Tag Archives: ICON

ICON celebrates 14th NGO PO Week in Iloilo

The 14th NGO PO Week celebration in Iloilo went well on December 1-7 despite the set back brought about by Typhoon Yolanda. The Iloilo Coalition of NGOs and POs (ICON) spearheaded the celebration with the theme “Reclaim our noble heritage: Sustain the power of networking.”

The network temporarily shelved its plans at the onset of Yolanda’s battering of badly hit communities as respective NGO members started their initial response in the form of relief operation. ICON also voluntarily forfeited the regular financial assistance from the provincial government of Iloilo so that funds would be channeled to relief operation. It was just a week and couple of days before the celebration, when the board of directors decided to continue with the theme and simplified activities, tapping the resources of member organizations. 

Hon. Joshua Alim (extreme left) administers the ribbon-cutting ceremony. Assisting him are (L-R) ICON Pres. Edwin Lariza; Ted Aldwin Ong, VP for NGOs; and Engr. Jonathan Ravena, Photo Artist League of Iloilo.

Hon. Joshua Alim (extreme left) administers the ribbon-cutting ceremony. Assisting him are (L-R) ICON Pres. Edwin Lariza; Ted Aldwin Ong, VP for NGOs; and Engr. Jonathan Ravena, Photo Artist League of Iloilo.

The celebration started with the Opening of Photo Exhibit at Robinsons Place on December 2 with Hon. Joshua Alim, Iloilo City councilor as guest. Alim was the author of the City Resolution institutionalizing the annual celebration. A forum on NGOs and Volunteerism was held the following day at 4th floor Henry Luce III Libraries, Central Philippine University. Sponsored by the Department of Social Work, the forum was graced by Bishop Leocito Gabo, professor of the College of Social Work and Community Development, University of the Philippines-Diliman.

Dr. Leocito "Tex" Gabo emphasizing the need to reclaim he noble heritage of Filipinos, particularly in service and volunteerism

Dr. Leocito “Tex” Gabo emphasizing the need to reclaim the noble heritage of Filipinos, particularly in service and volunteerism

On December 6, an NGO-PO Fellowship and Capability Building Seminar was held at 4th floor Henry Luce III Libraries, CPU under the sponsorship of the University Outreach Center. Dr. Juliana S. Seneriches, a forensic psychiatrist spoke on Psychological First Aid to assist the traumatized survivors. Seneriches is vice president of Anti- Trafficking In Persons Advocates Network (ATIPAN), Inc. A Volunteerism Sharing Session was facilitated by VOICE- Western Visayas and I SERVE after the seminar to celebrate the International Volunteers Day. To cap the celebration an advocacy-dialogue with University students was held at Central Philippine University on December 7. Attended by over 2,000 students, ICON officers and NGO leaders presented the noble heritage of NGOs and respective programs and services.

The annual celebration is done in partnership with the provincial and city government to give due recognition to the role of Non-government organizations (NGOs) and People’s Organizations (POs), and other civil society organizations in nation building. It has been institutionalized by Provincial Ordinance No. 2000-042 and City Regulation Ordinance 2001-190.

ORGANIZERS OF THE PHOTO EXHIBIT POSE FOR POSTERITY (L-R) Stazy Vencer, Edwin Lariza and Ted Aldwin Ong.

ORGANIZERS OF THE PHOTO EXHIBIT POSE FOR POSTERITY (L-R) Stazy Vencer, Edwin Lariza and Ted Aldwin Ong.

This year’s theme was supposedly intended to respond to the multi-billion pork barrel scam that has besmirched the noble aim and name of NGOs. In fact, the planned highlight of the celebration is the big gathering of NGOs and POs in the city and province of Iloilo to tackle the current national crisis brought about by the pork barrel scam. As well, as the subsequent backlash even to genuine organizations that have been consistently serving the marginalized sectors of the society. The NGOs felt the need to strengthen ranks through linkages and networking to safeguard the organizations from fly-by-night ones.

