers Daycare Workers

Zambales

Bataan Pampanga Bulacan

Palawan

Tarlac

Nueva Ecija

Aurora

Total

285 Local Reps and Officers practicing Local Governance

Local Governance and People Empowerment People participation in local governance has been brought to a new level. On top of or in conjunction with mass mobilizations, dialogues and consultations and other forms of actions as non-state actors, the POs have deployed capable leaders and members to directly participate in decision-making processes of local bodies. These actions produce a convergence of pressure from within and from the outside, thus hastening local government response to issues. POs have been very effective in leveraging their strength and capabilities to mobilize local government resources for rural development needs. From 2004 to December 2006, they managed to mobilize some PhP21.4.million public and private funds for various social services (see Table 4). Most of the resources generated were for goods and services for the general public. Around 90% of these consisted of physical infrastructure (such as roads, bridges, irrigation canals) that benefited the general public. Thus, the actual number of beneficiaries extended far beyond the membership of the POs.
Table 4 Resources Generated by POs in 2004-2006, by province
Value of Resources (In PhP) 1,848,000.00 7,461,000.00 264,000.00 214,000.00 465,000.00 3,129,200.00 8,050,000.00 21,431,200.00

Province Bulacan Zambales Aurora Tarlac Palawan Bataan Nueva Ecija Total

Main bulk of resources Water impounding, barangay road Bridge, farm-to-market road, school building Non-formal education (supplies, learning center) School building, daycare center, sewerage Education, literacy Road, school building Irrigation, farm-to-market road

Thus, in three years time, the POs succeeded in leveraging their strength and capabilities to mobilize PhP21.4 million worth of local government resources for rural development needs. The level and intensity of engagements and the value of resources generated vary from province to province. • Bulacan – The major arena for engagement is the city government of San Jose del Monte. During the last three years (2004-2006) SAMAKA was able to generate PhP1.84 million worth of resources from the city government through the City Development Council and the City Agriculture Office. These resources included PhP800,000 for a barangay road that benefited 400 families, a PhP1 million water impounding project that benefit 150 families and PhP48,000 in capital assistance for the production of Red Lady papaya. • Zambales – The POs in Zambales engaged government at various levels, from local government units to national government offices, including the Office of the President. LAKAS, SAMATT-K, SAMATT-K Narra and IP communities in Pasambot,

Botolan, and San Juan were able to mobilize PhP7.46 million worth of government and private sector assistance from 2004 to 2006. The biggest chunk was a PhP5 million bridge lobbied for by LAKAS with the Office of the President and which currently benefits 200 families. The next biggest chunk was a PhP1 million farmto-market road that SAMATT-K in Narra lobbied for. This road currently benefits 106 families. The rest consists of various assistance such as: a PhP300,000 day care center in Botolan that benefits 200 learners; a PhP600,000 school building donated by a private citizen that currently benefits 200 students; a PhP175,000 community lighting system that benefits 200 families in the LAKAS settlement area; a PhP120,000 water project that benefits agricultural areas of 100 families in Pasambot; and various other forms of assistance that benefited children (e.g. a feeding program), non-formal education (NFE) learners (e.g. honorarium for facilitators, books), poor families (e.g. medicines) and community leaders (e.g. trainings). • Aurora – In Aurora, the focus of engagement was the municipal LGU of Dingalan, the provincial capital. In 2004-2006, the POs were able to generate PhP264,000 worth of resources mainly for their NFE projects. These consist of a community learning center (a PhP90,000 building), school supplies for 150 learners (PhP54,000), contracting scheme for literacy skills benefiting 11 barangays (PhP50,000) and a PhP70,000 Alternative Learning System (ALS) program. • Tarlac – In Tarlac, the main arena of engagement was the municipal government of Sta. Barbara. However, PO engagements included targets such as the Philippine National Railways (PNR) and TESDA. In 2004-2006, the POs were able to generate PhP214,000 worth of resources. The biggest chunk of assistance generated was a PhP100,000 school building donated by the PNR. This building benefits 761 pupils. The rests consisted of the following: a PhP55,000 day care center for 100 learners, a PhP20,000, 20-meter sewerage system for 35 families, TESDA vocational courses (PhP34,000) benefiting 285 trainees and a PhP5,000 solid waste management project that benefit 500 families. • Bataan – The POs in Bataan engaged various actors at various levels to generate additional resources for the communities. These engagements included lobby, dialogue and consultations with the DAR, Catholic Church hierarchy, the provincial government and the municipal governments of Limay, Orion, Bagac and Morong. In 2004-2006, these engagements produced PhP3.12 million worth of resources. The biggest chunk was a PhP2 million farm-to-market road project of the DAR/ ARCDP II in Orion, Morong and Bagac. The others consist of the following: a PhP800,000 school building in Limay, PhP328,000 education assistance from the Catholic Church and an amount of PhP1,200 local government assistance for ALS in Morong. • Nueva Ecija - In Nueva Ecija, the main engagements were directly with national line agencies like the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE). The resources generated during the period totaled PhP8.05 million. The biggest chunks were a PhP5 million farm-to-market road project and the PhP3 million irrigation canal project from the DAR which benefit around 80 families in Pantoc, San Isidro and Casareal, plus PhP50,000 in financial assistance from the DOLE to benefit 25 women members of a local cooperative in Gabaldon.

