Promoting Active Citizenship and Constructive Engagement in Butuan City
Safeguarding civil liberties and protecting human rights can always be traced back to a culture of good governance. However, it is often a concept that eludes many institutions and organizations because of the easy allure of corrupt practices. Corruption undermines the principles of transparency, accountability, and fairness. It erodes trust in institutions. It hinders economic development and perpetuates inequality. Fighting corruption requires a culture of integrity that measures value-based principles against systems that could be mended for personal benefit. This struggle to generate an enduring social culture for good governance is an advocacy that the People Power Volunteers for Reforms (PPVR) Caraga has long been advocating for. In the past 3 months, they have held several trainings to nurture these values among trainers and leaders.
This last May 13 and 14, PPVR Caraga, in partnership with FNF Philippines, continued their programs through a two-day seminar with a focus on volunteer training for constructive engagement with local governments and the promotion of active citizenship in Butuan City, Caraga. The training aimed to equip civil society organizations (CSOs), people's organizations, and non-government organizations (NGOs) with the necessary knowledge and skills to engage more effectively in local governance. The training had more than 40 participants. It provided leaders from various centers in Caraga a better understanding of good governance and how they can implement it towards their respective organizations.
The training kicked off with an opening program featuring welcome remarks and an orientation session by representatives from PPVR and FNF. Former Congressman Lorenzo "Erin" Tañada from the 4th District of Quezon delivered a lecture on good governance, emphasizing the importance of the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act as a fundamental tool. Mr. Feliciano L. Radana, a technical staff member of PPVR, then discussed Ambisyon 2040, the Philippine Development Plan, providing insights into the country's long-term vision for sustainable development.
Throughout the two-day event, participants had the opportunity to engage in sessions led by experienced resource speakers. These sessions covered various aspects of local governance, including CSO participation in the Local Government Code, understanding local budgeting and legislations, as well as the importance of implementing programs on climate change, gender, and development. Mr. Bernardino Amarille, PPVR Vice-Chairman, highlighted the importance of CSO involvement in local governance, while Mr. Panfilo Dobluis, PPVR Lead Convenor from Agusan del Sur, delved into the intricacies of local budgeting and legislations. Mr. Feliciano Radana, a PPVR technical consultant, shed light on the impact of climate change on local governance, and Ms. Lea Tingzon, a PPVR gender specialist, provided insights into gender and development.
The training also included interactive workshops, allowing participants to apply their newly acquired knowledge in practical scenarios. Facilitators guided discussions on volunteer engagement in local governance, emphasizing the roles and responsibilities of volunteers and parents for nation building. Participants actively participated in the workshops and shared their ideas and experiences.
On the second day of the training, Mrs. Chit Asis, PPVR Caraga regional chairperson, conducted a session on constructive engagement and active citizenship, synthesizing the key concepts and discussions from the previous sessions. The event concluded with a closing ceremony, during which participants received certificates of completion for their active participation and commitment to promoting active citizenship.
The volunteer training allowed leaders to enhance their knowledge, skills, and understanding of local governance processes. Equipped with this newfound expertise, the participants are expected to contribute significantly to their respective communities, fostering a culture of active citizenship and positive engagement with local governments.