As one of the follow-through activities for CSO interventions, RESOURCEGov Project Documenter Ms. Lorielyn P. Patoc visited the Municipal Local Government Operations Officers (MLGOOs), Sangguniang Bayan (SB) Secretaries and CSO Desk Officers of the eight existing LGUs of Region 12 namely: Malapatan and Maasim (Sarangani), Lake Sebu and Tampakan (South Cotabato), Lambayong and Pres. Quirino (Sultan Kudarat), and Aleosan and Libungan (North Cotabato) to inquire about the CSO accreditation requirements per municipality. The documenter also acquired the lists of the accredited CSOs for the project to contact them one by one with the aim to assess their needs and provide technical assistance before the call for accreditation. The activity was participated by 46 participants (Male 12, Female 34) from the LGUs.
The SOLARES Project Team, together with Shunie Pearl Palacaios, PEF Area Officer headed off to Maasim, Sarangani for a meeting with Sta. Cruz MPC on May 27. Miss Palacios proceeded with her presentation, which included the background of their organization, how it began, its assets, their banner crops, their mode of support and the interest rates.
On May 28, 2019, the team attended a meeting at Lebak, Sultan Kudarat with the General Manager and Board Members of Bacbacan MPC. Ms. Palacios proceeded with her presentation of PEF and its background including the livelihood mechanism of the SOLARES Project. She also explained that PEF does not limit their support to their banner crops, 4Cs (cacao, coconut, coffee and cane sugar) and that they will support other crops given that it is the major source of income of the farmers operating with the cooperative’s area. The meeting went smoothly and it was agreed that more intricate concerns/matters will be discussed on the 31st together with other partner MFIs within SOLARES project area.
In the afternoon of the same day, the team went to Lebak MPDO to ask for updates regarding the CBMS CSV file acquisition request. The team then also went to Kalamansig MPDO for the same agenda it had with the Lebak MPDO.
On May 29, the team went to Kiamba, Sarangani for a meeting with KIMEMCO Chair and Board Members. Miss Palacios reiterated that the project will observe the 60,000 euro limit to partner MFIs as it was the only viable option as of the moment as per EU’s response. Miss Palacios’ presentation (livelihood) was followed with a presentation from Engr. Tayactac regarding the electrification component of the project.
The team then headed off to Maitum, Sarangani for another meeting with the PAMULCO (Pangi Multi-Purpose Cooperative). The team was able to meet and discuss with PAMULCO General Manger, Ronald Briones, the electrification and livelihood components of the SOLARES Project.
As part of the preparatory activities and to establish a common understanding and commitment from project partners and beneficiaries, the EU-funded SOLARES project conducted a Project Orientation and MOA/MOU Signing on May 30, 2019 held at Avior Hotel, Santiago Blvd., General Santos City. The event was graced by key actors in the energy sector (Dole Philippines, Inc., Peace and Equity Foundation, Inc., SUKELCO, SOCOTECO II) and the Microfinance Institutions (PAMULCO, KIMEMCO, KPS-Seed MFI, Sta. Cruz MPC, Bacbacan MPC). Over 100 participants were present including Brgy. Captains and top officials & representatives from partner LGUs and Brgys. in Sultan Kudarat and Sarangani areas.
The activity was an avenue to update the project partners/beneficiaries on the status/progress of the project especially on some changes of the project proposal and budget (i.e. change in SHS technical design/specs, project sites, implementation arrangements, etc.). The program preliminaries included the project overview presentation delivered by the SOLARES Project Manager Mr. Jobe C. Tubigon and messages of support from key stakeholders and partners. Governor Steve Chlongbian-Solon of Sarangani Province also graced the event and verbalized his commitment and support for the implementation of the project.
The ceremonious signing of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA)/Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) followed afterwards which aims to gain/secure commitment from project partners and to ensure effective and sustainable implementation of the project. The signatories were Dolefil’s VP & Managing Director Mr. Randy Fleming, PEF Executive Director Mr. Robert Calingo, Mahintana President & CEO Mr. Martiniano Magdolot, SUKELCO BOD President Mr. David Batayola & SOCOTECO II BOD President Mr. Jose Santos. This intimate gathering ended with a brief networking and socialization among the guests and participants.
The Project Orientation also consist of a 2-day Project Inception/Planning Workshop on May 30-31, 2019, held right after the MOA/MOU Signing event. The workshop brought together the SOLARES project management/implementation team from Mahintana and PEF together with ECs SUKELCO & SOCOTECO 2 and five (5) Microfinance Institutions represented by their Chairperson, Manager and Bookkeeper/Finance Officer to further discuss about the project deliverables and expected outcomes.
More specifically, the workshop provided an opportunity for all potential partners to review & assess project timelines of the planned activities, especially on the technical design, implementation arrangements and strategies on SHS eletrification and livelihood components and to develop an action plan for the key activities.