• Palawan – The POs in Palawan engaged provincial and municipal government units and local counterpart offices of national line agencies like the Department of Education, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Agriculture, and the Office of Muslim Affairs (OMA). These engagements produced PhP465,000 worth of resources in 2004-2006. The biggest chunk was a joint DepEd and LGU assistance worth PhP360,000 for a literacy contracting scheme that benefited 774 participants in 12 barangays. The rest consisted of the following: PhP25,000 for a training seminar on entrepreneurship in Marupo, PhP20,000 participatory coastal assessment in Buenavista, and PhP60,000 DepEd for a seminar workshop of ALS implementers in Coron. Typology of Resources Generated The NMGL has practical needs especially for the internal development of its organizations and the livelihood needs of their members. However, they exercised their leverage not only for their internal requirements. In fact, most of the resources generated were goods and services for the general public. The main contribution of the POs to resource generation is increasing the pace of decision-making and influencing the direction of the assistance. Around 90 percent of these consist of physical infrastructure (such as roads, bridges, irrigation canals). Thus, the actual number of beneficiaries extends far beyond the membership of the POs. In Bulacan, for example, SAMAKA has been able to bring its pineapple production to the market using the barangay road it lobbied for.
Table 5 Type and Value of Resources generated by POs in 2004-2006
Type of Resources Generated Value (in PhP)

Agriculture Infrastructure Small and Medium Business Support Education Social Services Capacity Building Total

48,000.00 20,210,000.00 50,000.00 984,200.00 25,000.00 114,000.00 21,431,200.00

Lobbying and vigilance proved to be successful strategies for the POs since they were able to get funding support for their communities. Even residents who are not members of any organization benefited from their efforts. As a result, the POs generated much goodwill in their communities. Most of these resources benefited Zambales and Pampanga and were used to build infrastructure – farm-to-market roads, water supply systems and school improvements.
Table 6 Resources Generated by POs By province, January to June 2007
Province Zambales Value of Resources (In PhP) 1,889,550.00 Main bulk of resources Farm to market road , school improvements

Pampanga Aurora Palawan Nueva Ecija Bulacan Total

1,050,000.00 85,000.00 582,000.00 259,400.00 200,000.00 4,065,950.00

Water Supply, Farm-to-market road Non-formal education (supplies, learning center) Agricultural production support, inputs, supplies, trainings Post harvest facility, infra-support, sanitation facilities Livelihood project, commercial store

IV. PDI Experiences in Partnership Arrangement with the Local Government The following case studies attempt to capture the existing condition in local governance participation of PDI in its critical collaboration with the LGUs in its areas of operation. The cases presented were based on the experiences of PDI and is used as reference to illustrate possible areas and preconditions where cooperation with the Local Government Unit is possible. It also serves as a take off point to define the requisites in partnerships, including the facilitating and constraining factors in local governance participation. Emerging insights and lessons are provided. a) The Land Resettlement Arrangement in Fort Magsaysay, Laur, Nueva Ecija On July 10, 1990, a powerful earthquake, with a magnitude of 7.7, hit Central and Northern Luzon killing hundreds and destroying millions of pesos worth of properties. Relief and rehabilitation efforts focused mainly on the economic centers of the affected provinces while the remote areas, which were also devastated, received very little assistance. The earthquake did not spare the small tribal village in Caranglan. The tremor created wide cracks on the earth and caused massive erosion. The slightest rainfall dislodged huge boulders which tumble down the mountains that surround the communities. There have also deaths and unexplained illnesses among the people. The three tribes of Kalanguyas, Ibaloys, and Kankan-eys, decided to look for another land to settle on because of the continuing devastation around them. Some 110 families, accompanied by Sister Julia Gonzales, a nun of the Religious of the Good Shepherd (RGS), requested the assistance of PDI to help them resettle. PDI had identified a piece of land in Barangay San Isidro in 1991 as a possible resettlement site. PDI sought the assistance of the Department of Agrarian reform and the Provincial Government of Nueva Ecija through Governor Edno Joson, to provide for the Igorot farmer-victims lands to re-establish their way of life. A memorandum of agreement was signed between PDI, DAR/DND (Department of National Defense) and the LGU. The property is located in a portion of the Fort Magsaysay military reservation, in Laur, Nueva Ecija. This was a pioneering initiative since it was the first time that a military reservation covering 3,100 hectares was converted for agricultural purposes.

