FEATURE: CESB’s concept 'Govergence' seen as key to good governance towards ending armed conflicts

Career Executive Service Officers (CESOs), Career Executive Service Eligibles (CESEs) and Career Service Executive Eligibles (CSEEs) attentively listen to a presentation during a CESB Leadership Conclave with the Theme: "Govergence: Cultivating Exemplary Service." (Photo courtesy of Mr. Ernesto Alcanzare, Yes For Peace - Bayanihan ng Bayan lead organizer)

The Whole of Nation approach to ending the armed conflicts being pursued by the National Task Force to End the Local Communist Armed Conflicts (NTF-ELCAC) is anchored on good governance and would entail direct people’s participation. 

Given limited resources of the government, the NTF-ELCAC has focused on eight hundred (800) barangays liberated from the influence and clutches of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) to prove that the communist armed conflict can be ended through good governance.    

Executive Order No. 70, which created the NTF-ELCAC is not a spur of the moment decision made by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte.  It was a product of a painstaking and wholistic process that would need the sustained long-term action of the government and the people in addressing the roots of the insurgency.

Prior to the creation of the NTF-ELCAC, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has initiated and is in the process of institutionalizing its Bottom-Up Planning and Budgeting program.  

“AmBisyon Natin 2040 represents the collective long-term vision and aspirations of the Filipino people for themselves and for the country in the next 25 years,” the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) declared in AmBisyon Natin 2040, which was adopted as the country’s development road map in 2015. 

“All sectors of society, whether public or private, should direct their efforts towards creating opportunities for Filipinos to enjoy a matatag, maginhawa at panatag na buhay.” the NEDA continued, “Government, in particular, must use its tools of fiscal, monetary and regulatory policies to steer the development path towards enabling Filipinos to attain their AmBisyon. This pertains to all dimensions of development: economic, human and physical capital, institutional, social and cultural.” 

In 2017, "Govergence: Cultivating Exemplary Service" was the year-round theme of CES Leadership Conclave series conducted by the Career Executive Service Board (CESB).

“As the nation moves toward achieving lasting peace, redefining its national identity in a global environment and leading the ASEAN region towards cooperation, it is imperative for us to promote synergism within and beyond the CES Community on the premise that amidst diversity lie opportunities to harness unique individual and organizational talents and resources through partnership, collaboration and cooperation,” Maria Anthonette Velasco-Allones, then CESB Executive Director wrote in her letter-invitation for members of the CES: Career Executive Service Officers (CESOs); Career Executive Service Eligibles (CESEs); and Career Service Executive Eligibles (CSEEs).

Inspired by the concept Govergence, members of the SALDIWA 31 and I-GABAY 26, listed community-based programs that could empower the communities in giving flesh to the development thrusts of the DILG and NEDA, through the pro-active involvement and collective participation of the people in identifying, planning, budgeting, and implementing projects needed in their respective communities.

“We are all aware of the fact that there is no such thing as a one size fits all in development,” Ernesto Angeles Alcanzare, Organizer of Yes for Peace – Bayanihan ng Bayan said, “Thus, we listed all the programs and projects that came to mind.”

“We presented the list to the Sectoral Unification, Capability Building, Empowerment and Mobilization (SUCBEM) cluster of the NTF-ELCAC,” Alcanzare recalled. “Members of the cluster from different agencies added to the list as one of the steps in refining Yes for Peace.”

The SUCBEM cluster proposed the adoption and refinement of Yes for Peace – Bayanihan ng Bayan which was incorporated into the National Action Plan of the NTF ELCAC submitted by National Security Adviser Hermogenes C. Esperon, Jr. and approved by President Duterte.

“We admit that the list may not yet be complete,” Mama S. Lalanto, al Haj, Chairman of Yes for Peace, Incorporated said, “Nevertheless, it shows that the roots of the insurgency can be addressed by concerned government agencies if the people are aware of what these are and how these can be availed of.”

Thus far, the list includes 122 programs from 26 line agencies designed to empower the people toward nation building:

Department of Education

1) BRIGADA ESKWELA - Establishment and maintenance of Elementary and High Schools thru the pro-active involvement and collective participation of the community;

2) Adopt-A-School Program;

3) Education 360 – a comprehensive education program (A replicable best practice from Valenzuela City);

4) Alternative Learning System (ALS) Expansion Program to Remote Barangays;

5) Establishment of Indigenous People’s Schools in Convergence Areas for Peace and Development;

6) Partnership with Department of Social Work and Development (DSWD) to bring Out of School Youth / Adults who are members of 4Ps;

7) Multi-Dimensional Support for Last Mile Schools (additional classrooms, Teacher Items);

8) Establishment of Peace Pacts in Schools;

9) Gulayan sa Paaralan at Tahanan;

10) ALS Livelihood and Skills Development;

11) From Arms to Farms (in MILF Camps);

12) Opening of Schools in Hinterlands (From “Battleground to School Ground”);

13) Conversion of Elementary Schools to Integrated Schools in Hinterlands;

14) Abot-Alam Program;

15) Community Learning Centers;

16) Values/Peace Education for Kinder to Grade;

17) Values/Peace Integration Across Learning/Subject Areas;

18) BSP/GSP Program Implementation; Youth Formation in Communities; and

19) Moral Recovery Program.

