I have a dream. Just words. That one day this nation will achieve a just and humane society. There will be no longer great conflicts and our children will laugh and play. :))Ask me anything
Buwan na ng Hunyo. Should I be excited? Malapit na ang start of classes. Malapit na ang birthday ko. Maraming bagong mukha sa UP. Pero lahat ba sa atin ay makakadama ng excitement? Hindi. Nagtataasan na naman ang tuition fee sa mga paaralan. No tuition fee increase daw pero tumaas naman ang miscellaneous fee. Ano ba talaga? Paano tayo hahanap ng 20k na pang-tuition? Normal na ba talaga sa lipunang to na ang ating karapatan ay binabayaran? Dagdag pa diyan ang nagmamahalang school supplies. Kailan pa ba naging Hunyo ang buwan ng pagmamahal? Yan pong mga katanongan ang haharapin ng mga mag-aaral sa papalapit na pasukan. Yan po ang hamon ng bawat kabataan na kumilos para bagohin ang kasalukuyang sistema ng edukasyon. I see June as the start of mass campaigns. Feeling excited na ako para sa ating sama-samang kampanya para ibalik ang Hunyo bilang buwan ng pag-aaral. Hindi lang sa pagpasok ang tinutukoy ko kundi ang pag-aaral sa sitwasyon ng Philippine Educational System at kung paano natin isulong ang isang makabayan, makamasa, at siyentipikong edukasyon. Padayon! #Education4ALL
Practicum Blog Entry # 5
Kaabag sa Sugbo widens our perspective on people’s issues. As a network of 28 non-government organizations, it tackles on multisectoral concerns ranging from violence against women and children to the much broader framework of good governance. Those issues that are left behind by the government are the one’s given due credit by the “other” sector engaging in reforms so that the problems of the common people are brought up to the policy-making process of the government.
In the administration of NoyNoy Aquino, it is not so much known to us that part of its thrusts is to encourage civil society participation in every policy planning and implementation. Now, the importance of these new developments should be noted as these suggest an opening of many opportunities – opportunities for the marginalized sectors to voice out their legitimate demands. Government projects will never be realized without the involvement of the people directly or indirectly through organizations.
It is a challenge therefore, for us interns of Kaabag sa Sugbo to cast the first stone to these objectives. The membership profiling that we have been working since the start of our internship is now ready as an offshoot to the membership development plan which aims to strengthen and capacitate member organizations. Not to mention the experiences which supplied us with new perspectives in the NGO hopping we did, we also truly admired the inspiration we’ve got from the unwavering passion of non-profit organizations only fueled by their principle and commitment to serve.
At the start of our practicum, we did some clerical works and were assigned as secretariats in preparation for the CenVisNet General Assembly. We had a partial experience of organizing an event, at least on that particular day, that somehow gave us knowledge on how to initiate a formal event. We have been given the opportunity to be a real part of the team and we see to it that the program run smooth without any aberrations. The best thing that we had during that event was the interaction and the sense of fulfillment with meeting different people comprising the civil society. It was a success since we were able to invite representatives from government agencies (i.e. DILG, DENR, DA, and DBM) to have learning sessions as they presented their future projects and programs for the people.
Next stop to our profiling of members was the stakeholder’s consultation of the proposed Mega Cebu 2050. The same manner that Kaabag sa Sugbo envisions a unified, livable, inclusive, and sustainable Cebu, the Mega Cebu also aims to make this prospect into a reality. Although at the surface, the proposal to make Cebu a better place was all good, we still doubted the development that it is directed. We questioned the policy implementation of such grand plan and suggested that the marginalized sectors’ rights and welfare should never be compromised in the process and genuine consultation should always be upheld. We received a not-so-satisfying remark but what could we expect from an answer that assaults the very foundation of the said proposal.
As Iskolars ng Bayan, we stood firm as critical thinkers in our society. Yes, we are biased. We are biased for the interest of the marginalized and the oppressed. In other words, the welfare of the common good should always be considered in making policy decisions. In the case of our kind of work, we have seen how civil society organization operates. What can we do now is to help in facilitating the sustenance of advocacy-driven and service-oriented organizations so that the issues that they are pushing will be continually addressed by the government. After all, that is one feature of what good governance is all about (i.e. being responsive to the demands of the people). Towards the end, we suggest that all sectors should work hand in hand through a unity of purpose and a unity of action.