The DAR/DND provided each of the Igorot families with three hectares of agricultural land. Through further negotiations, the Igorot earthquake victims and original farmersettlers were able to receive their land titles. PDI negotiated with the government to provide electricity, a small water impounding system and a complete road network for the new resettlement area. The labor counterpart was provided by the Igorots, now organized as the Tribal Union for Agricultural Development or TUNAD. PDI, with assistance from NCOS, a Belgian funding agency, organized and established POs in the area and provided for indigenous housing and the settlers’ much-needed production assistance. The former reservation is now composed of several thriving communities.

b) The Zambales Experience: Resettlement and Reconstruction – An Integrated Response to the Problems Caused by the Mount Pinatubo Eruption (LGU-NGO-PO partnership) PDI adheres to the Genuine Asset reform (GAR) framework, which argues that rural development and self-reliant communities can be achieved by the positive combination of changes in land tenure and social and economic support services, minus the influence of vested interests that impede progress. In this regard, PDI’s main role is to encourage and support farmers, farm workers, women and indigenous people who aspire to assert and protect their rights and who pursue their autonomous goals in their communities. In 1991, PDI was assisting the peasants of Central Luzon in developing a regional development program. In the middle of the process, Mount Pinatubo erupted in June 1991, causing massive displacement of the affected population in Central Luzon, especially in Zambales, Tarlac and Pampanga. After the eruption, instead of producing the Central Luzon Development Plan, PDI assessed the overall condition and analyzed the landscape and basic needs of the peasants and indigenous communities. PDI developed the Resettlement and Reconstruction Program for the displaced farmers and Aeta indigenous people. Using agrarian reform as a core strategy, PDI responded with a resettlement program for the disaster victims. PDI negotiated with the provincial government through Governor Amor Deloso and DAR to provide agricultural land and support services to the displaced people. The program was different from other resettlement sites, mostly initiated by government agencies, in that it provided home lots and agricultural lands to the victims. The problem after the eruption was the total loss of the land and not merely the lack of support services. The program responded according to these situations. Under the program, DAR provided each family a 240-square meter homelot and a 1.3-hectare farm lot from the government which allocated 429 hectares of land in Barangay Bulawen, Salaza, Palauig, and Zambales.

PDI and the farmer-victims were able to negotiate with the local government for the parcellary mapping of the land, the establishment of a road network, and electrification. PDI, with assistance from EED, provided organization building and institutional development and support services in the form of housing, establishment of a water system, health service and food production assistance, which are necessary to sustain the people through the long and arduous process of resettlement in a new place. The program had already completed the resettlement phase. Sibol, the name given by the people to their new home is now a new community. As a monument to the success of the program, the resettlement community of Sibol has now become a vibrant community with settlers owning the land they till. The residents, including women, are now active participants in local governance led by their organizations. PDI has succeeded in this development intervention built upon an agrarian-based model – a model agrarian reform community. PDI’s concept of the model agrarian reform community was adopted by the Department of Agrarian Reform, which called it the ARC Program. DAR adopted the concept of the model agrarian reform community but revised the operational design. The ARC Program of DAR has brought in billions of ODA funds to the department for the development of agrarian reform areas. This led to the identification and formation of DAR-ARCs all over the country. The success story has, in fact, been shared with the international community when PDI was invited to participate in the World EXPO 2000 in Hannover, Germany. It serves as an example of best practices on how to handle programs and projects in the new millennium. c) Sustainable Agriculture Project in Coron, Palawan: The LGU/DA-PDITagbanua PO Partnership PDI’s Sustainable Agriculture (SusAg) program is a community development project being implemented by PDI with the Tagbanuas in partnership with the municipal government of Coron and the municipal agricultural office. The goal of the sustainable agriculture project is to increase the income of the Tagbanuas through sustainable agricultural practices. The challenge to PDI is to develop and impart practical and cost-efficient farming practices to the Tagbanuas. The SusAg program is focused on Coron, Palawan. Through this project, the Tagbanuas worked with PDI and an agriculturist of the Municipal government to learn and promote sustainable agricultural practices. The initial involvement has borne fruit with more farmers becoming interested in SusAg. The municipal agriculturist provided the technical expertise while PDI provided institutional capacity building and the need support services. The demo farms and technical assistance provided helped considerably in spreading the word about the benefits of Sustainable Agriculture. (See Table 7) Continued coordination with the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA), Office of the Municipal Agriculturist (OMA) and the local government units (LGUs),

