Tag Archives: NGOs

2013 in review: A year of NGO networking on web

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,100 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 18 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Classification of non-government organizations (NGOs)

In the previous posts we have started our discussion on  non-government organizations (NGOs), their history and the conditions that compelled them to establish networks. We even traced the history of networking of NGOs in the Philippines by looking on the  trend of the world history of NGOs – from relief and welfare endeavors to social reformation which eventually led to the transformation approach.

NGOs are simply agencies or groups which are different from government bodies. Quizon, as cited in Racellis (1998), defines NGOs: as private, voluntary organizations; social development agencies; or professional support; or cause oriented groups that are non-profit –oriented and legal, which are committed to the task of development and established primarily for socio-economic services, civic, religious, charitable and/or social welfare purposes.

They  emerged to respond to needs, which were not readily met by the government due to systemic limitations. With elite and/or traditional politicians at the helm of leadership, the government, most often, cannot initiate major reforms. This is a situation where NGOs take active role as catalysts for change. Providing stimuli for the various sectors of society to organize them, NGOs equip the poor with the important skills, knowledge and resource necessary in their struggle towards a better life and a more humane society, according to Aldaba (1993).

NGOs may be classified into various types according to different criteria, namely:  (1) Activities they perform, (2) Areas of operation, (3) Size or number of staff, (4) Sector they serve, (5) Ideological bias, and (6) Their initiators. Subsequently, there are NGOs that engage themselves in community organizing among peasants, workers, fisherfolks and urban poor. Their areas of operation range from local to international. Abad (1990) observed that NGOs reflect certain ideological leaning or persuasion depending on the sector that organized them, e.g., business, political, religious.

Korten (1990) classifies NGOs into four types, namely: 1) voluntary organizations (VOs); 2) public service contractors (PSC); 3) hybrid governmental/non- governmental organizations (GONGOS), and 4) people’s organization (POs). The first three NGOs are referred to as Third Party Organizations since they exist to serve the needs of the third party or those persons who are not members of the organization. The fourth sector is referred to as the First Party Organization, since they are basically governed and managed by the people themselves.

According to Korten, of the Third Party Organizations, VOs are distinctively value-driven, pursuing a social mission that make them relatively immune to the political agenda of either the government or the economic forces of the market place. Although small in size, their capacity for social and institutional innovation has been well developed. This feat is seldom found in government and business sectors. However, while VOs serve as channels for innovation, they are often placed in a controversial position as they pursue their commitment towards social change.

In this classification, PSCs are dependent on economic power in sustaining their program. They acquire their resources through the exchange and market of goods and services. They also tend to be responsive to economic needs rather than to genuine public service. In this type of NGO, the customer is the donor.

Korten observed that VOs and PSCs are, oftentimes, mistaken to be synonymous because of their characteristics as non- – profit organizations. Moreover, they have the same type of legal registration with similarities in mission statements. The difference, however, lies on their commitment. While the VOS are committed to social mission, PSCs are business – oriented. Unlike VOs, PSCs often evade advocacy and controversy.

As far as GONGOs are concerned, essentially they are instruments of the government in carrying its policies. Created and managed by the government, GONGOs are accountable to the state and not to their members or independent board. On the other hand, POs are organizations that represent their members’ interest. Characterized by self-reliance, they are considered organizations that are truly “ by the people, of the people and for the people.”


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History of Networking in the Philippines

The beginning of NGO networking in the Philippines, according to Alegre (1996), can be traced from the formation of the Council of Welfare Agencies Foundation of the Philippines, Inc. (CWAFPI), the forerunner of the present-day National Council of Social Development (NCSD). As early as 1952, a group of social work leaders organized the Philippine National Committee of the International Council on Social Welfare (ICSW). This eventually evolved into the Council of Welfare Agencies Foundation of the Philippines, Inc. (CWAFPI), the umbrella organization of the various welfare and civic organizations, e.g., the Catholic Women’s Clubs, Boy/Girl Scouts of the Philippines, National Red Cross, etc. which, up to this day, cater to such sectors as traditional women’s groups, children, the elderly, and persons with disabilities. 

The early organizational formation, however, is only one part of the story of networking with particular focus on welfare agencies. Alegre (1996) presented a comprehensive discussion of the factors that contributed to the growth and development of networking in the Philippine NGOs in his book Trends and Traditions; Challenges and Choices. This observation is complemented by a chronological presentation of the formation of nine mainstream national networks after NCSD in From the Present Looking Back: A History of Philippine NGO by Karina David (1998). Hence, the history of networking in the Philippine is better understood in the context of historical evolution of NGOs in the country. 

The story of Philippine NGOs generally follows the trend of the world history of NGOs- from relief and welfare endeavors to social reformation which eventually led to the transformation approach. Alegre (1996) divided the history of NGOs into six distinct phases rooted in key points in the country’s recent past, as follows:

American Colonial Period to Post WWII: Relief, Rehabilitation and Welfare

This period witnessed the emergence of voluntary, private initiatives that engaged mainly in relief and reconstruction work to support a war-ravaged country. Considered to be the first NGOs, their welfare endeavors continued even after normalization. Eventually, the welfare work was geared toward social reform, colored with anti- communist motivation, which concentrated on the problems in the countryside. The environment led to the setting up of the pioneer NGOs in the country: the Institute of Social Order in 1947 and the Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement in 1952.

