Report from National Coordinator in the Philippines

Catching up with Events in the Pilot Cities

reported in July 2012

In July and early August, the DELGOSEA team in Manila made time to catch up with the progress of the different pilot cities in the Philippines.

Since pledges and contributions for the establishment ofBacolodYouth Home are coming in, the City Government decided to convene the Bacolod Consortium on PPPP to prepare for the acceptance of these donations. The Bacolod Consortium for PPPP was organized as follows: (1) the Management Board with honorary chair, honorary vice chair, overall chairperson from private sector and vice-chair, (2) the Secretariat to serve as the administrative arm, and (3) five committees were formed, namely, finance and resource management committee, project design committee, monitoring and evaluation committee, procurement & inventory committee and community & mobilization committee.  Based on the executive order issued by the City Mayor on 25 July 2012, the Bacolod Consortium on PPPP is composed of the government sector, civil society organizations, academia, the business sector and professional groups.

Councilor Em Ang will draft an ordinance to institutionalize the consortium so that it will go beyond the term of office of government officials in partnership with the city. The DELGOSEA TWG will help the consortium register with the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission).

The groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of the Bacolod Youth Home took place on August 2, 2012.  It was participated and witnessed by the partners of the Bacolod Consortium on PPPP, Virlanie Foundation, city officials, technical working team, city department heads and executive assistants, and Barangay Vista Alegre council. There were more than a hundred people including the residents of the Barangay Vista Alegre who attended the ceremony.  In addition, the Barangay Resolution No. 210 of Barangay Vista Alegre Council supporting the construction of the youth home was presented during the ceremony.

In Misamis Oriental, ManLuNa received the draft Local Investment and Incentives Code of each municipality bearing comments from the Department of Trade and Industry and Board of Investments.  The IMT also met with the Provincial Governor regarding the Eco-Cultural Tourism project and the preparation for the DELGOSEA final conference on August 7-8, 2012.

The successful inter-local cooperation in ManLuNa shifted up a gear as it signed a MOA with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and TESDA on Skills Registry System (SRS) at Marco Hotel, Cagayan de Oro City. This goes to show that inter-local cooperation among local governments would bring more accomplishments for the benefit of their constituents.

In Alaminos City, the construction of the wetland is progressing rapidly as more resources are channeled to the DELGOSEA project.  The city government expects to finish the constructed wetland by the end of the year.

Focusing on the Final Evaluation

reported in June 2012

The visit of Dr Marion Fisher, the external evaluator of the DELGOSEA project, was June’s highlight for the DELGOSEA Philippines team. Dr Fisher had talks with representatives of all the the pilot cities, in addition paying a visit to two pilot cities, Bacolod and the BinKiSu and the ManLuNa clusters in Misamis Oriental for some more in-depth interviews and observations.

In Bacolod, her programme included talks with the deputy mayor as well as with the chair of the social service committee of the city council, who played a crucial role in establishing the Bacolod Youth Home. A presentation by the Technical Working Group (TWG) on the progress of the best practice replication provided an insight into the achievements so far, with input from the engineering department, the Department of Social Services and Development (DSSD) and the city coordinator responsible for marketing of the project. Last, but not least, the program officer of the Virlanie Foundation, the main sponsor of the project, outlined their plans for supporting not just the construction of the youth home but the redevelopment of the whole area around it, Vista Allegre. A site visit to the Social Development Center, where children in conflict with law (CICLs) are currently staying and the proposed site of the new building of the Bacolod Youth Home rounded off the evaluator’s stay.

Next stop was the BinKiSu cluster in Misamis Oriental where the programme included many cultural displays and visits to tourist sites – befitting a project that was setting out to revive local traditions and to increase the area’s appeal to tourists by focusing on the cultural heritage. Dr Fisher met with the mayor and other municipal officials for a background briefing and attended a town hall meeting where a representative of the tourism office presented the achievements of BinKiSu in their best practice replication.  During a stakeholder dialogue, the representatives of each participating municipality were given the opportunity to discuss the status of their environment and investment code – an important element of the project’s structure.

ManLuNa, the second cluster in Misamis Oriental, which is also concentrating on eco-tourism and the revival of local traditions, was the final stop on the evaluator’s tour. Here as well, cultural shows were practical examples of what had been achieved so far. Dr Fisher was welcomed by the mayors of the various municipalities before the chairman of the Inter-Municipal Team (IMT) presented a detailed report on the progress of the replication so far. This was followed by a dialogue with key stakeholders from both government and the private sector, looking at how best to proceed with the project.

Monitoring and Other News from the Pilot Cities

reported in May 2012

The May monitoring visit to Misamis Oriental,conducted by a monitoring team headed by the executive director of LOGODEF on 14 and 15 May, coincided with the Naawan Fiesta Celebration where old cultural traditions and practices were highlighted. This gave the team an impression of the kind of activities, designed to preserve local heritage, that had been devised by the task forces of the two clusters. DELGOSEA publications were handed over to municipalites in the cluster as well as the Mindanao State University. In the BinKiSu cluster, the monitoring visit centered on the dialogue with the various stakeholders in Kinoguitan municipality, checking the progress on activities. Municipal officials confirmed that they already have a compilation of documents, pictures and stories about the history of the municipality. It also emerged that a private sector representative has offered to support the agri-tourism program of the municipality. After the briefing on the various initiatives of the municipality in replicating the best practice of Phuket, the mayor showed to the monitoring team on-going projects that will serve as tourist attraction such as the bay boulevard and the organic farm.