coupled with the organizing efforts of the community members have proven effective in promoting sustainable agriculture in the rural areas. In fact, the Organic Vegetable Projects which PDI adapted in the farming communities are now being extended to the public elementary schools in Coron through Vegetable Gardening classes.
Table 7 Sustainable Agriculture Coron, Palawan TECHNOLOGIES TRANSFERRED January to June 2007
I. Agricultural Production 1. Rice Production 2. Integrated Pest Management (IPM) 3. Sloping Agriculture Land Technology (SALT) 4. Bio Intensive Gardening (BIG) II. Organic Fertilizer Making 1. Composting 2. Compost Fungus Activator (CFA) 3. Carbonized Rice Hull making 4. Fermented Fruit Juice (FFJ) 5. Fermented Plant Juice (FPJ) III. Livestock and Aquaculture 1. Swine Raising 2. Seaweeds Propagation 3. Seganid Monitoring and Management IV. Demos 1. Farmer Field School 2. Rice Varietal Demo-farm 3. Vegetable Demo-farm

In collaboration with the Department of Agriculture of Puerto Princesa and the Municipal Agriculture Office, simultaneous trainings on Organic Vegetable Production were conducted. PDI is also working with the Regional Fisheries Training Center of the Bureau of Fisheries & Aquatic Resources for trainings on Seaweeds Farming and Nursery Management to enhance the skills of the Tagbanuas in seaweed production. PDI has been providing seaweed production assistance to the Tagbanuas. The partnership program of PDI with the Municipality of Coron has expanded with a new arrangement in the agricultural development program under the Medium Term Development Program of the Municipality involving an annual investment fund of PhP4.4 million for 2007 alone. This amount has been pledged by the Mayor to the peasants and Tagbanuas in a memorandum of agreement signed in February 2007. The adjacent municipality of Busuanga, also in Palawan, has forged a partnership agreement with PDI similar to the program of Coron, also in 2007.

d) Partnership Arrangement in the Non Formal Education PDI implements a Non-Formal Education program in the provinces of Aurora, Bataan, Palawan and Zambales. The Program targets the out-of-school youth and illiterate adults of the Dumagat, Aeta and Tagbanua tribes. The NFE responds to the same compelling problems of marginalization of IP communities where education is a lost opportunity. The right to education has taken a new light with the acquisition of ancestral domain rights that require adequate knowledge and skills in protecting and developing vast tracks of the uplands. NFE has become more relevant at the current stage where IP communities need to develop, protect and strengthen ownership of their ancestral domains. Indigenous people want to rejuvenate the basic elements of their learning systems, while they learn new ideas and skills to survive in their rapidly changing environment. Indigenous people also want to learn modern sciences, but in the context of their own culture and in their own terms and according to their own pace. Indigenous peoples want education in their own languages, in a manner appropriate to their cultural methods of teaching and learning. They demand their right to speak their own language, along or with the practice of their indigenous education, since language cannot be divorced from the struggle for self-determination and ancestral domain. Thus, in supporting the Alternative Learning System, PDI is emphatic that assistance must put premium on addressing the learning needs of the IP community. This enabling clause is crucial to secure a planned integration of the local practices. Given this thrust, PDI, in effect, also seeks to re-orient and sharpen the Alternative Learning System to become one that is truly situation-based and action-oriented. NFE or the Alternative Learning Systems (ALS) involves the acquisition of knowledge even outside the school. It is aimed at attaining specific learning objectives for the IPs. For the out-of-school youth and illiterate adults, NFE includes a functional literacy program for the non-literate and semi-literate and integrates basic literacy with livelihood skills training. The non-formal education program being implemented by PDI addresses the necessary learning competencies of formal school curricula. This is carried out in coordination with municipal governments and the district offices of the Department of Education. This assistance seeks to assure the basic learning and capacity building needs of out-of-school youths and adults. The courses offered are namely: Level I – Offered to those with no literacy skills; comparable to grades I and II. Level II – Offered to semi-literates; reinforces basic reading, writing and math skills, similar to Grades III and IV. Level III-V – Flexible competency exercises, designed for functional literates.

