Tag Archives: Province of Iloilo

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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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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