Tag Archives: civil society organizations

It’s politics that sustains our network: A sequel

Looking back, I realized that what sustains us for years is POLITICS. It has been defined in various ways to capture the complexities of relations of people in the society involving authority or power. Some even thought of politics as sort of “intrigue or maneuvering within a political unit or group in order to gain control or power.” While we might have experienced these elements in our 12 years of struggle, I want to qualify what I mean by politics that sustains our network. It is an acrostic/acronym which capsulizes the sustaining elements in our organization, as follows: Participation, Optimism, Lobbying, Integrity, Tact, Interdependence, Coordination, Spirituality.

ICON 1

Participation

Historically, the Non-government organization s and People’s organizations (NGO PO) Week was a by product of participation. When seemingly moderate organizations decided to take an active role in the mainstream of politics in the development council, dominated by veteran leaders, and subsequently captured the slot for the civil society organizations representative. Thereafter, we have sustained our activities throughout the years, as well as our relationship, because of your participation. As development workers and empowerment advocates, we share common understanding of participatory approach and apply such in our network.

Optimism

Our existence as network has been characterized by ups and downs. We experienced both worlds – the peak and the lowest condition in mobilization. Since its inception, ICON is a story of struggles – from the lobbying stage for the institutionalization of the NGO PO Week to subsequent pioneering days in organizing the network. The struggle in lobbying with fellow development workers and NGO partners to support the resolution for the declaration of NGO PO Week. The task to convince veteran organizers of various persuasions to form the coalition had been taxing and wearisome. But we succeeded against all odds for the first decade because of our optimism. Such optimism will continue to guide us for another decade of struggle.

Lobbying

An effective tool but less applied by NGOs because of its association with traditional politics, lobbying sustains our relationship with government partners. The provision of the local government code for our participation in the development councils and local special bodies become a sort of leverage in our lobbying. Having represented the NGOs in the Executive Committee of the provincial development council for many years, I have learned how to maximize such privilege in lobbying. There was a time when we our budget for the annual celebration of the NGO PO Week was affected by the transition in the change of  administration after election. However, being a member of the executive committee and signatory to any resolution, I was able to lobby our budget when the proposed supplemental budget was deliberated by the committee.

Integrity

With pride I can say that, as a whole, ICON has maintained its integrity. Of course, there were tensions and even skirmishes among officers in the past but as a network our integrity remains intact as far as relationship with the government and the public is concerned. We were never accused of using others for our own needs or advantage. Neither did we allow our network to be used by others, much more the politicians. We always work in partnership with others for mutual advantage.

(to be continued)

__________________________

Message delivered by Rev. Edwin I. Lariza, ICON president, during the General Assembly of the Iloilo Coalition of NGOs and POs to culminate the 13th NGO PO Week on December 6, 2012.

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NGO PO WEEK: Milestone of Networking in Iloilo

The annual celebration of the Non-government Organizations and People’s Organizations (NGO-PO) Week in Iloilo is a testament of success in networking. The event has been institutionalized by Provincial Ordinance No. 2000-042 and City Regulation Ordinance 2001-190. As such, it sealed the partnership of the provincial and city government of Iloilo and the civil society organizations in networking for development. Because of the ordinances, NGOs and POs have found a venue to link with each other despite differences in approaches or even in political and ideological persuasions and leanings.

PROVINCIAL ORDINANCE NO. 2000-042

AN ORDINANCE DECLARING AND INSTITUTIONALIZING DECEMBER 1-7, 2000 OF THIS YEAR AND OF EVERY YEAR THEREAFTER AS NON-GOVERNMENT ORGANIZATIONS-PEOPLE’S ORGANIZATIONS (NGO-PO) WEEK IN THE PROVINCE OF ILOILO.

WHEREAS, Section 23, Article II of the 1987 Constitution provides that “the State shall encourage non-governmental, community-based or sectoral organizations that promote the welfare of the nation”, as well as Section 14, Article X provides that “the President shall provide for regional development councils or other similar bodies composed of local government officials, regional heads of departments and other government offices, and representatives from non-governmental organizations within the regions for purposes of administrative decentralization to strengthen the autonomy of the units therein and to accelerate the economic and social growth and development of the units in the region”;

WHEREAS, the primacy of NGO’s role in the local governance process was given due consideration in the Local Government Code of 1991 when it provided for their participation in the following areas: membership in local special bodies; partnership with the government in joint ventures in development projects; and participation and sectoral representations in local legislative bodies;

WHEREAS, Iloilo Provincial Government, in compliance with the provisions of the Local Government Code relative to the role of NGO’s and PO’s, has effected the same whereby representatives of accredited NGO’s and PO’s are accorded with membership in the Provincial Development Council; and allowing them one seat in the local special bodies: school board, health board, peace and order council, and pre-qualification, bid and awards committee;

WHEREAS, most NGO’s accredited by the Provincial Government and other sectoral organizations in the City and Province of Iloilo will participate in the gathering of NGO’s and PO’s at Central Philippine University on December 1-2, 2000 characterized by fellowship, fun, study, friendly competitions;

WHEREAS, the celebration which centers on the theme “Katin-aran Sang Nasyon: Yara sa Aton Paghiliugyon,” aimed at giving recognition to participation of NGO and PO in the nation building;

WHEREAS, Mr. Edwin I. Lariza, Co-Chair, Provincial Development Council, requested the August Body, thru the Governor, Honorable Arthur D. Defensor, to declare December 1-7, 2000 as Non-Government Organizations-People’s Organizations (NGO-PO) Week in the Province of Iloilo.

NOW, THEREFORE, on motion of the Honorable Rodolfo V. Cabado, upon the joint sponsorship of Hon. Juanito T. Alipao, Chairman of the Committee on Cooperatives and other Non-Government Organizations, which was duly seconded,

BE IT ORDAINED, as it is hereby Ordained, by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan ng Iloilo in session assembled, that:

Section 1. December 1-7, 2000 and of every year thereafter is hereby declared as Non-Government Organizations-People’s Organizations (NGO-PO) Week in the Province of Iloilo;

Section 2. Effectivity. This Ordinance shall take effect immediately upon approval thereof and the same be posted in three (3) conspicuous places at the Iloilo Provincial Capitol.

RESOLVED, FURTHER, to furnish copies of this resolution to the Governor, Hon. Arthur D. Defensor, and all Non-government Organizations-People’s Organizations thru Mr. Edwin I. Lariza, Co-Chair, Provincial Development Council, for their information and guidance.

APPROVED.

I HEREBY CERTIFY to the correctness of the above-quoted Ordinance.

(SGD)LORENZO T. TUBOLA
Secretary
Sangguniang Panlalawigan

With our concurrence:
(SGD) RODOLFO V. CABADO
Floor Leader

(SGD) DEMETRIO P. SONZA
Chairman

Approved:
(SGD) ARTHUR D. DEFENSOR
Governor

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