Level III – Equivalent to Grades V and VI. Level IV – For adequately functional literates; comparable to 1st and 2nd years of secondary school Level V – Autonomous Learning Level, equivalent to 3rd and 4th year of secondary school. ALS is a parallel learning system that provides a viable alternative to the existing formal education curriculum. It emphasizes both formal and informal sources of learning. Its course of study covers the following areas: communication skills, critical thinking and problem solving, sustainable use of resources, development of a sense of self and community and expansion of the student’s vision of the world. To implement the NFE program, PDI, the Local Government Unit and the Department of Education signed a Memorandum of Agreement and mobilized parateachers. The MOA provides for the form and conditions of the NFE program. The MOA also spells out the role and responsibilities of all parties concerned. PDI assumes responsibility over the project’s execution in collaboration with the NFE coordinator assigned by the DepEd. The NFE coordinator undertakes field visitation and is responsible for the supervision and delivery of required technical know-how. PDI monitors and evaluates the classes. DepEd takes care of the venue and administration. Material development is the responsibility of both PDI and DepEd. The curriculum and material development for the NFE Program involves the design and production of at least 29 modules for 150 hours of sessions for each competency level. Indigenous knowledge systems are used and IP traditions, culture and values are taken into consideration in the implementation. Each module consists of a teacher’s manual and session guide. The PDI Area Coordinator and the NFE Coordinator meet frequently to discuss implementation issues and formulate remedial measures. They also refine and calibrate existing NFE curricula to be responsive to the actual situation of the IPs and the expressed needs of the NFE students. NFE is conducted in coordination with the Local Government Units in the area and the District Offices of the Department of Education through its ALS. In 2006, the Program handled 537 learners (see Table 9). Of this total, 368 or 68 percent graduated (see Table 10). More females (239) graduated than males (129) (see Table 11). The Dumagats of Aurora province produced the best percentage of learners who graduated (74 percent). Some learners do not graduate because of economic reasons, such as when the family has to move to where the parents can earn a livelihood. For the Tagbanua fisher folk, this means following the fish that move around the waters depending on seasons and tides. For the Aetas, this means going to places where there is farm work to be done or finding new areas in the mountains that can be cleared for kaingin (slash-and-burn-farming). And where the father goes to earn a livelihood, the whole family follows. For 2007, PDI’s entire Non-Formal Education program will teach 539 learners.

Table 9 PDI Non Formal Education Learners 2004-2007
Location Ethnic Group Dumagat Partner Dept. of Educ. District of Dingalan, Local Gov’t. Unit of Dingalan Dept. of Education District of Morong, Local Gov’t. Unit of Morong Dept. of Education District of Coron, Local Gov’t. Unit of Coron Dept. of Education District of Botolan, Local Gov’t. Unit of Botolan TOTAL 124 2004 2005 2006 2007

Aurora

112

124

70

Bataan

Aeta

35

16

15

Palawan

Tagbanua

184

231

349

230

Zambales

Aeta

60

35

48

224

368

413

537

539

Table 10 PDI Non-Formal Education Graduates By Literacy Level 2006-2007
Province Aurora Bataan Palawan Zambales TOTAL 20 20 163 5 168 Level 0 Level I Level II 92 2 30 6 130 2 35 6 43 7 7 Level III Level IV Level V 92 11 228 37 368

Table 11 PDI Non-Formal Education Graduates By Gender 2006-2007
Province Aurora Bataan Palawan Zambales TOTAL Males 31 2 81 15 129 Females 61 9 147 22 239 Total 92 11 228 37 368

Partners in Non-Formal Education PDI and the Department of Education trained parateachers to implement the NFE Program. Parateachers are not the usual public school teachers who wait for the students to enroll and then teach in classrooms. Parateachers seek out-of-school youth and adults in the indigenous communities and among poor peasants in

remote and mountainous barangays, conducting surveys to determine the size and profile of their potential students. They also look for places where they can hold classes. If there are no suitable sites, they hold classes under the trees, as in some Aeta communities in Zambales and Aurora provinces. Parateachers also have to adjust the schedule of classes according to the farming and fishing activities of the tribe. Some parateachers hold classes on a Sunday if it happens to be the community’s free day. At present, PDI employs 23 parateachers. Most of them come from the same tribe as the students to facilitate acceptance and integration. The NFE Program has been helpful in improving literacy among the Aetas, Tagbanuas and Dumagats. In October 2005, the program was awarded 4th place by the Department of Education in its Regional Search for Most Outstanding Literacy Program. It has also been awarded Certificates of Recognition by the Department of Education’s Division Offices in Coron in Palawan, Morong in Bataan, Botolan in Zambales, and in Dingalan and San Luis in Aurora. In 2007, at the initiative of the DepEd, the Zambales parateachers and our PDI community organizers developed three instruction manuals and five modules for teaching Aetas. The modules cover the following subject matters: 1. 2. 3. 4. Ancestral Domain Aeta Culture and Traditions Livelihood Activities Cleanliness and Personal Hygiene

The modules are pioneering efforts in teaching Indigenous Peoples. They are written in Sambal, the language of the Aetas. They integrate the Aeta’s culture, traditions and values in teaching Reading, Writing and Arithmetic. Its workbooks are illustrated with drawings of Aetas in various everyday activities. The modules have been cited by the Department of Education’s Bureau of Alternative Learning Systems because of its sensitivity and adherence to the Aeta’s cultural heritage. As a result, the lessons are now included in the Department of Education’s teaching modules for Aetas. e) The Bulacan Experience: Representation in the City Development Council provided impact to the communities The PDI and the farmer representatives of San Jose del Monte, Bulacan, were able to negotiate and succeeded in vying for seats in the City Development Council. They were able to participate in the planning for the fiscal year, particularly in allocating the financial resources in the local agricultural sector. Farmer representatives along with PDI were able to influence the Council to increase the total annual budget allocation for the agricultural sector from 17% to 20.5%, an increase of 3.5%. Previously the agricultural sector only received PhP147,000 from the City Agriculture Office. This has now been increased to PhP152,145.00 worth of support services.