Key officials from the member municipalities of ManLuNa and BinKiSu have attended the capacity-building session on 16 May in Cagayan de Oro City to discuss the drafting of key operational guidelines for interlocal cooperation. The representatives of the League of Provinces of the Philippines, Director for Program Development Roberto Limbago, emphasised how relevant the experiences of the two clusters in cooperating as part of the DELGOSEA network are for the drafting of the guidelines.

The Alaminos Constructed Wetland Project Management and the coaches met on 22 May 2012 as part of the city’s monitoring visit to discuss the status of the construction of the wetland and other planned activities. The project monitoring team observed that there seemed to be not much progress in the wetland construction, which was explained by scheduling problems for the use of trucks that haul filling material to the site. These problems are now being addressed. The engineering design for the wetland was discussed, as well as marketing activities and capacity training design for the dialogue with stakeholders to be conducted the next day.

Around 16 representatives from civil society organizations and business establishments attended this dialogue workshop arranged by the project management team. The CSO participants highly appreciated the city’s constructed wetland project, particularly the feature of treating polluted water the natural inexpensive way. They were also surprised that many of the plants that are normally taken for granted can be used to clean dirty water and drive-away mosquitoes. After the workshop, the participants expressed their full support to the CW project by signing a pledge of commitment.  The activities that they promised to undertake include: to encourage their members to supply the materials and plants needed for the wetland park, to conduct information and dissemination campaigns and to support the collection, tagging and propagation of wetland plant species.

Finally, in Bacolod a capacity building workshop and planning session took place jointly with the Virlanie Foundation and the Bacolod Youth Home Technical Working Group (TWG). The first session dealt with how the Bacolod project team can mobilize local stakeholders. The aim is to further enhance Bacolod’s strategy in gathering support both from the private sector and the community. It was agreed that the TWG should finalize the plan so that it could be presented to a larger community, composed of all stakeholders, public and private alike. The specific and special needs of the juvenile delinquents were discussed, so that the design of the facility would take these needs into account. The team has also been reminded that for proper planning, they should also consider the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s (DSWD) standards for the operation of child-caring and welfare agencies. The Engineering Department presented alternative site development and the proposed building plan.  These presentations contributed much to the reworking of the plan. After the fine-tuning of these documents, the team is hopeful to present the first draft on 11 June 2012.

 

Replications in Full Swing across the Country

reported in April 2012

In Bacolodwhere the involvement of the Virlanie Foundation has given a great boost to the plans to construct a youth home, a meeting of all stakeholders, including representatives of the Foundation, took place during the routine monitoring visit from 19 – 20 April. To the delight of the DELGOSEA Philippines team, the Virlanie Foundation is keen to extend their support to include the development of the entire village of Vista Allegre where the Bacolod Youth Home will be constructed. A Memorandum of Understanding to that effect will be prepared. The Foundation is also offering to share their experiences in operating youth homes; the Bacolod government is happy to have such an experienced partner on board. As part of the monitoring visit, the DELGOSEA coach also conducted an interview with the chairman of Vista Allegre in which he expressed his support for the project and outlined the way in which it would benefit the entire community.

Last month, Alaminos had celebrated the beginning of the construction of the wetland to hold and clean the city’s wastewater and April saw the construction work progressing fast. The city mobilized heavy equipment, including trucks to fill the site with soil and boulders. In the meantime, the TWG started to prepare the development plan for the site, with a detailed engineering design to be drawn up later. There is, however, still a need to secure the environment compliance certificate (ECC) exemption from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). Several other operational problems were tackled and resolved by the TWG during its April meeting. A decision was also made to hold a forum where the city government will present the project to various stakeholders, in particular civil society organisations (CSOs) to get their commitment for supporting the project implementation.

Precisely such a kind of stakeholder consultation took place in theManLuNa Clusterin Misamis Oriental this month, concentrating on the replication of the best practice model of Phuket’s Old Town in the municipality of Manticao. The mayor shared the experience he made during this visit to Phuket, emphasizing that local culture and history as well as the preservation of local heritage was a key ingredient in the revival of the local economy on Old Phuket town. Manticao has already made some positive experiences with integrating elements of eco-tourism during the last Christmas celebrations and, more recently, by inviting the Higaonon tribe to share with the public their traditions and practices during the Municipal Foundation Day celebration.

Progress in All Three Pilot Cities

reported in March 2012

It was a productive month for all three Philippine pilot cities and the DELGOSEA Philippine team was kept busy keeping track of all the events.

