Wednesday, September 5, 2018

WBA Champions Prepare for Study Tour in Metro Naga and Negros Occidental

Zamboanga City (September 06, 2018) – Champions of the Western Basilan Alliance (WBA), from the local government units and NGO partners, prepare for a two-week study tour to Metro Naga and Negros Occidental scheduled from September 18 to 26, 2018. 

Mr Noor Saada, Project Manager of the AECID-fund Modelling Inter-LGU Alliance in Basilan (MILAB) Project as implemented by the Institute for Autonomy and Governance (IAG), said, this study tour is of part of the capacity building intervention to provide first-hand exposure for champions of the Western Basilan alliance (WBA) to areas where there are functional interlocal cooperation models. While there a number of models throughout the country and closer to home; the need for good models is an imperative for success – to learn from long experiences that have demonstrated resilience, continuity and competence through the years.

The first leg of the study tour will be the Metro Naga Development Council or simply MNDC organized in 1993, making it among the pioneer alliances in the country and arguably the oldest still functional. MNDC is celebrating its silver anniversary this year, that is 25 years of ups and downs, learning through the rope and across 8-9 terms of change in local administration. The MNDC's  cooperative portfolio (Metro Naga Equipment Pool, Metro Naga Senior Citizens Program, Metro Naga Emergency Rescue Service, Metro Naga Livelihood Program, Metro Naga Project Assistance Fund, Metro Naga Water Supply Enhancement Project, etc.) attest to how inter-LGU alliance is making a difference in improving public services and promoting good governance in the locality. 

The second leg of the study tour will be the Central Negros Council for Coastal Resources Development (CENECCORD) organized in 2005. CENECCORD is a decade and three years old of interlocal cooperation among seven (7) local government units (LGUs) in the central region of Negros Occidental and decidedly focused on “restoration and conservation of coastal resources but also for the maintenance and preservation of sound ecological balance, clean environment, equitable use of resources and most importantly, giving preferential treatment to marginal fisherfolk.” It is important to note that this arrangement was also driven by the provincial and municipal agriculture offices. 

The participants will be learning from these models, reflecting on them and acting on these models as they concretize allied, shared or joint interventions under the WBA. After the study tour, the WBA is expected to finalize their Memorandum of Agreement (MoA), prioritize its thematic focus and LGU champions to provide the imperative in mobilizing LGU staff and resources through the WBA technical working groups, and to build the competence of their staff in formulating feasibility studies or project proposal at the alliance level.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

WBA plans for alliance radio

The old radio transmitter and building infront of the Municpal Hall 
at Upper Port Holland, Maluso. 

August 17, 2018, Maluso, Basilan – Two (2)technical specialists visited Maluso, Basilan last August 15 to inspect the two (2) proposed sites for the alliance radio to be supported by the AECID-funded Modeling Inter-LGU Alliance Building (MILAB) Project. 

The specialists first visited the old building of a defunct community radio at Upper Port Holland which was funded by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). The second visit was at the new municipal government center in Sitio Camanggaan, Barangay Townsite, where a suitable location for the proposed radio station was identified at the left back corner of the municipal building. 

In an interview for this article, Bojo Sajiran, Municipal Civil Registrar of Lantawan, believed that the radio will be helpful in informing the general public on the importance of civil documents such as birth, marriage and death. Rhendi P. Francisco, Municipal Tourism Officer of Maluso, viewed the radio as a great tool to create awareness about local tourism potential, promote tourism destination and activities. He added, “maalis ang haka-haka na nakakatakot ang lugar namin” (we remove suspicion that our place is bad or dangerous). 

Several months ago, the steering committee of the Western Basilan Alliance (WBA) composed of mayors and the provincial governor have decided to locate their proposed radio in Maluso because the latter is strategically located at the center of the allied municipalities. 

It was revealed that the financial arrangement for this project will be as follows: MILAB project will purchase the radio facility, the host LGU will fund the building construction, while the operational costs will be through paid advertisements and subsidies from the LGUs. They are also looking for another partner to procure a backup generator given the intermittent power outage in the island province. 

As proposed by the LGUs, the alliance radio is envisioned as a platform for dissemination of government and non-government programs; exchange of development views between government, stakeholders and constituents; as well as a tool for disaster risk reduction and management. 

A final meeting with the radio procurement entity and specialists has been set before the end of this month to commence both the building construction and facility installation. 

WBA is the first interlocal cooperation in Basilan and is being capacitated by the AECID-funded MILAB Project, implemented by the Institute for Autonomy and Governance (IAG) with the Zamboanga-Basilan Integrated Development Alliance (ZABIDA) as CSO partner.