The Deepening Social Crisis and the Rise of New Social Movements (1965-1972)

A conglomeration of events shaped the global and national sociopolitical landscape which affected the history of NGOs in the Philippines. On the one hand, there was a worldwide questioning of the previous development approach; an emergence of new theories of underdevelopment; highlight on revolutionary anti-colonial struggles; and change in the social directions of the Catholic Church which played a key role in this stage of development.

On the other hand, as the Philippine social situation was rapidly deteriorating, there was a resurgence of nationalism and student activism and a groundswell of public outrage, which culminated in the First Quarter Storm. At this period, grassroots organizing dominated the NGOs directions.

Two NGO networks were established during this time: the National Secretariat for Social Action (NASSA) and the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP) in 1967 and 1971, respectively. NASSA served as a clearinghouse and coordinating mechanism for the Philippine Catholic Church’s social involvement, while PBSP established itself as a network among business corporations and NGOs they supported.

This period also witnessed the emergence of the community organization approach as an alternative to the limitations of community development. This approach led to the establishment of the Philippine Ecumenical Council for Community Organization (PECCO) in 1971. As a result, many NGOs were organized bearing the new orientation/approach.

In 1972, after a series of informal meetings, ten NGOs with more traditional business and family foundations came together to form another network, the Association of Foundations (AF).

(To be continued)


Next post:  Coping with  Repression, Carving a Niche (1972-1978) and Expansion and Innovation (1978-1983).

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NGOs: A phenomenal movement to development

A phenomenal movement – the non-government organizations (NGOs) – came to aid world development and to establish outlooks and attitudes that laid the foundation for a modern development perspective. According to Alegre (1996) NGOs have emerged as a new catalyzing, social organization and as a significant player in development. They are increasingly significant actors in global governance and in international development.

Clarke (1994) provides the following explanation why NGOs play a prominent role in contemporary social movements, as follows: (1) Their access to significant source of funds from abroad; (2) Their capacity to generate the mass leaders needed to sustain social movements; (3) Their use of their direct experience in providing services to beneficiaries as a platform from which to engage in more political activity.

The role of NGOs, says Clarke, has resulted in two specific consequences: (1) A history of effective service delivery gives NGOs significant “legitimacy” in the eyes of other political actors; and (2) NGO political activity is informed by direct experience and is therefore more clearly based on practical experience.

In a broad sense, NGOs are simply agencies or groups which are different from government bodies. Quizon, as cited in Racellis (1998), defines NGOs: as private, voluntary organizations; social development agencies; or professional support; or cause oriented groups that are non-profit –oriented and legal, which are committed to the task of development and established primarily for socio-economic services, civic, religious, charitable and/or social welfare purposes. This definition covers the heterogeneous nature of NGOs as used in this study.

NGOs emerged to respond to needs, which were not readily met by the government due to systemic limitations. With elite and/or traditional politicians at the helm of leadership, the government, most often, cannot initiate major reforms. This is a situation where NGOs take active role as catalysts for change. Providing stimuli for the various sectors of society to organize them, NGOs equip the poor with the important skills, knowledge and resource necessary in their struggle towards a better life and a more humane society, according to Aldaba (1993).

Clark (1990) has vividly described the critical role NGOs have to play: Because of their international structure and linkages they have the potential to construct global networks of citizens pressure. Because they command a unique vantage point they are ideally placed to study and describe how contemporary crises affect the poor. Because of their size and flexibility they are able to experiment with new approaches to the crises and so, through demonstration, serve as pioneers or catalysts for government action. Because of their access to the media they are well placed to reach out with their message. And because they do not stand to make personal profit the public trusts them at large.

The critical role of NGOs as mentioned here, however, may not be applicable to all NGOs. More often than not, they are confronted with ambivalence. While their size and flexibility make it easily for them to adjust to changing circumstances and conditions in the implementation of programs and projects, they have a weak capacity to absorb bigger undertakings. Although aware of such limitations, NGOs are still hesitant to increase their size, fearing that their flexibility and dynamism may be sacrificed in the process.

Because they frequently pioneer new approaches and challenge development orthodoxy, NGOs are vulnerable to groups with vested interests. Consequently, the NGOs face the problem of either co-optation or reprisal from the government and other traditional power holders that want to maintain the status quo. Moreover, they have to deal with the proliferation of pseudo NGOs that undermine the sector’s credibility. A number of these pseudo NGOs set up not for any other purpose than to take advantage of funding sources for dubious or narrow purposes, according to Abad (1990).


First of  the series of posts on Networking as  Development Strategy of NGOs in the Province of Iloilo. Thesis requirement for my Master of Social Work degree from University of the Philippines-Diliman in 2000.

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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. 

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 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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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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