Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Last month, the Community Health Workers (CHWs) in Quezon City gathered together at Payatas to launch and formally open their first community-managed pharmacy under the project "developing people's health and disaster readiness capacities" with the Council for People's Development and Governance, MedHerbal Pharmacy Inc., Council for Health and Development, Kilos Bayan para sa Kalusugan (KBK) and with the support of the City and County of San Francisco.
The pharmacy which is being managed by the CHWs of Payatas group7 offers basic generic and herbal medicines for very affordable prices and basic health services such as Blood Pressure taking. The community pharmacy is a fruit of the skills training and education aspect of the project mentioned earlier. In which, the CHWs undergo different levels of health skills training from basic to advance.
The CHWs were also given medical kits that contain basic medicines and First Aid paraphernalia.
In the said gathering, representatives from CPDG, MedHerbal and KBK gave their inspirational and solidarity messages regarding the project while the CHWs had a ceremonial cutting of ribbon upon the actual opening of their pharmacy.
Sunday, June 5, 2011
We, members of AidWatch-Philippinesi, Council for People’s Development and Governanceii along with the broad CSO community in the country join the global CSO efforts in bringing forward a comprehensive agenda – a meaningful and ambitious Busan Compact on Development Effectiveness.
We assert that aid and the overall aid system will only be developmental if it is consistent with the key principles of respect for human rights (economic, cultural, civil and political); democratic ownership of the development process; equity in growth and development; transparency and access to information; accountability for decisions and actions, and primacy of the people’s well-being and welfare.
We maintain that aid effectiveness as reflected through the Paris Declaration Principles is about the technical “efficient delivery and management of aid” and has not address the crucial issues of conditionality and tied aid; and of truly delivering real economic progress, better social services and enjoyment of human rights for the people.
We join the global call for a new development cooperation system built not just in reforming aid delivery and management but more importantly ensuring development effectiveness in recipient countries like the Philippines.
In spite its supposedly middle-income status, the Philippines remains hobbled with widespread poverty, severe inequality, chronic bureaucratic corruption and underdevelopment. It is in this context of development effectiveness that the country must seriously address the following fundamental concerns:
- Promotion of human rights and social justice
- Poverty reduction that focuses on uplifting the living condition of the majority of the peasant poor through thorough going agrarian reforms that addresses landlessness and tenancy issues; decent work and decent wage; and a nationally-owned and democratically-adopted comprehensive national economic development policies and plans that will truly benefit the people.
- Gender equality and women’s empowerment
- Environmental sustainability with focus on addressing the problem of climate change
In pursuit of these, the Philippines must strive to establish a development cooperation framework with development partners that resolve power in country relationships through mutual accountability, elimination of tied and donor-imposed conditionalities, increase aid transparency and predictability and the eventual elimination of dependency on foreign aid and technologies and external markets. This can be done through a multi-stakeholder approach, ensuring mutually-supportive policies in international aid, trade, investment and finance that uphold and advance the realization of the Right to Development.
We believe that as development actors in our own right, CSOs contribute in unique and important ways to development – we are human rights advocates, watchdogs/monitors, campaigners, organizers – we are innovative agents of change and social transformation.
Globally, CSOs have made significant progress in strengthening their own effectiveness in development via the Open Forum for CSO Development Effectiveness process. In September 2010, 170 CSOs from more than 70 countries (the Philippine CSOs included) gathered together in Istanbul, Turkey and agreed on the Istanbul Principles for CSO Development Effectiveness. The Istanbul Principles reflects the important roles that CSOs play, the principles and values that they live by.
In the same vein, the High Level Forum III via paragraph 20 of the Accra Agenda for Action recognizes CSOs as development actors in their own right, as it promised to “deepen engagement with CSOs as independent development actors in their own right whose efforts complement those of the governments and private sectors…”
However, despite the apparent official recognition, many CSOs in the Philippines are facing policies and practices that are undermining or severely limiting their roles as development actors. Besides the highly restricting environment for the recognition of CSOs, many members of our CSO network organizations experienced being harassed, illegally arrested and detained, tortured, extra-judicially killed and enforced disappeared. Militarization in many rural areas in the country, limits the effectiveness of many of our grassroots partner organizations.
Despite these challenges, Philippine CSOs especially those within the AidWatch and CPDG network will continue to push for and support national and local development agendas that benefit the people.