May 28-June 1, 2019
The Open Government Partnership (OGP) selected Mahintana Foundation to represent the Philippines together with the Provincial Government of South Cotabato in the recently concluded OGP Global Summit in Ottawa, Canada from May 28 to June 1, 2019. The organization, thru Mr. Roel Ian P. Blanker, the RESOURCEGov 2 Project Manager, shared the project initiatives to a global audience at the city hall of Canada’s capital city. His presentation got featured in the Scottish Government Blog (https://blogs.gov.scot/open-government-partnership/2019/06/06/10-things-we-learned-in-canada-global-summit-of-open-government-partnership/) after captivating the audience with the project’s innovative and digital ways of doing project monitoring, legislative information tracking, and ensuring citizen participation in local governance. Meanwhile, the Provincial Government of South Cotabato represented by Ms. Jennifer Bretaña, its Provincial Planning and Development Coordinator also shared the province’s integrity initiatives with partner CSOs in summit sessions.
Brief Rationale of Participation
Mahintana thru the RESOURCEGov 2 Project has capacitated the Provincial Government of South Cotabato on the use Open Data Kit and Qlik systems to a better and efficient monitoring of government projects. Specifically, the provincial government has institutionalized the use of the system thru its Provincial Project Monitoring Committee (PPMC) to monitor and evaluate projects that have implementation issues together with CSOs and community affected by the projects. Moreover, Mahintana also helped the tracking of the legislations of the province’s Sanggunian Panlalawigan by providing a Legislative Information Tracking System (LITS) wherein legislative documents are digitally archived for easy access to public or interested parties, and performance of Sanggunian members and committees are evaluated. The systems provided by the project along with other integrity initiatives of the province promote transparency, accountability, and participation in local governance led to South Cotabato’s active participation in the Open Government Partnership (OGP). OGP is an organization of reformers inside and outside of government, working to transform how government serves its citizens, and Mahintana supports the province in its OGP Open Monitoring & Evaluation and Open Legislation commitments thru technical assistance on the implementation of ODK, Qlik and LITS systems thru the RESOURCEGov 2 Project. Recognizing the achievements of the province and its partners, OGP invited champions of South Cotabato’s OGP commitments to the 2019 OGP Global Summit in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada including Mr. Roel Ian Blanker, Mahintana’s RESOURCEGov 2 Project Manager, Ms. Jennifer Bretana, the Provincial Planning and Development Coordinator, and other key commitment partners in the national level from the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Commission on Audit (COA), Department of Budget Management (DBM), The Philippine Embassy, and OGP Philippines Steering Committee. Active CSOs who have helped implement OGP commitments in the country also joined the summit and they are from Bantay Kita PH, European Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines, Hivos in the Philippines, LayerTech Software Labs, and Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism, to name a few.
The OGP Global Summit serves as an avenue for OGP participating countries to learn and share about their open governance initiatives, ideas, challenges, and solutions anchored to themes Participation, Impact, and Inclusion. According to the summit organizers, over 2,000 open government champions has attended from across the 79 OGP member countries. This year’s summit also featured digital initiatives thru civic tech salons, hackathons, and breakout summit sessions by thematic areas. Giant tech firms such as Microsoft, Google, Amazon, GitHub and even the world wide web founder himself, Tim Berners Lee, graced the event along with Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and many more influential politicians across the globe. The summit also served as an opportunity for global participants to network, learn from other government and CSOs, and share their interventions to further improve their work on making the government more open and accessible to citizens.
RESOURCEGov Project Team conducted a 2-day training to the Bureau of Local Government Finance (BLGF) and selected municipal treasurers of Region 12 on May 22-23, 2019 at the FB Hotel and Convention Center, Koronadal City. This is one of the networking and linkaging actions of the project with the government agencies to popularize the use of the systems in the region. The activity was participated by 43 (Male 16, Female 27) attendees including the BLGF 12, municipal treasurers, their staff and the project team. BLGF is the office to which the municipal treasurer’s offices submit their Statement of Receipts and Expenditures (SREs), the data to which the RESOURCEGov project will gauge the increase of the local revenue collection of its project areas.
BLGF 12 Regional Director Mr. Jeany Tedera expressed his gratitude to Mahintana, through the project, in rolling out such useful tools for the agency, as well as, the treasurer’s offices. He shared that it will not only help them analyze the trend of the collections but also help them forecast collections in the next 5 years. Project Documenter Ms. Lorielyn P. Patoc and Project Officer Mr. Kurt Jurgen Von D. Lumbao facilitated the training in behalf of Project Manager Mr. Roel Ian P. Blanker. The participants were able to generate ODK-based business mapping forms and generated Qlik graphs of their respective municipalities’ SREs which they presented at the end of the workshop. The BLGF and treasurers appreciated the systems and committed to utilize the tools for their own convenience. BLGF said that this is just the first leg of the many trainings and partnerships with Mahintana.