Practicum Blog Entry # 4
This week that just ended was one of the productive weeks I ever had. Productive in the sense that it utilized my energy into achieving my tasks like a laboring masses. But before that, we joined and participated in the “Mega Cebu 2050 Stakeholder’s Consultation” at the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Audio Visual Room. For my part, I represented the UP Cebu Student Council to voice out the opinion of an Iskolar ng Bayan on the proposed development of Cebu which was also presented in the Candidate’s Fora last week.
I had my initial doubts on the Mega Cebu plan. As I have learned in my political development class, not all the sectors involved are really part of the development especially on this grand plan that involves 13 cities from Danao City to Carcar City. Good to know that the main proponent of this called for a stakeholder’s consultation that was composed of several non-government organizations, members of the academe, students, and political leaders at the grassroots level. This would reflect the good governance procedure that they have been planning all throughout in addition to the inclusive, sustainable, livable development in Cebu which was also the same what Kaabag sa Sugbo envisions. However, as was observed in the presentation, I was amazed on the proposal to make Cebu as one of like that of Yokohama and any other first world landscapes. Sky-rise buildings dominated the images as well as the plan to make it livable like placing of biking lanes. However, I believed it was more than that. Focused group discussions are not enough to already say that all sectors are involved in the planning. The sectors that would be directly or indirectly affected should participate in the discussion, planning, formulation, and implementation for a holistic development and not just for a few individuals.
The next days of internship were spent on placing the files and all other things in the office to a box in preparation for the change of office. We officially transferred on Saturday and it was a very tiring work. We had to carry heavy loads of boxes and placed it in a proper position. At least it was compensated because we also had a heavy lunch afterwards. I just realized how hard it is for an office to be maintained in terms of logistical works. I hope that in the few days to come, our office will now be ready for the usual routine of work. Similarly as we call for the development which is directed to a win-win situation, we also want our working environment to be conducive to such an extent that we can facilitate in the smooth development of our work.
May 4, 2013
Practicum Blog Entry # 3
We began our activity this week by attending the Candidate’s Fora organized by the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Incorporated (RAFI) in partnership with other organizations including Kaabag sa Sugbo. Since we had no prior appointment for the interview of the profiling of members, we took the opportunity to hear the visions and plans of the candidates for the future of Cebu. Essentially, this is in a way to pledge a commitment for the Mega Cebu that the civil society organizations are envisioning in 2050. Both the candidates of Cebu City and Cebu province promised a sustainable and livable Cebu as they planned to make Metro Cebu just like any other first world cities. Employment, education, and health are the social aspects that the candidates wanted to focus.
After the forum, we headed back to the Kaabag sa Sugbo office and we were tasked to send the letter of invitation on the Mega Cebu stakeholder’s consultation that will be going to happen next Tuesday, May 7 at the RAFI’s office. We sent the letter usually through the fax machine and for some, we sent it by going personally to their office. Representatives from the students, academe, barangay officials, non government organizations, and other sectors were invited to take part in the consultation process. For my part, I was also being asked to attend as the current chairperson of the UP Cebu Student Council.
The next day, I took down the minutes of the human development committee meeting. Three members were present in addition to the Kaabag sa Subo network. The sponsored CenVisNet coordinator Aldwin Empaces laid out the first agendum by asking some inputs from each organization. He said it is necessary because they have a Misereor Project and he wanted to know where the organizations are heading. He had seven questions to ask.
Practicum Blog Entry # 2
The whole week was a blast! I already felt my responsibility as part of the organization. We were tasked to update the profile of the members of the Kaabag sa Sugbo (i.e. 23 permanent and 5 associate members) until May 20. In the first two days of the week, we were just assigned to encode the information that the last interns got from their interviews. However, it was not enough because their funding partners asked for more details of their operation. Miss Rosebell Balang, network coordinator of Kaabag, said “There are new developments that we need to document in our effort to have solid data to provide to our funding partners, Local Government Units and the Government Agencies. We will need to build an improved and updated database as we are moving into knowledge management for Social Development. Further, this profile will likewise upscale the membership development process”. So, basically, the information that we will get will be put in a database for easier access to the data.
