HISTORY – How we started

The need to scale up NGO impact on national development became the root motive that led to the formation of the Caucus of Development NGO Networks (CODE-NGO). The building of the coalition was facilitated by a series of consultations organized by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) in July 1988.

In May 1990, CODE-NGO was established formally by the 10 largest NGO networks in the Philippines. In January 1991, it was registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission as a non-stock, non-profit organization.

In December 1991, CODE-NGO held its 1st National Congress, where close to a thousand non-government organizations (NGOs), people’s organizations (POs) and cooperatives attended. The Congress ratified its Covenant on Philippine Development and the Code of Conduct for Development NGOs. These historic declarations marked the development community’s desire to promote professionalism and expand the reach of social development work in the Philippines. In 1992-98, CODE-NGO helped prepare the Philippine Medium-Term Development Plan (MTPDP), being a civil society sector representative to the National Economic Development Authority’s (NEDA) Steering Committee for the MTPDP. Since then, it has periodically monitored the government’s performance towards its MTPDP targets. Through collaborations with funding partners and foreign NGO counterparts, CODE-NGO was instrumental in the setting up of several NGO-managed fund mechanisms such as the Foundation for the Philippine Environment (FPE) and the Foundation for Sustainable Society, Inc. (FSSI).

In 2000, CODE-NGO and other civil society organizations convened the Tri-Sectoral Conference, with the civil society, government and business sectors coming together in a rare collaborative effort to promote effective governance.

In 2001, CODE-NGO, together with other civil society groups, convened the second Kongreso ng Mamamayang Pilipino (KOMPIL II), which ultimately became the backbone of People Power II.

With a change in leadership and fresh attempts at eradicating marginalization, CODE-NGO conceptualized a new financial instrument designed to raise funds from the capital market. With the proceeds from this instrument called the PEACe Bonds, CODE-NGO was able to establish the Peace & Equity Foundation, a non-stock, non-profit entity managed by Philippine NGOs to raise financial resources to address poverty and inequality in rural and urban communities.

In more recent years, CODE-NGO has continued its efforts for good governance and accountability among the NGO ranks by crafting the implementing rules of its Code of Conduct for Development NGOs. We have also strengthened our advocacy for transparency and social accountability of the government through the Local Anti-Poverty Project (LAPP II), the Pork Barrel or PDAF Watch, the Economic Policy Reform and Advocacy (EPRA) and the advocacy for federalism and Constitutional Reform.

Today, CODE-NGO, with its 6 national and  6 regional member networks, representing more than 1,600 development NGOs, people’s organizations and cooperatives nationwide, is the country’s biggest coalition of NGOs working for social development. CODE-NGO maximizes its scale and synergy to influence public policy, provide leadership in civil society and increase the effectiveness of social development work in the country. It focuses on policy advocacy and partnership building in the public arena, as well as on developing the capacity and accountability of its member networks and affiliated organizations.