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.

Alliance local government staff train on basic news writing

Fatima A. Asjad, HR Staff from LGU Sumisip drafts her first news article
on the first day of the 2-day news writing workshop.
August 16, 2018, Zamboanga City – Select municipal staff of the Western Basilan Alliance (WBA) from the municipalities of Hadji Muhtamad, Lantawan, Maluso, Sumisip and Tabuan Lasa gather at LM Hotel in Tetuan, this city. This two-day introduction to news writing workshop will run from August 16 to 18, 2018, facilitated by the “Modeling Inter-LGU Alliance in Basilan” (MILAB) Project and the Zamboanga-Basilan Integrated Development Alliance (ZABIDA). 

In his welcome speech, Mr Noor Saada, project manager, highlights the role of the MILAB project in capacitating the five municipalities towards their evolution into a functional inter-LGU alliance; and how this 2-day event will build staff competence in communicating their local government works, gains and plans on the worldwide web. 

Facilitating this 2-day workshop is Ms Frances Carreon, ZABIDA Communications Officer, who is in-charge of the ZABIDA’s website ( and is also the editor-in-chief of the Peace Works, their quarterly newsletter. In her first session this afternoon, she explains the value of “advocacy journalism” and the basics of news writing as applied in development and advocacy works. 

MILAB is an 18-month funded project by the Spanish Agency for International Development (AECID) and implemented by the Institute for Autonomy and Governance (IAG) in partnership with ZABIDA as NGO partner. The provincial government of Basilan and the Office of the Regional Governor of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) are its key government partners.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Basilan newly-elected barangay captains orient on alliance building

Mayor Hani Bud (standing) explains the Western Basilan Alliance
to newly-elected barangay captains in the alliance municipalities.
August, 14, 2018, Isabela City, Basilan – Forty-seven (47) newly-elected barangay captains from the municipalities of Hadji Muhtamad, Lantawan, Maluso, Sumisip and Tabuan Lasa converge today at the Querexeta Formation Center, this city, to be oriented about the Western Basilan Alliance (WBA). The orientation is facilitated by the “Modelling Inter-LGU Alliance in Basilan (MILAB)” Project.

In his presentation, Mayor Hanie Bud of Maluso detailed the evolution of the WBA and what this interlocal cooperation aspires to achieve and deliver. He emphasizes the role of local leaders as consolidators of local efforts. “Development is extra challenging for local governments dependent on internal revenue allotment (IRA); however, this can be mitigated with extra efforts in identifying tax collectibles, transparency in transaction and engaging tax payers proactively.” He cites his experience in Maluso, what took one year to collect is now collectible within the quarter.

Participants also engage in a workshop to bring ideas and perspectives from their end and wove it into emerging development focus of their alliance. Those from insular barangays focus on proposing marine-based livelihood; while those in the mainland focus on alternative and additional livelihood in view of the falling rubber prices, their primary crop, and the cocolisap infestation affecting coconut growers.

In his closing statement, Mayor Bud encourages participants to seize the opportunity of their new term to start fresh and right with the welfare of the community at heart.

The MILAB Project is funded by the Spanish Agency for International Development (AECID) and is being implemented by the Institute of Autonomy and Governance (IAG) with the Zamboanga-Basilan Integrated Development Alliance (ZABIDA) as the local NGO partner.