Mahintana Foundation, Inc., continues to think outside the box in the conservation, preservation and protection of the environment particularly around the Mt. Matutum Protective Landscape (MMPL). To mitigate the soil erosion that usually occur in the plantation gullies, the organization innovated a technology that uses indigenous materials found in the locality such as large rocks, used fishnets from the fishing industries in General Santos City, and malabago trees, thus, the birth of the stone dike technology. The technology was purposely constructed in scoured gully banks to prevent their further damage.
The ceremonial construction of the stone dike was conducted on August 10, 2018 at Gully 116A/101C, Upper Klinan, Polomolok, South Cotabato as one of the activities of the 41st anniversary celebration of Mahintana and SRC. From its construction to present, the stone dikes were able to allow sedimentation that increased the vegetation around the dikes and stabilized the gully banks by protecting them from further scouring. Other stone dikes were constructed in 110A/109C Cannery and 113C/112B/113B Polo.
RESOURCEGov Project Manager Mr. Roel Ian P. Blanker oriented the Bureau of Local Government Finance (BLGF) 12 about the project to forge a partnership with the said government agency on May 17, 2019 at BLGF Office, Koronadal City. It was attended by the 14 participants (Male 9, Female 5) including the BLGF 12 Regional Director Mr. Jeany T. Tedera and his staff.
BLGF, being the source of the Statement of Receipts and Expenditures (SREs), Mr. Blanker focused the presentation of the use of Qlik System that can generate interactive graphs and data visualizations. Seeing the Qlik-generated graphs using the SRE data from the said office, Mr. Tedera expressed his interest to adopt the system and shared that he has heard of Qlik through the Municipal Treasurer’s Office of Lake Sebu. Mr. Blanker suggested that the data collection from each LGU in the region can be done through the use of ODK.
DILG 12, the associate partner of RESOURCEGov Project, requested the project team to conduct the ODK and Qlik Systems for the Project Development Management Unit (PDMU) on May 15-16, 2019 at the DILG 12 Conference Room, Regional Center, Koronadal City. The 2-day activity was attended by 30 (Male 20, Female 10) composed of personnel from various programs and projects handled by DILG such as Sagana at Ligtas na Tubig sa Lahat (SALINTUBIG), Assistance to Municipalities (AM), Conditional Matching Grant to Provinces (CGMP) and Performance Challenge Fund (PCF).
Project Roel Ian P. Blanker facilitated the training on the monitoring tool ODK on the 1st day where participants were able make their ODK-based project monitoring forms. Impressed as the system can readily consolidate the data after collection, the PDMU staff expressed their excitement to use the ODK in their project monitoring activities. On the other hand, the participants appreciated the Qlik System as an interactive data visualization tool for the data collected from ODK. The PDMU was able to present their outputs after the workshops.
As part of the EU-funded SOLARES project’s social preparation, a survey/profiling for each of the 5,000 off-grid households in 50 target barangays shall be conducted to validate and establish the individual socio-economic profile, the willingness to participate in the project, and capacity to pay of the potential household beneficiaries. The survey results will serve as baselines to measure future project impact at the household/community level and to help determine/map out the actual location/coordinates of the potential household beneficiaries.
On May 2-14, 2019, the SOLARES project team conducted the ODK profiling in its target benefeciaries in 11 Brgys. in Maasim, Sarangani Province namely: (a) Kablacan; (b) Bales; (c) Lumasal; (d) Amsipit; (e) Kamanga; (f) Daliao; (g) Kanalo; (h) Pananag; (I) Lumatil; (j) Colon; and (k) Nomoh.
Prior the actual profiling, the project team together with nine (9) enumerators conduct Brgy. Courtesy Calls to the Sitio/Purok Leaders to inform them of the purpose of the activity & to allow the team to conduct profiling. Every enumerator received an umbrella and powerbank which they can use as they will be profiling scattered or distant households using android tablets.
The enumerators were residents in Maasim, Sarangani and were all familiar with the local conditions, the people, and cultural sensitivities of the target areas. For 13 consecutive days, they were able to endure the scorching heat and trekked arduous areas, typically on foot & motorcycle and profiled a total of 733 households. Please refer to the table below for the total number of of households profiled per Barangay.
|Name of Barangay||Total # of Households Profiled|
The Mahintana Foundation, spearheaded by Mr. Martiniano L. Magdolot, the President & CEO graced the Europe Day Celebration held at Dusit Thani Manila, Makati, Philippines on May 9, 2019. Joining him are Mr. Jobe C. Tubigon and Mr. Roel Ian P. Blanker, the managers of the EU-funded projects of the organization and also Ms. Jean Jumilla, one of the project’s Admin and Finance Officer and Mahintana’s Accountant. The Europe Day marks the birthday of EU, a political and economic union of 28 member states that are located primarily in Europe. The event highlights the friendship and partnership of the EU and the Philippines that was attended by various government officials, civil society organizations, embassies, and EU officers & staff. This also served as an avenue for organizations involved with EU to get to know each other and exchange contacts for possible collaborations. The Europe day is also celebrated worldwide thru its delegation offices.