Department of Science and Technology 

1) Small and Medium Enterprises Technology Upgrading Program (SET-UP);

2) Community Empowerment through Science and Technology (CEST);

3) Technology Transfer and Commercialization/Innovation System Support;

4) S&T Services such as Technical Consultancy, Packaging and Labelling Services;

5) Testing and Laboratory Services;

6) Technology Trainings;

7) Science & Technology Human Resource Development - Scholarship programs for Undergraduate Science & Technology Priority Courses; and

8) Research and Development 

Cooperative Development Authority 

1) Organization and supervision of community-based multi-purpose livelihood cooperatives;

2) Registration and regulation of cooperatives;

3) Training and education;

4) Provision of technical assistance;

5) Legal assistance to cooperatives;

6) Project development assistance to cooperatives; and

7) Accreditation of service providers (external auditors and training providers).

Department of the Interior and Local Government 

1) E-Comprehensive Local Integration Program (CLIP); and

2) Bottom-up Planning and Budgeting.

Philippine Statistics Authority 

1) National Identification System

Philippine Postal Corporation 

1) LGU Post Offices /  Barangay Postal Stations; and

2) National Identification System.

National Irrigation Administration 

1) Communal Irrigation Systems.

Local Waterworks Utilities Administration

1) First Level Water Systems;

2) Second Level Water Systems; and

3) Third Level Water Systems

Department of Social Work and Development 

1) Kabit-bisig Laban sa Kahirapan (KALAHI);

2) Comprehensive Integrated Delivery of Social Services (CIDSS);

3) National Community Driven Development Program (NCDDP);

4) Sustainable Livelihood Program;

5) Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps);

6) Social Pension (sickly, disabled and frail elderly with no existing pensions); and

7) Supplementary Feeding Program.

Department of Agriculture 

1) Training and Extension Services;

2) Agribusiness and Marketing Services;

3) Social preparation; Production and livelihood;

4) Marketing assistance and enterprise development;

5) Provision of Production Loans;

6) Agriculture and Fisheries Information Services;

7) Agricultural Credit and Financing Programs;

8) Sikat Saka Program (SSP);

9) Agro-Industry Modernization Credit and Financing Program;

10) Agri-Microfinance Program (AMP); and

11) Cooperative Banks Agri-Lending Program (CBAP).

Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources 

1) Community-based Aquatic Resources Development;

2) Provision of Fishing Gears and Paraphernalia to Fisherfolk;

3) Provision of Fish (Tilapia and Milkfish) for Grow-out Farms;

4) Technical Assistance and Technical-Demo projects;

5) Access to production loans, marketing assistance and post-harvest technologies; and

6) Fish seeding of rivers, lakes and water impoundments.

Department of Environment and Natural Resources 

1) Community Based Forestry Management Program;

2) Community Based Biofriendly Enterprises;

3) Watershed Development Program;

4) National Greening Program;

5) Residential and Agricultural Free Patent; and

6) Spring Development Program (proposal-NWRB). 

Mines and Geosciences Bureau 

1) Minahan ng Bayan; and

2) Social Development and Management Programs.

Department of Agrarian Reform 

1) Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP);

2) Land distribution;

3) Adjudication;

4) Installation;

5) Support Service - Farm Equipment and Fertilizer;

6) Land Tenure Services;

7) Agrarian Legal Services; and

8) Technical Advisory Support Services –Inclusive Partnerships for Agricultural Competitiveness.

Department of Energy 

1) Multi-purpose small and medium scale hydro-electric dams; and

2) Electric Cooperatives.

Department of Trade and Industry 

1) Small and Medium Scale Enterprise Development;

2) Negosyo Serbisyo sa Barangay; and

3) Shared Service Facility Delivery.  

Department of Transportation 

1) Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program;

2) 5K Pantawid Pasada; and

3) Motor Taxi.

Department of Tourism 

1) Community-based Eco-Tourism 

Department of National Defense 

1) Internal Peace and Security Plan

Department of Trade and Industry 

1) Small and Medium Scale Enterprise Development.

Department of Health 

1) Doctors to the Barrios program;

2) Nurses Deployment program;

3) Mandatory community immersion of medical and nursing students of State Universities (proposal);

4) Immunization Programs;

5) Mental Health Program; and

6) Tutok Gamutan for Tubercolosis (DOTS). 

Department of Public Works and Highways 

1) Farm to Market roads and bridges; and

2) Potable Water Impounding Systems.

Department of Labor and Employment 

1) Integrated Livelihood Program. 

Technical Education and Skills Development Authority 

1) Community-Based Training Programs for Vulnerable Sectors with Value Chain Components;

2) Institution, Center and Community-Based Skills development, scholarships, learning facilitators (teachers and trainors) development;

3) Technical and Vocational Education;

4) Skills Development Programs; and

5) Assessment and Certification. 

Philippine Fiber Industry Development Authority 

1) Fiber Expansion and Rehabilitation;

2) Livelihood Trainings;

3) Basic / Upgraded Weaving;

4) FFS on Abaca.

“Given the list, we still have a challenge to overcome,” Nancy Bantog, Regional Director of the DOST – Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) intimated. “We need to be able to cost-effectively disseminate the information to all levels of the government down to the barangays given existing technology and Covid-19 pandemic protocols to maximize its contribution to peace and development.”

“Producing and distributing brochures may be outdated and costly,” Bantog continued. “It would be a lot better if we can complete the complete list, consolidate the hyperlinks to these, and disseminate it through all government websites with the cooperation of CESOs, CESEs and CSEEs who manage their respective agencies.”

“Try reaching out to new CESB Executive Director, Maria Marcy Cosare-Ballesteros,” Allones, who is now with the Department of Tourism suggested. “I am sure the CESB can help out in one way or another.” (PIA NCR)

Source: Philippines Information Agency (pia.gov.ph)

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