BALAY Mindanaw Foundation, Inc. (BMFI) made history when it won the first-ever Galing Pook Citizenship Award for “empowering communities in peacebuilding and development” during the prestigious awarding ceremonies at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City on September 1.
“Maraming salamat po. We humbly accept this award, as we thank you for recognizing our efforts to be good citizens, making the principles of good governance truly alive. We also accept this award as a challenge for us to pursue our efforts to spread the good news that there is hope for our country when citizens and government help each other. We are thankful for the space provided to us by our partners- the citizens and the local governments of the barangays, towns, provinces, the tribes, the basic sectors, the Moro, Lumad and Christians of Mindanao, the government agencies, our resource partners, our colleagues, and most especially our families,” BMFI Chairman Emeritus Kaloy Manlupig said after accepting the award on behalf of the organization he founded in 1996.
The Citizenship Award supports and builds on the core thrust of the Galing Pook Foundation in promoting good governance. It was launched this year to search for, identify, recognize and promote the initiatives of individuals and civil society organizations working with the grassroots “who keep making good in the midst of continuing controversies in the government, socio-economic difficulties that beset not only the Philippines, and the development challenges brought about by the adverse effects of climate change.”
It also recognizes individuals and institutions that continue to “discover opportunities within the existing democratic institutions and venues; who creatively find, utilize and mobilize wealth from available resources; and who keep producing and adding more values for social good, with and for the people and the communities they work with.”
Out of 33 nominees from different civil society organizations and individuals, BMFI was as one of the top 5 finalists for the award. All finalists were most deserving but only three were declared as winners.
”Members of the selection committee have their own choices. But we have to stick to certain basic criteria. Dapat mahusay. Dapat may resulta,” said Galing Pook Foundation Chairperson Rafael Coscolluela.
The other two winners were the Tagum Cooperative in Davao del Norte and the Concerned Citizens for Abra Good Governance, Inc. Also nominated was the Mahintana Foundation, Inc. based in South Cotabato.