In Alaminos, the city that is part of the One Pangasinan Alliance of Local Government Units (OPAL), it was time at last to sign a memorandum of agreement (MOA) on the site for the constructed wetland between the city and a private landowner – a major breakthrough! The city government is now authorized to use this privately owned land for public purposes, agreeing in return to cover all expenses of the construction. This is a triumph for the concept of public-private-people partnership and will help the project to move along rapidly. After the signing of the MOA, a ‘groundbreaking’ ceremony took place, signaling the start of the actual wetland construction. It is planned to have the wetland finished and ready for use before the end of the DELGOSEA project in August 2012.

In the ManLuNa cluster in Misamis Oriental, progress was made on the legislative front: during the monthly conference of mayors (COM) the plans for the community-based eco-cultural tourism development as well as the management plan for this undertaking were discussed and submitted for review. A good example for attempts to revive old cultural traditions with the aim of attracting more tourists to the region were the celebrations for the anniversary of the founding of Lugait’s (a city within the cluster), which featured traditional dances and parades.

In the BinKiSu cluster, municipal officials attended a workshop for the formulation of a community-based eco-cultural tourism development and management plan that will be discussed at their next COM. Once all the legal and administrative hurdles have been taken, the development of concrete activities can begin!

Last, but not least, Bacolod played host to their best practice city: a delegation from Toul Sangke in Cambodia came to learn from Bacolod. During the initial study visit by the Philippine City to Cambodia, both parties found so much common ground and many shared interests that an impromptu return visit was agreed – not just for the representatives of Bacolod to learn even more from the Cambodians, but also for the councillors from Toul Sangke to adapt ideas from Bacolod for their own city. The delegation visited the site of the planned youth home as well as the social development center, which provided a good practical illustration to the video presentation about the city and the project with which the visit had started. Both sides were very pleased with the visit and are looking forward to continuing their mutually beneficial cooperation.

Monitoring Resumes in Misamis Oriental

reported in February 2012

In February, it was the turn of the two administrative clusters in Misamis Oriental, ManLuNa and BinKiSu to receive the DELGOSEA monitoring team for their 3rd visit. The emphasis in both municipalities was on the revision of the logical framework to incorporate suggestions for changes made by the project evaluator. This, of course, led to corresponding changes to the respective transfer concepts, which were then approved by the coordination committees (COM) of both clusters. As a next step, the plan of activities had to be adjusted, so that all major activities, such as the inventory of historically significant landmarks, the public awareness campaign and the community skills training are scheduled be finished by the end of May.

There were some exciting developments in Bacolod City as well, with the Virlanie Foundation indicating an interest to support the Bacolod Youth Home Project both financially and ideologically. The aspect of people-public-private partnership (PPPP) is of particular interest to the Foundation, and the DELGOSEA team is very pleased to have it as a partner. Virlanie Foundation is proposing to finance the first phase of the construction of the Home, amounting to 8.5 millions Pesos and negotiations for a memorandum of understanding with the city government are currently under way. In addition, they are preparing a project proposal that will include activities other than just the construction of the Bacolod Youth Home within the PPPP framework for funding by corporate foundations. To ensure that the cooperation leads to a major benefit for the project, some adjustment were made in the timeframe for Bacolod's activities, with some major events such as the development partners' forum postponed until the MOA is signed.

Progress was also made in Alaminos where some the legal issues surrounding the planned construction of a wetland for clearing wastewater in the city were sorted out - the replication can begin!

Concentrating on Alaminos

reported in January 2012

Following their trips to Alaminos in November and December 2011, the DELGOSEA monitoring team visited the city again from 25 – 27 January, keen to follow up on developments and to assist the city’s taskforce in reaching their targets. The objective of the visit was to update and finalize the logical framework of the project, to check on the status of the land acquisition negotiations and to agree on activities still to be implemented before the end of the project.

It was a very productive couple of days: in various meetings, the timing of activities was finalized, realistic outputs and outcomes of these activities were defined and a clear timeline was set. Since the biggest obstacle to the replication of the best practice in Alaminos City was the unavailability of a suitable place for the wetland to be constructed, the monitoring team was particularly pleased that a Memorandum of Agreement about the salethe long term lease of the land could be drawn up with one landowner. The city now has to secure the environment compliance certificate (ECC) from the Department of Natural and Environmental Resources (DENR) - the final hurdle before the construction of the wetland can be started. This is, however, a routine procedure and since all the equipment needed for the work as well as a project management team is in place already, the actual wetland construction can begin soon.

January was also a month to concentrate on some administrative matters: the DELGOSEA team in Manila was busy with end of the year reporting commitments, preparing the internal interim report as well as the financial report and catching up on monitoring reports.

Monitoring Activities are Continuing

reported in December 2011

Despite the whole country being busy with the run-up to Christmas (a big occasion in the Philippines), the DELGOSEA team in Manila managed to keep up with their monitoring schedule and all the other necessary work.

The first major activity was the coordination meeting taking place from 7 – 8 December in Manila, gathering all the country coordinators for an exchange of experiences after the first monitoring visits had been conducted. The planned activities for 2012 were also discussed as well as training needs, communication and reporting issues. This proved a very useful exercise and the team members came away full of enthusiasm for the year ahead.