On Wednesday, we had our first fieldwork. First, we interviewed a representative from Lihok Pilipina. Miss Lisa Tumulak is not new to us. We have already met her in the orientation of this OJT program and also in the general assembly of non-government organizations. She accommodated us very gently and answered questions on their nature, scope, and services of their organization. I was overwhelmed of how dedicated they were in attending to the victims of violence against women and children. They were not just limited to those services; they even provided medical referrals and trainings. The same is also true to other organizations we profiled - Children’s Legal Bureau (CLB), Soil and Water Conservation Foundation (SWCF), Dilaab Foundation, Pagtambayayong Foundation Incorporated (PFI), and the Commission on Service (Cebu Caritas Incorporated). I saw how committed and determined their organizations are in promoting the rights and welfare of the marginalized and downtrodden sectors in our society. It is just and right to give them voice and representation to the projects that the LGUs and government agencies will be implementing.
I always believe in the principle of social justice that those who have less in life should have more in law. But this is not happening in our country now. A recent statistics show that the poverty rate of the Philippines in seven years is unchanged. The laws and projects that are put into action are not pro-poor. That is why I understand that the number of non-government organizations and people’s organizations in our country is more than the number of islands we have. There our international and national organizations which are more than willing to help those community to alleviate their welfare. There are those people who are unwavering in their principle to provide services to those people in need. Now, it is high time that the political leaders will now do its part. They are elected in their positions to bring the interest of the majority. If they do not fulfill their duties then it is also essential for us to choose leaders who have the heart for the masses.
The presence of these organizations has one reason in common. They exist because there are issues to be addressed and they have goals to achieve. It is not necessary to rely on these programs of action to them. After all, they are not that sustainable given the limited budget that they have. What propelled them to go on is their principle. In just a week, I have learned these relevant realizations. It is also our responsibility to act on these matters as well. I hope for another week full of learning experience in the coming period of our internship. I want to know what we can do as students of a university that is funded by those taxes of the masses we want to serve.
Practicum Blog Entry # 1
It was a last minute change of plans but it was all worth it. From the tedious and bureaucratic process of the much-followed protocol of a government agency (i.e. Department of Social Welfare and Development) to the more relaxed and friendly environment (literally because of the presence of few trees) at Unit 103 Aborville Apartment, Osmena Boulevard where the office of the Kaabag Sa Sugbo is located, Jerrane and I had found not a hopeless but a promising place. We submitted our resume on April 18 together with Pep who also experienced the same fate as ours and were accepted right away without second thoughts. We started our work for the first day cutting sheets of paper and all those clerical stuffs. I was somehow bored at first because I thought it was not really an “On the Job Training” if we will work on these things the whole duration of our internship. I was eager to do fieldwork because that was supposed to be my plan upon applying for DSWD for their community development KALAHI-CIDDS project. Well, those were just my expectations. I did not know yet our schedule of activities and functions aside from the mission, vision, and the nature of Kaabag sa Sugbo.
“Kaabag sa Sugbo is a network of Cebu-based non-government organizations engaged in the various aspects of social development.
Vision - A unified, livable, equitable, and sustainable Cebu.
Mission - A network of Cebu – based NGOs engaging various stakeholders in effecting good governance”
We were informed that “tomorrow is a big day” so we had to brace ourselves. I was assigned to do the photo documentation. Sir Aldwyn, the regional coordinator of Central Visayas Network (CenVisNet) of NGOs and POs, said that I need to capture those scenes suggesting an action. Although I really don’t have the experience of those, I was able to manage my task well. On the day of the general assembly, I also learned a lot. We had learning sessions when the CenVisNet invited representatives from four government agencies namely – Departments of Internal and Local Government, Agriculture, Budget and Management, and Environment and Natural Resources. They presented their plans/programs of action that the civil society organizations can actually participate. Only then I have known that in Aquino’s presidency, the budget of each government agencies will not be approved without the engagement of the civil society groups. So, it is necessary that the non-government organizations as well as the people’s organization will be strengthened to cope up with this huge opportunity for them to have funding on their initiatives.
Overall, my work had just started for two days on that particular week. I look forward to many more activities of my chosen organization. I know that I have found an organization that best suits my expectations. More NGOs, POs, and government agencies and their dynamics are well-considered in this task of ours. We only need time to adjust ourselves in this new working environment. This is just the beginning and we hope for the best.