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.