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Financial Management Training for CSOs

Another accomplishment for the Strengthening Decentralized Governance (Strengthening DG) Project was the successful Financial Management Training for the Bicol region last May 2-3, 2017 held in Naga City, Camarines Sur. This was co-organized by the Strengthening DG Project and the Coalition for Bicol Development (CBD), one of its implementing partners, headed by its project team composed of Ronel Obar and Jessica Capricho with Joy Oropesa-Banares, Executive Director of CBD.  Ms. Banares welcomed the participants and opened the program on the first day. Clarence Faye Salvador, Strengthening DG Project Officer, with Aileen Bucasas and Dimple Demata of the Finance and Administration Unit of CODE-NGO, facilitated the 2-day activity. It was well-attended and participated in by the different Finance and Program Officers of CBD’s provincial networks and base organizations – Albay Provincial Network for Development (ALPRODEV), Bugkos Catandungan (Catanduanes), Camarines Sur Network (CAMSURNET), Caritas Virac, Network of Sustainable Livelihood Catalysts, Inc. (NSLC), Provincial Alliance of NGOs and POs for Development (PANGOPOD), Social Pastoral Action Center Foundation, Inc. (SPACFI) of Daet, and Socio-Pastoral Action Multi-purpose Cooperative (SPAMPC).

On the first day, discussing on the introduction to Financial Management and Accounting for NGOs, Ms. Demata presented the Framework of Financial Management and Planning and Budgeting. She emphasized its importance and the responsibilities of each member of the organizations in achieving effective financial management. Ms. Aileen Bucasas continued the discussion on the more technical part, Getting organized and Understanding accounts. Some of the highlights of the discussion were the importance for an organization to have financial policies and manuals and preparations of financial statements and reports. The main event of the day was the workshop on preparing financial statements which was actively participated in by all the attendees.

The second day of the activity was highlighted with the discussion on Internal Control and Managing Audit. The individual policies and procedures of each network and base organizations were reviewed in the open discussion and workshop connecting it to their Capacity Assessment Tool (CAT) Validation results. There were also updates on tax reporting and some findings from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) related to the preparation of audit reports. It was a day with a very productive scenario-setting and sharing of experiences from the participants. Those from the Finance and Admin Units, being able to attend a training like this, was a big help for them to improve their skills, while those from the Program Units, this gave them a realization of their roles in achieving effective financial management in their own organizations. Aside from the certificates they have received, the experience and learning from each other was indeed a memorable one.

Giving us her inspiring closing speech, Ms. Marivic Vargas-Balance, newly-elected Chairperson of CBD, ended the workshop with words of advice that God has a reason why He chose each participant to be in this training and be part of the success of their organizations and of their networks. We were indeed very thankful for the energetic team of CBD for co-facilitating this training.

S-DG is a 3-year project of CODE-NGO funded by KZE Misereor of Germany. This training is one of the project’s activities on CSO Network Strengthening and Alliance Building. Their next training will be in Davao to be co-organized by Mindanao Coalition of Development NGO Networks (MINCODE).

Dimple Labios-Demata is the Finance and Administrative Assistant of CODE-NGO.