Thus, on the occasion of the High-Level Multi-stakeholders’ Forum involving government, development partners and NGOs/POs involved in the run-up towards the High Level Forum 4 in Busan, South Korea this November 2011, we call upon the government and its development partners to:
- Fully evaluate and deepen the Paris and Accra commitments through ensuring reforms based on democratic ownership. This can be done through giving emphasis on the agency of citizens, communities and marginalized groups in constructing their own paths to development by giving more space for locally-defined goals and locally-led strategies that better reflect people’s aspiration, practices and knowledge and allow for greater democratic participation. We demand particularly the government for accountability mechanisms on ensuring that ODA and development programs reflect the interest and truly benefit the people especially the marginalized segments and in ensuring that ODA is free from corruption.
- Strengthen Development Effectiveness through development cooperation practices that promote human rights and focus on the eradication of poverty and inequality. The government and development partners must commit to and implement rights-based approaches to development focusing their attention to the most marginalized people and people living in poverty; ensuring inclusive participation and empowerment and upholding of the right to development; promote and implement gender equality and women’s rights; and implement a decent work (and decent wage) agenda.
- Affirm and ensure the participation of the full diversity of CSOs in the Philippines as independent development actors in their own right in development cooperation processes.
- Enact and support House Bill 3230 which provides for greater democratic ownership in the country’s official development assistance and ensuring the role of CSOs in development cooperation.
- Recognize the Istanbul Principles as basis for context-specific assessment of CSO contributions to development.
- Commit to creating an enabling environment for CSOs for them to reach their full potential as development actors. Basic enabling mechanisms for CSOs must be in place in keeping with international human rights guarantees, including freedom of association, freedom of expression, the right to operate free from unwarranted state interference, the right to communicate and cooperate, the right to seek and secure funding, and the state’s duty to protect its people.
- Promote an equitable and just development cooperation architecture that is inclusive, rights-based and democratic.
- Work for an inclusive Busan Compact for Development Effectiveness at the HLF IV – consistent with human rights conventions and covenants involving all stakeholders – governments, donors, multi-lateral institutions, parliamentarians, local governments and civil society.
- Recognize CSOs especially women’s organizations, social partners and grass roots organizations as full members in the formal structures of a new development architecture, along with governments and other defined development stakeholders.
- Create an equitable and inclusive multi-stakeholders forum for policy dialogue enabling and supporting situations where people can exercise sovereignty over their own process of development, where the voice of the marginalized groups are given space and heard, supporting and ensuring economic, social, political and cultural institutions are accountable, inclusive, participatory and democratic.
i AidWatch Philippines is a broad network of 160 grassroots-based NGOs and civil society networks involve in the promotion of aid and development effectiveness in over 60 provinces in the Philippines.
ii The Council for People’s Development and Governance (CPDG) is a broad and diverse national network based in the Philippines of national-sectoral and regional networks of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and people’s organizations (POs) engaged in development work. CPDG engages in the CSO development effectiveness process.
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Philippine CSOs brace for Aid effectiveness 4th high level forum in Korea; forward country’s key development issues
Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) from all over the Philippines gathered last Friday, April 29 in a strategy meeting tagged as “In Busan and beyond: claiming the people’s right to development” which aimed to identify key issues to be forwarded in the 4th High Level Forum (HLF4) on Aid effectiveness in November this year.
Moreover, the meeting also merged aid effectiveness and its parallel process CSO development effectiveness in the country. This initiative which aims to further advance Filipino people’s development issues in the global community is the first of its kind in Asia-pacific.
During the said meeting, AidWatch Philippines presented its engagement on the aid effectiveness process since its establishment in 2003 as a strong CSO network on aid and development issues while the Council for People’s Development and Governance (CPDG) discussed Philippine CSOs’ engagements in the development effectiveness process.
For their part, CSO representatives pointed out several issues of the marginalized sectors that need to be addressed in the Korea HLF4 through a workshop guided by the BetterAid platform Key Asks document.
Willy Marbella of Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP/Peasant Movement of the Philippines) registered that the peasants, the largest sector in the society must be included in the global discussions of development by addressing the issue of Agrarian Reform.
On the other hand, Carlos Maningat of Ecumenical Institute for Labor Education and Research pointed out that issue of higher wages must be part of development agenda.
Destruction of ancestral domains and environmental degradation as effects of development aggression were also among the issues raised by the CSO representatives.