The farmer representatives of the POs, with guidance from PDI, were also successful in pushing for the City Planning and Development Council to pass a Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP) to protect the farmers and the agricultural sector from rampant illegal conversion in San Jose del Monte, Bulacan. About 250 farmers lobbied city hall for the CLUP. The Land Use Plan designated the farmlands in San Jose as the food basket, the source of vegetables and fruits, not only of Bulacan but also of the surrounding areas, especially Metro Manila. The city of San Jose del Monte has thus developed a clear Land Use Plan. During the last three years (2004-2006) SAMAKA, the PO of Bulacan, was able to generate PhP1.84 million worth of resources from the city government through the City Development Council and the City Agriculture Office. These include PhP800,000 for a barangay road that benefit 400 families, a PhP1 million water impounding project that benefit 150 families and PhP48,000 in capital assistance for the production of Red Lady papaya. f) Support for Indigenous Peoples Ancestral Domain Rights The right of the IPs to their ancestral land is the basic tenet of the Indigenous People’s Rights Act. The IPs’ claim-making over their ancestral domain must be vigorously pursued in the halls of justice. It is the responsibility of the government, specifically the National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, to provide the ancestral land titles to the indigenous people. Some gains have been achieved in the distribution of the ancestral domain title by the NCIP since its enactment of the IPRA law in 1997. The right to ancestral domain of the indigenous people as a social justice issue should not be left in the hands of the government officials, most of whom represent the landowning class who also wield economic power. Without pressure from POs and NGOs, the ancestral domain claims of the indigenous people would not be heard. The IPs lack of education, due largely to their poverty, has left them helpless in the face of such government officials. PDI’s negotiation strategy has laid the foundation that assists the IPs in their struggle for their lands. IPRA depends heavily on the quality of civil society participation and on social consensus. There is evidence that government-led IPRA implementation with the top-down approach and narrow bureaucratic execution fails to provide the ancestral domain titles of the indigenous people. With regard to support for the IP’s right to their ancestral domains, PDI was able to cause for the processing of 34,973 hectares of ancestral domain lands to 3,324 members of the Aeta IP communities in Pampanga, Bataan and Zambales (see Table 12). The biggest ancestral domain grant being processed consists of 22,400 hectares located in Botolan, Zambales.
Table 12 Ancestral Domain Lands Processed for Indigenous Communities
Location Florida Blanca, Pampanga Hermosa, Bataan Botolan, Zambales Total Size (in Hectares) 8,218 4,355 22,400 34,973 Number of Beneficiaries 1,424 700 1,200 3,324

PDI’s intervention in the IP arena is rooted in its agrarian reform advocacy. It has discovered that DAR had insensitively sought to treat IPs as agrarian reform beneficiaries and not IPs with prior rights to their ancestral domains. The resulting bureaucratic tangle between the NCIP, DAR, the DENR and local government units exacerbated the bottlenecks in processing ancestral domain claims. PDI stepped in to clear this anomaly. The NCIP is perceived to be one of the weakest national agencies of government in terms of resources and capacities to enforce its mandate. Delays in processing of CADC/CADT application are a common occurrence due to lack of resources and field personnel, inadequate surveying capacity or pure bureaucratic inefficiency. This is not to mention the fact that NCIP actions are vulnerable to legal and bureaucratic contestations by the DAR, DENR or LGUs. LGUs, for example, generally resent the reduction of their territories with the issuance of CADCs/CADTs that are under the mandate of the NCIP. Similarly, for the DENR, CADT/CADC issuances entail additional processes and procedures in the approval of mining and commercial timber license applications. Having established its influence at the central stage of national line agencies, PDI was able to unclog the bottlenecks by simultaneously negotiating with the LGUs to issue permits for the recognition of the ancestral claims and allow the survey of the ancestral domain. It has moved DAR to honor the ancestral domain lands and prompted the NCIP to process the ancestral domain titles. Thus, in Zambales where the CADC claim has been sitting at the NCIP since 1997, PDI was able to unclog the processes and influence the grant of ownership within two years. The above, however, resulted not only from PDI’s effective engagement with government agencies and reform-minded officials. Internally, it involved painstaking work on fundamental requisites that the IPs were not able to prepare for lack of attention from the NCIP. The PDI staff had to strengthen the IP claims by setting certain requirements such as genealogies and technical specifications of the lands being claimed (e.g. through land survey and maps) as well as preparing the IP organizations to assume ownership of their domains. The same also indicates the versatility of PDI staff in responding to community needs. Implications The recognition of 34,973 hectares as ancestral domain land is momentous for the Aetas of Zambales, Pampanga and Bataan. After years of divestment (e.g. the utilization of their ancestral domains as U.S. Military Bases in Clark and Subic), marginalization and deprivation and displacement (due to the Mount Pinatubo eruption), they have re-acquired control and ownership over their ancestral domains. The same is also momentous for the fact that most ancestral domains in the country are now at risk due to the Supreme Court’s December 2004 ruling that affirmed the constitutionality of the Mining Act of 1995. It reversed its January 2004 decision declaring that some provisions of the Mining Act and its implementing rules and regulations (IRR) were unconstitutional. That was the year when Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s government started to aggressively promoted mining as a new major arena for foreign investments. In