However, as it turned out, ICON President Edwin I. Lariza said that the highlight of the celebration was spent, instead, to discuss how NGOs can maximize participation in the on-going relief operation and sustain linkages and networking in helping in the rehabilitation or rebuilding process. “In this way, our theme will still be relevant in responding to the crises in our country in various fronts or aspects. In the midst of crises, let us continue to celebrate this milestone of networking in Iloilo, “Lariza added.

14th NGO PO Week

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NGOs to reclaim noble heritage

Non government organizations (NGOs) and People’s Organizations (POs) in Iloilo will highlight their noble heritage as they celebrate this year’s NGO PO Week on the first week of December. Under the theme, Reclaim our noble heritage: Sustain the power of networking, the week long celebration aims to bring to the public consciousness the role of NGOs in nation building.

The week-long celebration will kickoff with an ecumenical thanksgiving service on December 1. This will be followed by a motorcade around the Iloilo City at 7:00 am, the following day, to culminate with an Opening Program at the New Provincial Capitol. In the afternoon, a ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held at Robinson’s Place to commence the week-long photo exhibit showcasing the works of NGOs. On December 3, leaders of NGOs and POs will dialogue with the academic community at Central Philippine University related to the multi-billion pork barrel scam that dragged the NGOs into controversy.

14th NGO PO Week

On December 5, NGOs will join the national celebration of Volunteerism Day bu holgin a forum on Volunteerism at the City campus of University of the Philippines- Visayas. The following day a  gathering of NGOs and POs in the city and province of Iloilo will be held at Central Philippine University to tackle the current national crisis brought about by the pork barrel scam and subsequent backlash even to genuine organizations that have been consistently serving the marginalized sectors of the society. The need to strengthen their ranks through linkages and networking will also be tackled to safeguard the organizations from fly-by-night ones. Other highlights of the celebration are ICON General Assembly and Advocacy in academic institutions on December 6.
Spearheaded by the Iloilo Coalition of NGOs and POs (ICON), the annual celebration of the NGO PO week is observed by the virtue of Provincial Ordinance 2000-042 and City Regulation Ordinance 2001-190 in recognition of the role of the civil society organizations in nation building.

In a statement published on web, ICON has deplored the use of fake NGOs in a conspiracy to steal taxpayer’s money which besmirched the noble aim and name of non-government organizations . The Coalition has observed two angles in the current controversy- the systemic graft and corruption practices and the role of the NGOs.

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“We considered the act a double injury. The large -scale misuse of the people’s money is outrageous. Siphoning money out of government coffers thru fake NGOs adds insult to injury. For it besmirch the good image established by the genuine NGOs for decades. Worse, it provides justification to some government officials and local chief executives who do not feel comfortable with the watchful eyes of NGOs and their seeming intervention as provided for by the local government code in the Philippines,” ICON president Edwin I. Lariza, in a statement, said.

It is in this second angle that the Iloilo Coalition of NGOs and POs (ICON) decided to focus, While some members continue to actively take part in the local anti pork barrel movement representing their respective organizations, ICON has committed to inform the public about the existence and corresponding programs or services of genuine NGOs

While NGOs suffered backlash due to the current controversy, we consider the crisis an opportunity to bring to the public consciousness the role of NGOs in nation building. For indeed, one way of averting the systemic robbery in our government is to involve genuine NGOs in monitoring projects,” Lariza added.

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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. 

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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 elects officers

The Iloilo Coalition of NGOs and POs (ICON) has recently elected new set officers to lead the network for two years. Led by Rev. Edwin I. Lariza, as president, the other officers corresponding respective organizations are as follows: Bro. Edwin D. Araña, 1st Vice President, Creative Community Foundation; Mr. Ted Aldwin Ong, Vice President for NGOs, Freedom from Debt Coalition-Iloilo; Ms. Georie Pitong, Vice President for POs, Magsasaka at Siyentipiko sa Pag-unlad ng Agrikultura (MASIPAG); Mr. Eleazar R. Blando, General Secretary, Young Men Christian Association of Iloilo; Prof. Kareen Jay D. Lozada, Secretary, National Association for Social Work Education, Inc. Western Visayas; Mrs. Febie S. Ibojos, Treasurer, Signpost International, Inc.; Mr. Sandy Mecuando III, Auditor, Alliance of Social Workers, Welfare and Development advocates for Integrated service and Nationalism (ASIN); Prof. Ruben Gamala, Public Relations Officer, VOICE- Visayas.