After the workshop, AidWatch Philippines announced its series of CSO gatherings towards the HLF4 and its projects which include an independent report on the Philippine government’s implementation of the 2005 Paris Declaration in the country.
CLICK HERE for more photos of the event.
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
In a nationwide consultation, Philippine CSOs reiterate commitment to the people; declare living by Istanbul Principles of CSO Development effectiveness
“In the midst of grave dangers and attacks in our rights, our resolve to serve the marginalized sectors of the society will not wither away but will only grow stronger in time.”
That was the united statement of the 24 national and regional organizations who participated in the recent nationwide thematic consultation of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in situations of conflict held in General Santos City last April 1-2.
|The participants of the consultation with Adele Poskitt of CIVICUS|
Organized by KARAPATAN (alliance for the advancement of people’s rights), Council for People’s Development and Governance (CPDG), Asia Pacific Research Network (APRN) and the international organization World Alliance for Citizen Participation (CIVICUS), the said thematic consultation was conducted to provide venue for CSOs to put forward their best practices, struggles and challenges as development actors working in the midst of conflict situations.
The two-day consultation was also aimed at facilitating Philippine CSOs to identify and push for a common set of recommendations to governments and donors on minimum conditions for an enabling environment that are necessary for CSOs to work effectively in situations of conflict. It was part of an international consultation which started in 2009 and will be finished this year bringing together a unified civil society voice to the 4th High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Busan, South Korea in November 2011.
The participants, composed mainly of human rights defenders, humanitarian workers and grassroots development workers from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao unanimously stated that they have been living by the values and principles of CSO development effectiveness long before the Istanbul Principles of CSO development effectiveness were formulated in September 2010.
|The participants in one of the consultation's workshops|
The Istanbul Principles of CSO Development Effectiveness is a set of eight principles CSOs live by as development actors in their own right which were agreed upon by 170 CSOs from 82 countries in the 1st Open Forum on CSO Development Effectiveness Global Assembly in Istanbul, Turkey in September 2010. These principles guide the work and practices of CSOs in both peaceful and conflict situations in different areas of work from grassroots to policy advocacy and in humanitarian emergencies to long-term development.
The eight principles are: 1. Respect and promote human rights and social justice 2. Embody gender equality and equity while promoting women and girls’ rights 3. Focus on people’s empowerment, democratic ownership and participation 4. Promote environmental sustainability 5. Practice transparency and accountability 6. Pursue equitable partnerships and solidarity 7. Create and share knowledge and commit to mutual learning and 8. Commit to realizing positive sustainable change.
The consultation participants emphasized that Philippine CSOs endeavour for genuine development for the people and the communities they work with. They perform various tasks as social services providers, campaigners and advocates, educators and trainers, etc – all these we do to build the capacities of people and communities towards empowerment and development. They also strongly registered that their mandates that come from their constituencies have made them uphold, assert and defend human rights and social justice even to the point of risking their own lives.
|Teresa Quinawayan shared the 'Morong 43' experience|
Amidst the decades-long armed conflict in the country, living the roles played by CSOs is not easy. Yes, most CSOs and their members who work in raising the people’s awareness and understanding on why they are poor, empowering them to assert their rights and building their capacities to improved their lives have experienced being harassed, arrested and detained, witch hunted and tagged as being either NPA or MILF members or supporters. Many still fell victim to extra-judicial killings and enforced disappearance.
The participants unanimously stated they have always been accountable and transparent to their constituency where their legitimacy emanates first and foremost. With this, the participants urged major development stakeholders, especially government and donors to do the same.
In the two-day consultation, the participants came up with recommendations for donors, governments and among themselves to achieve an enabling environment for them to practice development work more effectively.
For the donors, the participants recommend that systems and policies of CSOs that are already in place must be respected instead of imposing new systems and mechanisms. They also recommend for donors to channel their aids to CSOs that are working genuinely with and amongst the marginalized sectors of the society.
Furthermore, the participants urged the government to genuinely recognize CSOs as development actors and stop repressions and attacks against their rights. They also called for the government to respect and endorse the Istanbul Principles for CSO Development Effectiveness.
In conclusion, the participants reaffirmed and asserted their most basic guiding principle in working for genuine development and sustainable change: to serve the people.
FOR MORE PHOTOS, PLEASE CLICK HERE.
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