January 2004, GMA signed Executive Order 270, otherwise known as the National Policy Agenda on Revitalizing Mining in the Philippines. This formed the basis of the formulation of the Mineral Action Plan that practically opens up 70 percent of national territory to mining investments. The Mineral Action Plan also shows how the government is willing to sacrifice the interests and rights of IPs over their ancestral domains. The plan suggests that the government is willing to reduce NCIP certification processes by 27 percent and to hasten the issuance of Environment Clearance Certificate (ECC) if only to induce foreigners to invest in mining. The threats to IP ancestral domains do not only come from mining. In fact, they are already reeling from extreme natural resource degradation. According to the DENR, 97 percent of the country’s forests has been logged for timber and that only 18 percent of the Philippines has forest cover. As of 2001, only 1 million hectares (of the country’s 30 million hectares) is covered with primary forests. PDI’s unprecedented success in ancestral domain advocacy in Central Luzon has come under extreme adversity both at the level of policy changes at the national level and at the operational level where PDI has to deal with bureaucratic barriers put up by local governments and the NCIP. V. Facilitating and Constraining Factors in Local Governance Participation Facilitating Factors and Requisites in the Partnership Arrangement: The partnership arrangement between the PDI and the LGU has been successful because of the following reasons: • Throughout its 17 years in development work, PDI has embraced its vision – “to build self-reliant communities through people’s initiatives” – by developing effective personnel and PO leaders who commit themselves to tackling challenges, help their community articulate their problems and needs, and build the commitments and wherewithal to improve the lives of people in the community. Organization building and leadership development are at the heart of PDI’s work to improve communities and to create sustainable development. • The establishment of people’s organizations in the areas of operation before any engagement with the government is imperative because it provides a vital link to the success of the undertaking. The voices of the people are heard and their needs shape the form of engagement with the local government units. Projects instituted in partnership with the LGU are based on the people’s needs. • The Local Government Code of 1991 provides for and guarantees people’s participation in local special bodies, development planning and budgeting, and the system of direct accountability provisions of local government officials. This increases the involvement of POs and NGOs.

The practice of local governance at the grassroots level is slowly veering away from the traditional mode of partnership and is now including the POs and NGOs. • It is important that the LGU knows that PDI has grassroots constituents. • PDI was able to establish itself in the areas of operation. The LGUs respect the capacity and skill of PDI in development work and trust PDI’s capacity and structure. • PDI’s knowledge of negotiations is a key factor in presenting the agenda of the POs to the LGU and in securing the commitment of the LGUs and work with government bureaucratic processes. PDI was able to leverage its expertise and skills to bargain with local government units in order to oblige them to pledge their counterpart in any activity done with the government. • The LGUs see the relationship as mutually beneficial and enables multilateral exchanges of resources, knowledge and skills. It is mutually beneficial because it defines the contribution of each party in terms of funds, available skills, and work. The cooperation is also clear cut in terms of the skills of each party to ensure the success of the project undertaking. Furthermore, the cooperation helps each party to fulfill what is mandated in the program of work (e.g. the survey and parcellary mapping of the land). Each party gives contributions to fulfill its obligation. • There are clear parameters for partnership, meaning the terms of reference were the product of consultations among all parties concerned (LGUPDI-PO). Each party knows its role and responsibility in the partnership arrangement, and agrees on the goals and strategies and understands the limitations and possibilities of each other’s systems and processes. • Partnership has concrete and immediate effects because PDI has always insisted on undertaking activities based on specific terms of reference and only after guidelines have been promulgated and clarified. The partnership arrangement has brought in tangible outputs (like the establishment of a completely new barangay for the peasant-victims of Mount Pinatubo and the provision of support services). The program of work discussed is complete based on the specific time frame. The aims of the project were accomplished on time and the program has direct benefit to the communities. • Strong monitoring. PDI, together with the POs closely monitor project implementation. Constraining Factors in the Partnership Arrangement: The following serve as constraining factors in the LGU-PDI relationship. • Limitations in funding. LGU budgets do not reflect local needs. It is not unusual that LGUs lack budget for implementing the decentralized programs