Following the first full monitoring visit in November, there were follow-up meetings in Bacolod between the DELGOSEA national coordinator, the city’s coach and the head of the Department for Social Services and Development to discuss the priority activities for 2012. It was agreed to start with to convening a forum for development partners to mobilize resources for the construction and operation of the Bacolod Youth Home. An interview with some parents of children in conflict with the law shed further light on the needs of this target group.

Concentrating on Monitoring

reported in November 2011

For the DELGOSEA Philippines team, November was all about monitoring. After the initial visits to the two clusters in Misamis Oriental, ManLuNa and BinKiSu, the two cities started to revise their logframes, taking into account the comments of the monitoring team. After some feedback on these logframes from the project evaluator, work is continuing on putting all the details in place, so that the project can progress smoothly into the next year. Both mayors and members of the inter-municipal team (IMT) cluster also attended a forum on land use planning and responsible local governance, organized jointly by LOGODEF and GIZ, to enhance their knowledge of planning and inter-local cooperation.

In early November it was the turn of Alaminos to receive their first monitoring visit – a chance to review the logframe and start with making some changes. The dovetailing of increased incomes of farmers and fishermen as a result of increased tourism activities was dropped in favour of improving living conditions in the community. It was particularly positive that the question of where to construct the wetland is being solved – quite a breakthrough! During their visit, the Technical Working Group also took the opportunity to present the project to the local media, hosting an open forum for media representatives.

Next on the list was Bacolod City where everybody was pleased to discover that the replication process was on track! The city’s legislative council had just approved the ordinance to establish a Bacolod Youth Home – the legal foundation for the establishment and operation of a center for children in conflict with the law is laid and the real work can begin. Here as well, the logframe was updated to ensure that the project would stay on course over the next months.

Spotlight on Misamis Oriental

reported in October 2011

The DELGOSEA Philippines team had a busy time in October, concentrating on the first monitoring visits to two of the pilot cities – pilot clusters to be precise, both in Misamis Oriental.

In the ManLuNa cluster the monitoring team, led by representatives of LOGODEF, attended the 3rd Executive and Legislative Conference, where municipal officials approved the various activities under the DELGOSEA project and decided on a meeting to discuss the follow up on actions needed for the implementation of the identified best practices.

During a meeting with the governor of Misamis Oriental, Mr Moreno, the governor expressed his full support for the project of the two clusters in reviving traditions and conserving the rich historical and architectural heritage of the province as a way to promote tourism, making staff available to follow the replication process closely.

Moving on to BinKiSu cluster, the monitoring team attended the Joint COM-IMT Conference, which came to several important decisions regarding the implementation of the best practice. Site visits to several tourist attractions in the three parts of the cluster followed, giving the monitoring team a first impression of the scope of the projects.

As part of its capacity building assistance to Misamis Oriental, LOGODEF in cooperation with DELGOSEA presented the innovative ‘programs on demand’ (POD) scheme to the local government there – making available online the knowledge products and tools developed to aid local officials and bureaucrats deliver services more effectively. This will help to fast-track capacity development of such officials through online trainings or ‘webinars’ and will strengthen local institutions through the re-introduction of democratic concepts such as inclusiveness, participation, transparency and cooperation.

At the end of the informative and useful trip, the monitoring team felt confident about the progress of both pilot cities!

Visiting Thailand - A Study Tour to Udonthani

reported in September 2011

In September as well, exchange visits continued to play a big role in the activities of the Philippine DELGOSEA team. From 5 - 8 September, eight members from the Alaminos city council, led by the mayor, visited Udonthani in Thailand to get an impression of how a wetland for wastewater treatment could be constructed.

The trip was most informative and reassured the visitors that they had selected a good best practice example: constructed wetland was indeed easy to design with low maintenance costs, therefore not requiring a large budget. A natural process is used to treat the wastewater, i.e. it is environmentally friendly. To their relief, the delegates concluded that this best practice example would be easy to implement, as long as some support measures were in place: popular support from the community and an integration into other environmental initiatives and legislation.

However, ultimately the visit resulted in the members of the delegation deciding to not completely abandon, but certainly to postpone the originally planned replication, and to start afresh with a pilot project closely resembling the actual design of the Thai best practice model. This means that Alaminos city will improve its canal system which has wastewater in it, channel this wastewater into a series of ponds for natural wastewater treatment before releasing the water back to the canal system that will ultimately drain into the waters into the Hundred Islands National Park. Meanwhile, the more capital-intensive coastal constructed wetland, earlier proposed in Barangay Lucap, will be undertaken at a future date.

Following the tour a coordination meeting between the Philippine national coordinator, the two coaches and the Alaminos taskforce took place on 19 September to adapt the transfer concept, logical framework and implementation schedules in light of the results from the study tour.

Preparing for the Midterm Conference

reported on September 2011

Even though the DELGOSEA midterm conference was taking part in Batam, Indonesia, the Philippine office was busy preparing the Philippine delegation as well as the displays for the market place session. A total of 22 representatives of the national government, local government associations, pilot cities, as well as coaches and staff of the coordination office attended the conference from 27 – 28 September, with some of them staying on for the monitoring training held on 29 September. During the market place session, the pilot cities displayed their replication process.

