Tag Archives: Iloilo Coalition of NGOs and POs

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

Comments Off on ICON celebrates 14th NGO PO Week in Iloilo

Filed under Networking, NGO PO Week, Non-government organizations

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.

icon

“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.

Leave a comment

Filed under Networking, NGO PO Week

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under Forum

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.

Image

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.

Image

Leave a comment

Filed under Networking

It’s politics that sustains our network

Slide1

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.

ICON 2


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.

ICON 1

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)

____________________

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under Networking, NGO PO Week

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under Networking, NGO PO Week

Highlights of the 12th NGO PO Week in Iloilo (December 1-7, 2011)

With financial assistance from the Provincial Government of Iloilo under Gov. Arthur Defensor, Sr., the week-long celebration of the 12th NGO PO Week was successfully done as planned.

Bishop Leocito Gabo, professor of the College of Social Work and Community Development UP Diliman, stresses his point during the forum


The opening program was held at Central Philippine University after the motorcade around the city starting from the New Provincial Capitol Ground.

Part of the program was a forum related to the theme with panelists from government agency and non-government organizations.

CPU Social Work students render a musical number during the Opening Program

It was co-sponsored by the Department of Social Work, Central Philippine University (CPU)

Bro. Edwin Arana, ICON 1st VP, answers questions from the participants while the other panelists wait for their turn. With Bro. Edwin are Jairus Broce of Signpost, Intl., Alma Jornadal and Breccio Ostan from DSWD Regional office

ICON Gen Sec Bro. Andrew Escuban and Retired P/Inspector Erna Foerster, PALI adviser prepare for the Opening of Photo Exhibit at Amigo Plaza Mall. With them are Georie Pitong, ICON VP for POs and Debbie, a volunteer.

The second day witnessed the Opening of Photo Exhibit at Amigo Plaza Mall with Photo Artist League of Iloilo taking the lead.

Next day, Mangrove planting was simultaneously conducted in Leganes and North Baluarte, Iloilo City. The activity was co-sponsored by Freedom from Debt Coalition-Iloilo and Signpost, International. It was participated in by RISE, I STAND, Signpost, and NSTP-Literacy Training Service of Central Philippine University.

On December 4, an Ecumenical Thanksgiving Service was held at Jaro Biscocho Haus led by the Development Advocates and Workers Network (DAWN). The following day, DAWN sponsored a Gift Giving at MV Hechanova in Leganes.

Pastor Luel Declarador opens the forum with an invocation.

A Forum on Volunteerism was conducted at the 5th Floor Conference Room, New Provincial Capitol Bldg. on the 6th day of the celebration.

UP Prof. Ruben Gamala, ICON Board, serves as resource person in the forum at the New Provincial Capitol

It was well attended by Social Work students and Community Development student of CPU and Western Visayas College of Science and Technology, respectively. Other participants came from John B. Lacson Foundation Maritime University and non-government organizations. The forum was co-sponsored by Volunteer Organizations, Information, Communication Exchange (VOICE)-Visayas and Junior Social Workers Association.

YMCA Coordinator Eleazar Blando, panelist, receives his certificate of appreciation from Bro. Edwin Arana

The Culminating Activity was held at Henry Luce III Library, CPU. Co-sponsored by the Office for Student Affairs, CPU, the Capability Building Seminar on Project Proposal was similarly well attended by student leaders and ICON member organizations.

Leave a comment

Filed under Networking, NGO PO Week