Tag Archives: NGO PO Week

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.


“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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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. 


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.


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.


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.


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.


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: 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.



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.


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.


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.


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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ICON spearheads 12th NGO-PO Week celebration

For 12 years now, the Iloilo Coalition of Non-government Organizations and People’s Organizations (ICON) has been in the forefront of the celebration of NGO PO Week in Iloilo every first week of December. The affair aims to recognize the role of non-government organizations (NGOs) and people’s organizations (POs) in nation building.

This year’s theme is “4 Ps: Pagbuyloganay sang Pribado kag Publiko nga sektor para sa Pag-uswag.” 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 and Forum on 4Ps. Expected to grace the program are City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog and DSWD Director Minda Brigoli. Among the highlights of the celebration is a forum on Volunteerism scheduled on December 6 with Gov. Arthur Defensor, Sr. Other activities are as follows: Photo Exhibit at Amigo Plaza Mall on December 2; . Mangrove planting activities in North Baluarte, Iloilo City and Leganes on December 3; Ecumenical Thanksgiving Service and Capability Building Seminar on December 4 and December 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 spearheaded 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, the Iloilo Coalition of NGOs and POs (ICON) was formally organized to lead the annual celebration. Through this paper, ICON extends invitation to individuals, groups and organizations that want to participate in the week-long activities. Interested parties can contact Prof. Edwin I. Lariza at the Department of Social Work, Central Philippine University or through 09198757724.

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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.



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.


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

Sangguniang Panlalawigan

With our concurrence:
Floor Leader



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Introducing the ICON, Inc.

ICON stands for Iloilo Coalition of Non-government Organization and People’s Organizations. As the acronym implies, it is a symbol of unity among NGOs and POs in the City and Province of Iloilo. Starting as a loose coalition of NGOs and POs accredited by the Province of Iloilo, it has become a rallying point of other NGOs, POs and sectoral members of the civil society organizations. It is now open to other organizations that subscribe to the basis of unity of the Coalition.Each member network, federation, aggregation is automatically represented in the Council.


When the Provincial Development Council was reconvened in 1999, NGOs and POs accredited by the PDC were required to form a group to represent them in the local special bodies. Among the names suggested, ICON was chosen to symbolize the desired unity. While the representatives agreed to form just a loose organization for particular purpose, latter developments changed the course of history among NGO and PO Community in Iloilo.

On 2000, when the Iloilo Council of Social Development, Inc. (ICSD) spearheaded a move for the declaration of NGO-PO Week which subsequently became an ordinance, ICON has again became a point of convergence to enhance the participation of NGOs and POs in Iloilo. After two years of celebration, NGOs and POs feel the need to strengthen the network. The institutionalization of celebration necessitates the formalization of ICON. In 2002, the General Assembly decided to organize ICON and elected a Coordinating Board to lead the coalition. During the first NGO-PO Congress, the delegates ratified the Constitution, elected the Board of Directors and officers, and worked out for the registration of the organization with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Thereafter, ICON spearheads moves that unify various NGOs and POs. It has the distinction of being an organization that can cross boundaries, and diversified persuasions, approaches, and welfare and development actions.


Membership in ICON is open to individual NGOs and POs, networks, federations, aggregations, coalitions, etc. The organization is governed by Council of Leaders elected during the General Assembly provided that any network, federation, coalitions that applies for membership is automatically represented in such Council. Seven members of the Council are elected -at-large. The Council elects the Board of Director which, in turn, elects the ICON officers from among them.

VISION: Building Innovations in Networking towards Development (BIND)

MISSION: Link Individuals and Networks thru Keen Advocacy and Genuine and Effective Services (LINKAGES)

1.To spearhead the annual celebration of the NGO PO Week in Iloilo.
2. To represent the NGO-PO community when needed & serve as its mouthpiece on issues where it has to make stand.
3. To coordinate programs, service, and activities of NGO-PO to maximize resource for mutual benefit.
4. To mobilize human and material resources of the NGO-PO community in pursuit of social, economic, political, environmental, moral, ethical and other issues.
5. To serve as the center of information, education and communication dissemination of NGOs and POs in the city and province of Iloilo.



With an office located at the 2nd floor Old Provincial Capitol ICON serves as center of information and communication among NGOs, POs and the provincial and city government. In partnership with the Provincial Development Council, ICON sponsors a regular forum every 2nd Thursday of the month at the 5th Floor Conference Room, New Provincial Capitol Building. The forum serves as avenue for a healthy discussion on relevant issues and concerns, sharing of information and updates of the programs and services of the government and private sector, promotion and/or advocacies on welfare and development endeavors.

ICON co sponsors with the Department of Social Work, Central Philippine University a CATV program aired live over Channel 8, Sky Cable every Tuesday 7:30-9:00 pm. Dubbed Angtanay as Katin-aran (The People’s Development Network ). While the show focuses on the discussion on socio-economic, political, religious and cultural issues, it has two other features, namely Katuwang Sa Katin-aran (presentation of social welfare and development endeavors) and Buligay (Linking actual needs and resources).The network also maintains a radio program Pulong-pulong sa Katin-aran (Development Forum) over DYSI, GMA Super Radyon 1323 khz every Sunday 5:30 pm.


ICON coordinates the welfare and development activities of NGOs and POs, as well as the government agencies in order to maximize resources. The Coalition spearheads the annual celebration of the NGO-PO Week in Iloilo, December 1-7, by virtue of both city and provincial ordinances to recognize the role of NGOs and POs in nation building.

Organizational development

ICON either initiates or co-sponsors activities to strengthen the organizational capacity of member NGOs and POs and other organizations by sponsoring seminars, training, symposium, forum on Volunteerism, Social Mobilization, Fund Raising, etc.

Networking and Linkages

ICON initiates partnership with other civil society organizations, government agencies and other groups/associations who subscribe to its objectives and programs. It conducts regular Medical -dental Mission together with the Philippine Army, Iloilo Doctors College of Medicine Partnership for Health Project, etc.

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