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The following are the members of the Board of Directors: Miss Sunshine Grace Arquintillo, Volunteers for Integrated Public Service; Engr. Levi De Los Santos,Jr., University Outreach Center, Central Philippine University; Pastor Renato Fetalsana, Convention Baptist Ministers Association; Mr. Freddie Salvania, CPU Katin-aran Communities,,Inc;, Miss Stazy T. Vencer, Junior Social Workers Association; and Dr. Johnny Villanueva, Association of NSTP Coordinators-Western Visayas.

The induction of officers has been set on March 19 during the monthly forum sponsored by ICON and the Department of Social Work, Central Philippine University. The date falls on the celebration of the World Social Work Day under the banner of the Global Agenda’s theme “Promoting Social and Economic Equalities.” Rev. Lariza, ICON president, is the chairman of the Department of Social Work.

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It’s politics that sustains our network: Part III

Author’s Note: POLITICS was used as an acrostic/acronym  to capsulize the elements  that sustain the Iloilo Coalition of NGOs and POs (ICON). In the previous post the first four letters were presented, namely  Participation, Optimism, Lobbying, Integrity. The  remaining  four letters will be the focus of this last of the series of posts  on the message delivered by Rev. Edwin I. Lariza, ICON president,  during the  network’s Assembly of Leaders on December 6, 2012 at  the Conference Room, University Research Center, Central Philippine University to culminate the 13th NGO PO Week celebration in Iloilo. 

Tact

Our delicate condition as loose organization and task in coalition building has developed in us the skill to handle or deal with difficult or delicate situations. We have experienced crises but handled it with tact. I can still recall an instance when some of the member organizations protested against an electric company related to power supply and used our office for mobilization which created friction from other members who were supportive of the company. More important than citing other cases is the fact we were able to handle all these with tact and further developed our skills in handling more issues.

Interdependence

I always relate our relationship in the network to the beauty of the rainbow which is an excellent representation of systems theory. While there are only three primary colors (red, yellow, blue) there is a multiplication of colors when these link, interact, and overlap. Try to separate one from the other, and the beauty of rainbow is gone. Yes, it is our interdependence that gives color to our relationship, no mater how fragile it may be.

Coordination

The nature of our network is ambivalent. Since we are not implementor of projects we do not have much fund. On the other hand, we are not a threat to other organizations as we just facilitate and coordinate the welfare and development activities of NGOs and POs, as well as the government agencies in order to maximize resources.

Spirituality

By spirituality, I do not necessarily mean religiosity. Although we have religious sectors in our network since its founding. In fact, their presence have been instrumental in sustaining our integrity. However, spirituality is meant here as relationship among people, the non human environment and God. Thus, spirituality is eclectic and inclusive than religion. It encourages diversity and encompasses other relationship and beliefs. It is spirituality that serves as the well spring of our voluntary endeavors.

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Yes, it’s  politics (participation, optimism,lobbying, integrity, tact, interdependence, coordination, and spirituality) that sustained  our network for a dozen of years. We need more of these  politics  to sustain us in the next decades of networking towards development.”

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It’s politics that sustains our network

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Now that we have reached the 13th year of celebration, we are certain to sustain  the activity in the coming years. For number 13 has been considered both unlucky and lucky number. Countries around the world associated the number 13 with either luck or disaster.  Let the debates go on.  Regardless of  the result, the fact remains that  we have survived the 13th year which, for me,  assures us of  a bright future.

