Category Archives: Forum

ICON joins World Social Work Day celebration, inducts officers

The Iloilo Coalition of Non-government Organizations and People’s Organizations (ICON) joined the celebration of World Social Work Day on March 19. Held at Central Philippine University, the celebration started with a forum which was sponsored by the University’s Department of Social Work. ICON co sponsored the forum as part of the network’s regular monthly forum. It was participated in by over 100 social work students, social workers from various provinces in Western Visayas, and NGO partners. 

world social work day2013

The theme for the celebration is “ Promoting Social and Economic Equalities.” Two ICON officers served as panelists to the forum after the presentation of Miss Evangeline Felecio who served as speaker. Felecio is the Assistant Regional Director of the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Field Office 6. The ICON officers in the panel were Ms. Febie Ibojos and Bro. Edwin Arana. Atty. Ma. Dolores Nalumen, national officer of the Philippine Association of Social Workers, Inc. (PASWI) gave words of inspiration. Also an Ilongga, she is a retired Regional Director of the Probation and Parole Administration- Western Visayas.

After the forum, the officers and board of directors of ICON were inducted into office while social workers continued their celebration at the Department of Social Work .

DSWD FO6 ARD Evangeline Felecio inducts the ICON Officers. (L-R) Rev. Edwin I. Lariza, president; Bro. Edwin Arana, 1st vice president; Ted Aldwin Ong, VP for NGOs; Eleazar R. Blando, general secretary; Febie S. Ibojos, treasurer; Sandy Mecuando III, auditor; Prof. Ruben Gamala, PRO; Sunshine Arquintillo, Engr. Levi De los Santos, Freddie Salvania and Stazy Vencer, board of directors. Not in the picture are Georie Pitong, VP for POs; Prof. Kareen Jay D. Lozada, secretary; Pastor Renato Fetalsana and Dr. Johnny Villanueva, board of directors.

World Social Work Day is the annual opportunity to advocate a social work perspective in political systems that effect the wellbeing of peoples and to celebrate the social work contribution to societies. Social work has a critical role in the promotion of social and economic equalities and in striving for a people-focused and regulated economy. 

The theme is one of the areas of a global movement launched by social workers in 2010 to address the major challenges of our societies. It was in Hongkong when over three thousand Social Work practitioners, educators, and development workers launched the Global Agenda for Social Work and Social Development.

Reprotedly, based on the decisions reached at the Hong Kong conference, the leadership of the three international organizations (International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW), International Association of Schools of Social Work (IASSW) and the International Council on Social Welfare (ICSW)) representing the entire spectre of Social Work Practice, Social Work Education and Social Development Work globally, have agreed on a set of objectives to meet joint aspirations for social justice and social development.

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ICON celebrates EDSA Revolution anniversary

The Iloilo Coalition of NGOs and POs (ICON) celebrated the 27th EDSA People Power Revolution by sponsoring a forum on February 26, 2013 at the Conference Room, Henry Luce III Libraries, Central Philippine University (CPU). The event was co sponsored by the University Department of Social Work.

Dubbed EDSA Revolution: Recollections, Lessons and Relevance to the New Generation, the forum was participated in by almost 200 students, faculty and ICON member organizations. Signpost Country Director Febbie S. Ibojos opened the forum with a prayer. In his opening remarks, Prof. Edwin Lariza, chairman of the Department of Social Work, stressed the department’s commitment to provide avenues to recollect the significant events in the life of the Filipinos with corresponding lessons for the benefit of the majority of the population who were born after 1986.

A video presentation of EDSA event preceded the speeches of invited panelists composed mainly of the University alumni. They were either participants to the struggles of the Filipino people leading to EDSA Revolution or involved in development work at present. First to share their respective experiences and reflections were alumni of the Department of Social Work. Hope Hervila, current Regional Coordinator of Bayan Muna related the critical situation during Martial Law in her hometown in Mindanao and student activism there and her experience when she transferred at CPU including her pre EDSA organizing work with church based organization.

ICON forum

Amado Hollero shared the brunt of Martial Law experience to his family and the circumstances that led him to join the people’s struggle against the dictatorial rule which culminated in EDSA. He also related his experience in continuing the commitment to serve the people after rejoining the mainstream of the society. These included serving as president of the CPU Republic when he resumed studies and barangay captain afterwards.

The relevance of the historic event to the New Generation were expounded by the young panelists who either were not born yet or still children during the EDSA Revolution . These were Ted Aldwin Ong, Chairman, Freedom for Debt Coalition-Iloilo; Eleazar R. Blando, General Secretary, YMCA of Iloilo, Inc.; and Charmane Chin, Coordinator, Kabataan Partylist.

All panelists recognized the gains of struggle against the dictatorial regime, which was highlighted by EDSA, in varying degree. However, they shared the common understanding that much has to be done yet, as the systemic problems persist. As one of the recognized heroes of the EDSA revolt explicitly said: “Today, 27 years later… the greed, the apathy, the cronyism and the corruption we brought down at EDSA during those four days are still with us in our land.

He made the comment after a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the Libingan ng Mga Bayani to kick off this year’s commemoration. As reported in the Philippine Star, former President Fidel Ramos challenged Filipinos to confront and remove “new tyrannies” such as self-serving leaders, greedy autocrats and “cliques of corrupt officials.” “In our homeland, there are still oligarchies, opportunists and warlords we have yet to banish from our political and economic life,” Ramos said.

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