ZABIDA thrust on empowerment – democracy and participation PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 01 August 2014 09:04

I am out of town but I am glad to share the good news today from the Peace Advocacy Zamboanga (PA) about the “barangay graduation rite” of the year-long empowerment program of the Zamboanga-Basilan Integrated Development Alliance, Inc. (ZABIDA) last July 30 at a local hotel.

Dubbed Social Marketing Forum, 22 marginalized barangays (17 from Zamboanga City and 5 from Basilan) selected last year for socialized development program were recognized.  They were given programs and supported by ZABIDA as a way to empower to be free from the clutches of poverty.

The program called Integrated Social Empowerment Program is funded by the Australian government that targeted sector-by-sector encapacitation towards civic activism and collaboration. It was attended by the communities’ program facilitators and coordinators and their respective barangay officials. They were recognized for their achievements in strengthening their self-governance and grassroot development initiatives through the ZABIDA program.

ZABIDA president Fr. Angel Calvo praised the barangays for their willingness to partner with the ZABIDA program. The partnership, he said, has revealed opportunities by which deep-down social transformations to overcome poverty and attain total human security, sector by needy sector. This thrust, he said, resonates with President Aquino’s central message in his State of the Nation Address this week wherein he appealed for an authentic social transformation. This is achieved, he said, through social mobilization as aimed for by the ZABIDA program, which is in one respect in consonance with the national government’s bottom-up budgeting process.

The highlight of the program was the launching of a documentary book published by ZABIDA. The book entitled “ZABIDA – Weaving the Tapestry of Shared Realities in Zamboanga City and Basilan” was written by Liezl Camacho. Dr. Grace Rebollos, president of ZABIDA Reach Out to Others Foundation (ROOF), presented the book.

Speaking on behalf of Lantawan Mayor Rustam Ismael, Lantawan municipal planning and development coordinator Ruben Mustapha said that as a result of the town’s five barangays’ participation in the program, the LGU’s next budgeting process will endeavor to invest more funds towards their basic services. Sectoral representatives from the youth, children, women, elderly, persons with disability, urban poor and landless, farmers, and indigenous peoples also delivered their respective “statement of partnership”. Democratic participation and good government in local communities is one of the six key thrusts of ZABIDA being implemented this year.

Deuteronomy 31:6 “Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”


By: Dante Corteza