Exchange Visits are Dominating the Agenda in August

reported in August 2011

Yet again, study tours were the main preoccupation of the Philippine DELGOSEA team in August. First of all, there was a Philippine delegation from Bacolod City, consisting of the mayor, several councillors and administrators, visiting Toul Sangke in Cambodia from 1 - 4 August to gain further understanding of the 'People-Private-Public Partnership (PPPP) to Improve Local Infrastructure' best practice example. The group met with Toul Sangke councillors and staff for an informative session, learning about Cambodia's development reform programme and the structures in the municipality. This was followed by talks with a variety of representatives of the local community and business. One of the highlights of the trip was of course the practical aspect, walking around the community and experiencing first-hand the transformation brought about by the improvement of the infrastructure.

The visitors were very impressed by their host city - in spite of Toule Sangke being positioned at the lowest tier of the local government structure in Cambodia, it was able to mobilise resources to construct roads and a drainage system. The Philippine delegation felt that this was an encouraging sign, showing that a lot can be accomplished if there is the political will and strong involvement by the local community, regardless of the size of an LGU. People's participation was seen to be the key to success, leading to a sense of ownership in the project.

All in all, the visit was a very positive experience, and at the debriefing meeting with the Sangkat council, it was agreed to pursue future bilateral cooperation. Bacolod City decided to revise their transfer concept to incorporate activities that will increase stakeholder participation in the second phase of the project.

Another aspect of exchange visits that kept the coordination team busy was the coordination of the study tours from Cambodia and Vietnam taking place from 2 - 5 August. The participants were able to visit two elementary schools and learn from pupils and teachers about their participation in the programme, talk to city officials about the implementation details and the success of the programme as well as seeing some of the other environmental projects that are being carried out by the city.

Welcoming Indonesian Pilot Cities

reported in July 2011

After having been part of an exchange visit to Thailand in June, DELGOSEA Philippines was delighted to have the opportunity to play hosts to two Indonesian delegations in July. The first one, from Pangkalpinang City, visited Tubigol on Bohol from 4 -8 July to take a look at the mariculture best practice example. The participants, officials from the city, the local coaches and staff from the local government association, were shown in detail how the project had been planned and implemented – fish cages had put an end to illegal fishing and a newly planted mangrove forest led to an increase in the export of aquarium fishes and other marine products such as shells. 

The second delegation, consisting of officials from Kupang and Tarakan municipalities accompanied by their coaches and coordination staff from DELGOSEA Indonesia, toured Marikina City from 27 – 30 July. They were keen to gain more insights on the city’s innovative Eco-Savers project: an ingenious concept, drawing on the cooperation with local schools to help collect recyclable waste, for dealing with the problem of household waste and encourage environmental awareness in the younger generation. A meeting with pupils of participating elementary schools who impressed the participants with their detailed knowledge of the recycling process, proved one of the highlights of the visit.

 

Training of Trainers: Secrets Revealed

reported in July 2011

As part of a series of trainings to develop the capacity of local stakeholders, a training course  took place in the Philippines from 19 – 22 July. Attended by 14 of the Philippine pilot cities coordinators, coaches and staff of four local government unions (LGU), the workshop focused on capacity building in the public sector as a tool to mobilize stakeholders to participate in the replication of best practices from other countries. At the end of the three days, the participants were able to develop action plans for the pilot areas. The workshop was seen as a great success, with 85% of participants being highly satisfied, the remaining 15% satisfied with their experience. No doubt, this positive experience will make them even keener to share their newly acquired knowledge with LGU officials and member LGUs.

Spotlight on Exchange Visits

reported in June 2011

For the Philippine DELGOSEA team, as for others, June was a time to focus on the first exchange visits taking place, with a Philippine delegation from ManLuNa cluster of Misamis Oriental visiting Old Phuket in Thailand from 6 – 11 June 2011. The aim was to gain more insight into the best practices, which made the revitalisation of the town so successful.

The delegation, consisting of eight LGU officials and led by two mayors, met with their counterparts in Phuket for an intensive exchange of experiences. The participants particularly enjoyed the detailed introduction by a local expert, Dr Yongthanit Pimonsatein, of how the town started the conservation process and the revival of old traditions. For many in the delegation, the focus on heritage as a means of attracting tourism proved a revelation – the region had so far been relied on its beautiful beaches and resorts to develop the industry. However, Phuket’s experience that the tourists of today are as interested in history as in sun-bathing, inspired the participants and encouraged them in their attempts to preserve historical places and cultural traditions.

The delegation was well briefed by the different stakeholders, who were involved in making the project a success: the Tourism Authority of Thailand, the Ministry of Tourism and Culture as well as representatives of the private sector, civil society and the Old Town community. The role of these stakeholders was of particular interest to the visitors, who explored together with their hosts various ways of drawing in the local population. Without such engagement at the local level, the best efforts of the council will come to nothing; the delegation was impressed by the ways that had been found to make the people feel part of a joint enterprise.