In the past  12 years we experienced both worlds – the peak and the lowest  condition of  the Iloilo Coalition of NGOs and POs (ICON)’s work  and problems in mobilization. To quote the wedding vow, we experienced “times of plenty and  times of want, sickness and health, joy and sorrow,  failure and  triumph.”

We experienced having two full time staff, as well as none. There was a time when both by necessity and in an attempt to restore the tradition of a  functional board, we decided  to do away with any staff.  While the idea was bright, we realized upon implementation that the situation had changed. The core group is now tied up to respective work unlike before  when they had the time within their disposal.

ICON is a story of struggles – from the lobbying stage for the institutionalization of the Non-government organization s and People’s organizations  (NGO PO)  Week to the 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.

We also  struggled to sustain both the coalition and  politics in the government.  We even had the foretaste of   tug-of-war  of  politicians at Capitol in  view of the May 2010  which  affected the release of  our budget. Our network was even affected by the transition of my work in CPU caused by changes in administration where  from administrative position that enhanced networking, I went  back to faculty status without even a permanent place  to stay.

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A review of the history will help us understand the state of our coalition,  learn lessons from the past to guide us in another decade of development. Circumstances, indeed,  had determined the nature of the organization. ICON is a by product of the NGO PO Week, Although the name was already christened for  the umbrella organization of the NGOs and POs accredited by the province when required to form by the accrediting body,  at that time.

Historically, the initiative came from the Iloilo Council of Social Development (ICSD), another loose network of welfare NGOs which can be categorized in the political spectrum as moderate. At that time, there was a realization that some NGOs were left behind.  The organizations managed    by veteran organizers always dominated the decision making and elections in meetings. So we decided to solidify our forces to capture the leadership in  the Provincial Development Council.

It worked out which resulted to our annual celebration for the benefit of broader numbers of NGOs and POs. Since then, circumstances also worked in favor of ICON both in the Provincial Development Council, City Development Council and other government agencies. We have reached the peak in mobilization reaching to thousands  which impressed both the government and private sectors. The provincial government has provided us office with increasing budget for the celebration. Even business groups and the academic community joined us.

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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

(to be continued)

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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 celebration to focus on developing the culture of volunteerism

PRESS RELEASE

The 13th year of the celebration of Non-government Organizations and People’s Organizations (NGO PO) Week on December 1-7 will emphasize the need to develop the value and culture of service and volunteerism. This was learned from Prof. Edwin Lariza, president of the Iloilo Coalition of Non-government Organizations and People’s Organizations (ICON) which spearheads the celebration in partnership with the city and provincial government of Iloilo.

Under the theme “Bag-ong Henerasyon: Kultura sang Pag-alagad Igapadayon,”the week-long celebration aims to instill into the minds of the public, especially youth and children the value and culture of service, volunteerism and peace. In this way, can we ensure the continuity and sustainability of our welfare and development endeavors, Prof. Lariza added.

 

The week-long celebration will kickoff with a motorcade on December 1, 7:00 am from Provincial Capitol to Central Philippine University for the Opening Program at the Rose Memorial Auditorium. Invited to grace the program are Gov. Arthur Defensor and Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog. On December 3, 2:00 pm, a Photo Exhibit showcasing the works of NGOs will be opened at the 2nd level of Gaisano City to last until December 9. Since December is considered Volunteerism month, ICON will sponsor two forum on volunteerism. The first will be held at Educational Media Center, CPU on December 4, 8:30 am. Another one will be at 5th floor Conference Room, New Provincial Capitol to culminate the Volunteerism Day on December 5. Other highlights of the celebration are ICON General Assembly and Advocacy in academic institutions on December 6 and 7, respectively.

The annual celebration of the NGO PO week is observed by the virtue of Provincial Ordinance 2000-042 and City Regulation Ordinance 2001-190 in recognition of the role of the civil society organizations in nation building. The move was initiated in 2000 by the Iloilo Council of Social Development, Inc. network of welfare and development NGOs and supported by other members of civil society organizations. Eventually, ICON was formally organized to lead the annual celebration.

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