ZABIDA launches program on good governance, disaster mgt PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 19 April 2015 14:42

The journey never ends.

In line with its mission to build peace and strengthen human security in the region, the Zamboanga-Basilan Integrated Development Alliance, Inc. (ZABIDA) launched the second phase of its Convenio II program in a ceremony held on Thursday, April 16.Convenio II is focused on the promotion of democratic and good governance as well as disaster risk reduction management in selected communities and schools in Zamboanga City and Basilan during its implementation period of 2015-2018. The programs will require close collaboration and intertwining support among the partner stakeholders, to include local governments, barangays, schools, government agencies, civil society organizations and ZABIDA.

In his welcome remarks, ZABIDA president Fr. Angel Calvo, CMF said overcoming community problems is a collective responsibility of all sectors and government and non-government agencies.  “Together we can make it happen”, he emphasized. Achieving peace and comprehensive human security, the ultimate goals of the program, is possible through the partnership approach that underpins Convenio II, Fr. Calvo said. Special projects to help civilian victims of the 2013 MNLF attack form part of the program.

The launching event, called “Annual Partnership Forum and Convention Program Presentation”, was graced by Zamboanga City Mayor Ma. Isabelle Climaco-Salazar and officials of funder Spanish government Agencia Espanola de CooperacionInternacionalparaDesarollo (AECID) and Spanish foundation Manos Unidas.  Also present were representatives of barangays, public high schools, civil society groups and government agencies who will take part in the program.

The first Convenio I program was undertaken by ZABIDA during the years 2007-2010 covering Zamboanga and Basilan.

During the event, a memorandum of agreement between the city government and ZABIDA was signed by Mayor Salazar and Fr. Calvo.  The agreementprovides for the “implementing (of) transparent, responsible and effective policies and programmes for reducing poverty, building peace and protecting human rights and increase resilience of communities and reinforce the mechanisms for preparing the response of local government units for adequate management of disaster risk reduction.” A similar agreement was also forged with the municipality of Akbar, Basilan province, which is one of three towns in the province also participating in Convenio II.

A book published by ZABIDA called “Social Empowerment Partnership – Integrated Social Empowerment Program for the Marginalized Communities of Zamboanga City and Basilan” written by Liezl De Sosa-Camacho was also launched byDr. Grace Rebollos during the affair held at the Marcian Garden Hotel Convention Center.

AECID deputy to the director general Ignacio Cabria and Manos UnidasConvenio coordinator Miguel Carballo gave messages of felicitation. Messages of support were also delivered by Marissa Mohamad representing the Department of Agriculture for the economic sector, Teddy Kahil for the persons with disability sector, ArsamerAbundi for the youth, andCol. CustodioParcon in behalf of the Western Mindanao Command-AFP for the security sector. Mayor Salazar delivered a message for the local governance.

The MOA with the city government will entail collaboration on “capacity-building for Barangay LGUs and Marginalized Sectors. . .(such as) Grassroots Participatory Development Planning, Barangay Enterprise Development Programming and Bottom-Up Budgeting, Women Learning Sessions and Participative Gender Auditing, Gender Responsive Barangay Disaster Risk Reduction management Planning, Barangay Peace and Security Planning”.  There shall also be projects on peace education in the schools, barangays and civil society; human rights advocacy of 8 marginalized sectors; mitigating the effects of climate change through tree planting within watersheds of the city and in the conduct of environmental awareness;construction of socialized housing for the 80 urban informal settlers and provision of light materials for the housing of Badjao IDPs; improvement of existing facilities for temporary shelter in case of evacuation due to natural and/or man-made conflict, among others.

Similar projects will also be undertaken by the Nagdilaab Foundation, Inc., in Basilan. NFI is ZABIDA’s partner CSO in that province, while its partners in Zamboanga are Peace Advocates Zamboanga, KatilingbanparasaKalambuan, and Reach Out to Others Foundation. — ZABIDA PR