Some of the members of the delegation also paid a short visit to Muangklang, also in Thailand, to look at the city’s environmental best practice, hoping to gain inspiration for the way waste was managed and even turned into a commercial success.

Multi-stakeholder Participation in the First National Workshop

 reported in May 2011

Aside from the representatives from pilot areas, partner local government associations, relevant national government agencies, nongovernment and civil society organizations, academic sectors, national legislative branches and development organizations attended the National Workshop held last May 5, 2011.

The pilot areas said that the workshop helped them identify the weak points of their action plans, and at the same time it provided a venue for deliberating on the missing components which they can incorporate in the transfer concepts. Due to the participation of an array of organizations, various perspectives and insights have been raised which paved way for a more comprehensive and multidimensional approach on formulating a replication plan.  This would definitely help improve the transfer concept plan of the pilot LGUs.  Moreover, opening their communities to a larger network makes it possible for them to easily tap relevant institutions that could support them in the optimum project implementation. The network and contacts that the pilot areas built at the national level will transcend DELGOSEA project lifetime and may possibly pave the way for future partnerships that could either sustain and strengthen the existing project or open new ones.

Knowledge-Management System, insofar as proper organization of information for purposes of sharing and dissemination among the project team and external audiences is seen helpful. DELGOSEA Philippines explored new multimedia tools like teleconferences, event web-casting or live streaming enhance participation of, networking with and popularization among groups outside the project.The services offered by the portal of good local governance or portgoodlog which is a LOGODEF-initiated project integrating all of its programs into one system was explored as communication tool. The local governance media or LogMed (www.portgoodlog.org), one of portal’s key services and featuring regular interactive programs with local government leaders, experts, business and civil society organizations, was used to broadcast the activities of the national workshop which were viewed by both national and international participants.

While the means of communication modernizes, DELGOSEA Philippines still makes it a point to meet the representatives of the pilot cities personally. Since, the project deals mainly with local governments modern technology can never replaced personal interaction. 

DELGOSEA Philippines, Transfer Concepts and Exchange Visits

reported in April 2011

After wrapping up the follow-up meetings with the pilot cities, DELGOSEA Philippines has been busy in assisting pilot cities developing their transfer concepts. From workshop design to participants, DELGOSEA Philippines graciously offers its services to the pilot cities. It provides support to the coaches by organizing capacity-building trainings/ workshops. DELGOSEA Philippines reasoned that these trainings and workshops will aid the coaches undertake their work in the pilot cities.

Another activity that DELGOSEA Philippines is busy working on is the exchange visits. On the BP side, representatives from Indonesia, Cambodia, and Vietnam are set to visit Marikina City and Tubigon to better understand the BP Models from these areas.  While on the Pilot side, Alaminos City, Bacolod, and Manluna & Binkisu will go to Udonthani, Toul Sangke, and Phuket cities respectively, to familiarize themselves with the BPs in these areas. Both exchanges require preparations and coordination with BP sites and pilot cities.  

Working Groups and Coaches Facilitate Replication

reported in April 2011

Local task forces together with experts and Pattaya-trained coaches facilitate replication in pilot areas. In Misamis Oriental (MisOr), the provincial office of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) serves as MisOr Working Group’s (“MWG”) coordinator.  MWG utilizes the existing structure in the province, spearheaded by the Conference of Mayors (CoM). The development of the transfer Concept is facilitated by Prof. Alicia Adolfo, member of the academe who has worked with the local governments. She constantly consults and closely works with the DILG in MisOr and the development officers of the member municipalities of BinKiSu and ManLuNa clusters in formulating the Transfer Concepts.

Similarly, Bacolod City established a Management team (“BCMT”) chaired by the City Mayor. The BCMT manages the development of the transfer concept for the youth home while the Project Team (“BCPT”) headed by Dr. Rogelio Balo, City Administrator assists in formulating the Transfer Concept. The responsibilities and composition of these groups, BCMT and BCPT are formalized through an Executive Order issued by the Mayor. In terms of formalizing the structure, the same is true in Alaminos City. The Mayor also issued an Executive Order reconstituting the project team headed by the City Administrator and Urban Environment Coach, Col. Wilmer Panabang with his colleagues from the City Planning and Development Office.  For developing the transfer concept, two of Urban Environment coaches trained in Pattaya, namely; Dr. Arlen Ancheta and Mr. Patricio De Quiros in close coordination with the team of Col. Panabang worked together in drafting the City’s transfer concept.

These local taskforces are responsible for coordinating, managing, and monitoring the progress of replication in their respective areas while the coaches and experts, helped the pilot areas get familiar with the BP models. With their help, transfer concepts in pilot areas will be finalized in June 2011.

Follow-up Meetings Yielded Positive Results 

reported in March 2011

March 2011 has been a busy month for DELGOSEA Philippines as follow-up meetings were conducted in the three pilot sites namely; ManLuna and Binkisu, One Pangasinan Alliance of Local Government Units (OPAL), and Bacolod City. The follow-up meeting in ManLuna and Binkisu cemented the support of the conference of mayors and provided the participants with clear ideas to develop the transfer concept.

