CHARLITO “Kaloy” Z. Manlupig, pioneer of the Balay Mindanaw Group of NGOs (BMG), is urging both public and private sectors to “journey” with the barangays of Cagayan de Oro City towards peace, equity and development.
“They are calling on us to join them in their journey. No, they are not asking us for dole outs. All they are asking is for us to fill the gaps. They are just claiming what is rightfully theirs — appropriate services and support and investments from the government and the private sector. They hope to receive concrete and solid from us too,” he said.
Manlupig, former director for Northern Mindanao of the Department of Agrarian Reform, made the call during the Stakeholders’ Forum where at least PhP155 million was committed by various government agencies and non-government organizations to help implement the programs and projects the barangays have identified and contained in their 5-Year Barangay Development Plans (BDPs).
The BDP serves as an official barangay document which incorporates the profile, needs, concerns, goals, priority programs, projects and targets of the locality and identified and prioritized interventions based on the available resources coming from internal and external sources.
Each barangay underwent the process of Participatory Resource/Rural Appraisal (PRA) as their basis for the formulation of their BDPs.
The PRAs were facilitated by the Balay Mindanaw Foundation, Inc. (BMFI) with the active involvement of the City Planning and Development Office (CPDO) and the City Department of Interior and Local Government (CILG) and other government agencies and institutions.
“This participatory process is done through a community consultation, focus group discussions, especially with the Barangay Development Councils (BDCs),” said Sabrina Garcia-Balais, team leader of the CDO Team of Balay Mindanaw Foundation, Inc. (BMFI).
To ensure a holistic approach and integration of the barangays’ concerns on peacebuilding, disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation (CCA-DRR) in the conduct of the PRA, the participants were usually grouped into four sectors, namely: (1) Land Use Development and Environment ; (2) Agri-Economic Development; (3) Social-Human Resource Development; and (4) Local Governance/Development Administration.
“We cannot turn our back on those people who help themselves. Through their BDPs and BDRRMPs [Barangay Disaster Risk Reduction Management Plans], these barangays have put their future unto their own hands, so to speak. They have collectively looked at their past, looked deeply into their problems, assessed and appreciated their own local resources, and dreamed about their future — not hollow fleeting dreams, but solid concrete plans and projects,” Manlupig said.
The BDPs, Manlupig said, are the “the fruits of the collective and democratic efforts” of the barangays. BDPs are the visible demonstration of a community working together, staying together and facing and shaping their future together.
“[Through their BDPs], they have committed to help themselves. I invite everyone to accept the invitation: let us hold their hands as they journey towards becoming truly empowered, sustainable, resilient and peaceful communities,” Malupig added. (Bong D. Fabe)