of the government. Decentralization without the required financial resources or the capacity to generate local revenues hinder the effective delivery of services, much more so the people’s participation in any undertaking. • Many LGUs are weak in terms of capacity to deliver basic services, generating revenues, fiscal administration and translating policies and procedures into actions. • Bureaucratic bottlenecks and procedures in the LGU hamper program implementation. • National policies should be upheld and not contradicted, instead be supported by the LGUs • Lack of communication and coordination among national and local actors lead to confusion and misunderstanding in the interpretation of laws and ordinances, and in the implementation of rules and procedures, administrative orders and memoranda. • LGU devolved agencies like the DENR do not deliver the requirement specified in the terms of agreement. • NGOs and LGUs distrust of each other due to previous experiences. Attitudinal biases both among LGU and NGO representatives. • NGO is responsive to the needs of the communities while the LGU is reactive VI. Emerging Insights and Lessons in Critical Collaborative Undertakings with Local Governments: The requisite for a successful LGU-NGO partnership is openness, trust, mutual respect, and a common goal of achieving an improved quality of life for the people in the community. Furthermore, based on PDI’s experiences in critical collaborative undertakings with the local government unit and even with the national government, the following salient points are key factors in building a partnership: 1. Community development requires working within the context of the community’s culturally instituted structure to ensure functional relevance and acceptability. 2. Humility amongst the key persons involved in the partnership arrangement is an asset. Accepting shortcomings and limitations while knowing our areas of strength make us humble. It also defines our terms of engagement in the partnership. 3. A recognition of the distinct competencies of the LGU and the PDI. Before any partnership can ensue, both parties should recognize each other’s inherent capacities and capabilities.

4. The acceptance of the LGU and the PDI as partners in development with a well defined written agreement in any undertaking. A written agreement protects the project partner from the dislocations caused by replacement of government officials. 5. Implementing guidelines are important. It is not advisable to undertake a contract or project before the guidelines are issued. 6. Personalities in government make a lot of difference in program implementation. Any change in program personnel affects project implementation. 7. Goals of development, both quantitative and qualitative, can only be pursued and realized if partners are willing to make substantive contributions and share commensurate responsibility in an undertaking and are conscious of organizational factors affecting the NGO and LGU sectors. 8. Teamwork is important in any joint undertaking. LGUs and NGOs can work together as long as roles and functions are clarified. Nevertheless, the NGO, as a catalyst, should push for and closely coordinate the project. Attitudinal biases among the LGUs and NGOs can be overcome after some time of working together. 9. The trust inherent between the inter-acting parties is very important in LGU-NGO partnership. When one starts to feel that the other is just taking advantage of the partnership for its own self-interest, then the collaboration starts to break down. 10. The community’s culturally instituted structures to ensure functional relevance and acceptability must be respected. In order to sustain the LGU-NGO/PO partnership in local governance, the following need to be address: 1. The need for an information and education program on the NGOs and LGUs. There is a need for an information and education program within the LGUs that will help various line agencies realize a common and clear operational definition of NGOs that will allow them to fully grasp the concrete importance of the NGOs based on their principles, approaches, methods of work and operation. On the other hand, NGOs lack basic information on available programs and services offered by government agencies, thereby depend only on their personal relationship with officials in government to be able to work together. If such remains the case, there will be no systematic dissemination by LGUs of their program of work, nor will there be an efficient culling of information by the NGO of LGU work. 2. Institutionalization of systems and procedures that are workable and acceptable to both the LGU and the NGO/PO. There are basic differences in the systems and procedures that hinder or enhance LGU-NGO/PO partnerships. This has been overcome partly by the personal relationships among personalities within potential LGU-NGO/PO partners. The importance of personal ties has been recognized in forging desired modes of collaboration. However, more can be done to improve LGU-NGO relationships. Mutual respect between the concerned parties needs to be developed. There is also a need for a clear-cut policy on collaboration, and a

translation of the personal relationship into a formal and concrete system and procedure that is workable and acceptable to both parties. Therefore, in order to have a meaningful relationship, a common policy, systems and procedures covering the tie-up should be drawn up. 3. A recognition of the invaluable assistance of the funding institutions in pursuing development work, even as we realize that the requirements accompanying their donations strongly shape actual program implementation. The possible fields of critical collaboration could be land acquisition and distribution, extension services, training and education, legislation, manpower development and research. There may be possible areas of conflict, given the existing differences in structure, systems, approaches and strategies between the LGU and the NGO. However, these differences can be overcome through dialogues and consultations in order to work out a jointly agreed framework for critical collaboration.

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