In the case of OPAL, the follow-up meeting enabled Alaminos City to finalize the details of the Transfer Concept Development Workshop and the identification of issues and challenges that surfaced with the new site for the constructed wetland. Issues such as relocating the informal settlers in the identified site, new requirements of a coastal area and possible conflict with the national agency, Philippine Tourism Authority on some establishments located on the identified site are some of the challenges that surfaced during the follow-up meeting. These provide significant inputs on the contract of the facilitators identified to assist Alaminos City.

For Bacolod City, the follow-up meeting helped in getting the support of local stakeholders, solidified agreements for regular consultation, updated the project’s timetable and resulted in the creation of a task force for module writing. The meeting also provided a venue to build awareness on the DELGOSEA project among local stakeholders.

DELGOSEA Philippines Expanding Networks

reported in February 2011

Aside from ensuring the timely execution of project activities, DELGOSEA Philippines expands its network every time it conducts new or follow-up meetings. As the knowledge of local team increases in implementing the project, every visit of the representatives from the Philippine Coordination Office headed by National Coordinator, Mr. Cresencio Doma, Jr. (“Buboy”) resulted in meeting more people interested in helping implement the project on the three pilot sites.

In Misamis Oriental, academic institutions such as the Cagayan de Oro College-Phinma Education Network, Bukidnon State University and the provincial office of the Department of the Interior and Local Government have been involved in the project. On the other hand, the Department of Social Welfare and Development, business, academe, non-government organizations, and some professional groups committed to support the construction of a youth home in Bacolod City. Partnership with a world-renowned housing and settlements organization, Gawad Kalinga,top billed networking in Alaminos City.

DELGOSEA Philippines meet in Pilot Cities

reported in January 2011

DELGOSEA National Coordinator in Philippines, Mr. Crescencio M.Doma Jr., has organized coordination meetings with pilot cities’ representatives between December 2010 to January 2011 to discuss the next step on Best Practices Transfer Concept development and replication plans.

On December 14, 2010, the first coordination meeting was conducted with Alaminos City, one member of the One Pangasinan Alliance of Local Government Unit (OPAL), which is also DELGOSEA pilot area. Col. Wilmer Panabang, Alaminos City Administrator and also one of the Pataya ToT participants shared the historical background behind the creation of the OPAL cluster of municipalities; its vision, mission and goals and recent achievements. Meanwhile, Engr. Roel Añonuevo, the City Planning and Development Officer, discussed their action plan related to the DELGOSEA Best Practice (BP) replication and showed the meeting participants their target site for the proposed Constructed Wetland based on the BP Constructed Wetland for Municipal Wastewater Treatment from Udonthani, Thailand. Based on the plan presented, the constructed wetland will be targeting waste waters from the residences and the market site to be linked to the constructed wetland. 

The second coordination meeting was with Bacolod City on January 7, 2011. DELGOSEA team was received by Vice Mayor Jude Thaddeus Sayson of Bacolod City, City Administrator Rogelio Balo, and Human Resource Head Gilda Lluisma.  A working committee which will be directly involved in the formulation of the transfer concept and its composition has been established according to Ms Lluisma.

A news article on this coordination visit was covered by The Visayan Daily Star, a local paper in Bacolod City; http://www.visayandailystar.com/2011/January/08/topstory9.html . Bacolod city will replicate BP on People-Private-Public Partnership (PPPP) to Improve Local Infrastructure from Toul Sangke Sangkat, Cambodia.

The province of Misamis Oriental, particularly the town of Naawan hosted the 3rd Coordination Meeting for the Project on January 17, 2011.  Mayors and other members of the Council of the member municipalities of ManLuNa and BinKiSu were present during his meeting.  DELGOSEA team was warmly received by Mayor Jaime Roa of Naawan and his Council as well as Mr. Ponciano Caberte, Provincial Director of DILG Misamis Oriental.  Also present were representatives from the Department of Tourism-Provincial Office.  Mr. Salvador Almiñe, participant in the ToT at Pattaya presented the action plan of ManLuna in relation to the replication of BP on the Preserving Old Town Architecture and Reviving Traditions as Tourist Attraction and Economic Driver from Phuket, Thailand.

Other participants were so interested with the project and shared their insights as well as their apprehensions with regard to its requirements. The representative from the local tourism office expressed their interest to be involved in the Project since they felt that more has to be explored before it should proceed. They stressed the need for further consultation with the base sectors of the municipality or the clusters in such a way that it will generate more support from the public and be assured of its successful implementation. Meanwhile, the BinKiSu representatives felt that another round of meeting should be done in BinKiSu and requested that Mr. Almiñe should again do the same presentation in the area (BinKiSu) so that those who were not able to attend the Naawan meeting would better understand what the Phuket BP model is all about and be able to contribute to its implementation later.  Representatives from the academe also expressed their willingness to extend the necessary support to the Project.  A resort owner who showed interest to get involved in the replication implementation later invited participants to visit the resort and check the viability of reviving tourism industry in the area.

