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Continuing CSO Participation in the Bicol Region

Once again, civil society organizations (CSOs) in the Bicol Region proved their unwavering commitment to active involvement in the regional development as they launched the CSOs’ Regional Poverty Reduction Development Agenda (RPRDA 2017-2022) during the CSO Regional Summit held last February 28, 2017 at Hotel St. Ellise, Legazpi City.  The activity carried the theme “Continuing CSOs’ Participation towards Poverty Reduction in the Bicol Region.”  This CSO Summit was organized by the Coalition for Bicol Development (CBD) under the Strengthening Decentralized Governance (DG) project together with CODE-NGO as funded by MISEREOR.

The highlights of the Regional Summit included the presentation of the CODE NGO’s initiatives and its plans on the SDGs.  This was given by Mr. Sandino Soliman, the National Project Manager of Strengthening DG Project followed by Ms. Edna Cynthia R. Berces, Assistant Regional Director of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Region V, who substantially explained the Philippine Development Plan including the Ambisyon Natin 2040.

With zest and great hope for support, Mr. Glenda B. Vader, CBD’s Board Chairperson presented the Regional CSO RPRDA to the national government agencies (NGAs), network members and other CSO partners and stakeholders present. These 3 agenda include (1)  Enhancing accessibility of farmers and fishermen to government and other private entities ‘ services and interventions (2) Strengthening CSOs’ organizational sustainability and promotion of continuous CSO participation in local governance (3) Promotion of sustainable environment through active CSO participation in Local Development Councils (LDCs)  and other concerned agencies.

Eleven (11) NGAs attended and gave their commitment to support the 3 point-Agenda of the CSOs in the region. These agencies were Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Department of Agriculture (DA), Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), NEDA, Commission on Higher Education (CHED), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and National Youth Commission (NYC). Together with the agency representatives, project partners from the provincial government units of Albay and Sorsogon also graced the occasion and became a part of the successful event.

The activity was capped with a ceremonial signing of the CSO Agenda as a sign of support towards its realization by year 2022.

 Jesica Capricho is the Regional Project Officer of the Strengthening DG Project for CBD.