COORDINATION MEETING IN PILOT AREAS ORGANIZED

reported in January 2011

Despite the holidays and busy schedule, DELGOSEA Philippines has successfully organized coordination meetings in three pilot areas from December 2010 to January 2011. First stop is Alaminos City for the One Pangasinan Alliance of Local Government Units (OPAL). The meeting was organized on 14 December 2010. Col. Wilmer Panabang, Alaminos City Administrator welcomed the delegation headed by the DELGOSEA Project Manager, Susanne Stephan (“Susanne”). Also in attendance are DELGOSEA Philippines Coordinator Mr. Crescencio M. Doma Jr. (“Buboy”), and Administrative Assistant, Sheryll Bayan. During the visit, guests and participants had a clear understanding of OPAL as Col. Panabang discussed its history, reason for creation, vision, mission and goal. As regards the project Action Plan, Engr. Roel Añonuevo, the Alaminos City Planning and Development Officer, discussed activities relating to the proposed Constructed Wetland based on the BP Model from Udonthani, Thailand. During the discussion, it was learned that the cluster of municipalities have decided to do a pilot project implementation in Alaminos City. The municipal mayors further affirmed their support to the DELGOSEA Project.  Based on the plan presented, the constructed wetland will be built near the poblacion wherein waste waters from the residences and the market site will be linked to the constructed wetland.  Col. Panabang and other staff of Alaminos City government showed the exact location of the target project site.  They also brought the evaluator to the port where the boats to the famous hundred islands are stationed.  The proposed constructed wetland project is expected to benefit the tourism industry of Pangasinan.  
Next stop is Bacolod City, wherein Vice-Mayor Jude Thaddeus Sayson, City Administrator Rogelio Balo, and Human Resource Head Gilda Lluisma welcomed Susanne and Buboy on 7 January 2011. Other key people joined the meeting, such as members of the City Council, League of Barangays, department representatives, the academe and mass media.  Ms. Lluisma presented the Bacolod action plan to the participants.
A working committee which will be directly involved in the formulation of the transfer concept and its composition has been established according to Ms. Lluisma.  Initially, they identified the Libertad Market site on the southern part of the City as the target site for the replication of the PPPP, the Best Practice Model they are adapting from Cambodia.  While they believe that the idea of initiating such project in the city would be “politically risky” for the leaders, they strongly agreed to pursue it for the public’s welfare. At the end of the meeting, the local press conducted and interview with Susanne and Buboy regarding the project. The interview was followed by a city tour wherein visitors were shown the exact location of Libertad market and were made aware of the situation that the BP replication process would like to address.
Last but definitely not the least, a coordination meeting with ManLuNa and BinKiSu, Naawan, Misamis Oriental was held on 17 January 2011. Buboy and Susanne, was warmly received by Mayor Jaime Roa of Naawan and his Council as well as Mr. Ponciano Caberte, Provincial Director of DILG Misamis Oriental.  Also present during the meeting are the mayors and members of the local council in ManLua and BinKiSu, representatives from the Department of Tourism-Provincial Office. Mr. Salvador Almine, participant of the Training of Trainers in Pattaya, Thailand presented Manlua’s Action Plan in relation to the Phuket, Thailand Best Practice Model.  
Other participants were interested in the project and shared their insights as well as their apprehensions with regard to its requirements.  Representatives from the local tourism office expressed their interest to be involved in the Project. They stressed the need for further consultation with the basic sectors in the municipality or the clusters in such a way that it will generate more support from the public and be assured of its successful implementation. Meanwhile, the BinKiSu representatives felt that another round of meeting should be done in BinKiSu and requested that Mr. Almiñe should do the same presentation in the area (BinKiSu) so that those who were not able to attend the Naawan meeting would better understand what the Phuket BP model is all about and be in the position to contribute to its implementation.  Representatives from the academe also expressed their willingness to extend the necessary support to the Project.  A resort owner who is also interested with the project and was willing to cooperate and be part of its implementation later on invited the participants to visit their resort for them to see the viability of reviving or promoting tourism industry in the area.

DELGOSEA Philippines joined the CDM Conference in Makati City

reported in January 2011

DELGOSEA Project Manager, Ms. Susanne Stephan, and DELGOSEA Philippines National Coordinator, Mr. Crescencio M. Doma Jr., and administrative staff, Ms. Sheryll Bayan, attended the Centrist Democracy Movement (CDM) Conference organized by the Konrad Adenauer Stifftung Foundation in Makati City on 12 January 2011. The conference provided opportunities for the DELGOSEA project team to network with project implementers. And extend gratitude to local leaders for their unwavering support on the initial stages of the project.  Susanne and Buboy exchanged updates with Mayor Hernani Braganza of Alaminos City, Pangasinan, Governor Oscar Moreno of Misamis Oriental and Mayor Jaime Roa of Naawan, Misamis Oriental on the progress of the project in their localities.  The leaders further re-affirmed their support to the project.  Representatives from local government associations such as the League of Cities and Provinces of the Philippines (LCP and LPP) as well as the Union of Local Authorities in the Philippines (ULAP) also attended the conference. It was in this meeting that Mayor Braganza of Alaminos City mentioned that he has already allotted a budget for the implementation of the project in his city.