CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY—The small development and peacebuilding non-government organization (NGO) Balay Mindanaw Foundation, Inc. (BMFI) is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year by giving due recognition to its partner barangays through the Balay Mindanaw Awards.
The Balay Mindanaw Awards is “a way of highlighting the development and peace works, etc. of the barangays through Balay Mindanaw in many parts of Mindanao and the rest of the Philippines,” said Archbishop Antonio J. L:edesma, S.J., D.D.
“We often overlook the barangays. It is now time to recognize the barangays especially since they are the backbone or pillars of our society,” he said.
Ledesma is overall co-chairman of the Balay Mindanaw Awards Council of Judges and chair of the Kalinaw (Peace) Awards category.
“It is very important to look and recognize the barangays from the ground level and see how local communities developed into peaceful, equitable and resilient communities,” he added.
The Balay Mindanaw Awards seeks to recognize citizens’ initiatives of barangay governance to make a difference by working towards equity, development, peace and resiliency.
“We wish to recognize community-based and barangay-focused initiatives and best practices. Inspired by their examples, we see our 20th anniversary as the time to give back to our partners,” said Balay Mindanaw Founder, President and Chairman Emeritus Charlito “Kaloy” Manlupig.
The Awards Council of Judges is chaired by Edicio “Ed” dela Torre, who is also a member of the board of trustees of Balay Mindanaw. The other members of the Council of Judges are seasoned personalities with solid grounding on community development, peacebuilding, disaster management, and rights and social justice such as Gerry Bulatao, Ma. Corazon Llanderal, Jose Noel Olano, Charlito Manlupig, Sylvia Paraguya, Ayi Hernandez, Teody Pena, David and Jane Langworthy, Ramon Chua and Goldy Chan.
Dela Torre said all 309 partner barangays of Balay Mindanaw in Mindanao and the Visayas are eligible for nomination to the four categories, which are Kalinaw (Peace) Award, Kalambuan (Development) Award, Kaangayan (Equity) Award, and Kalig-on (Resiliency) Award.
Barangays that have shown outstanding local capacities to address issues of injustice and inequities can be nominated for the Kaangayan (Equity) Award. For the Kalambuan (Development), nominated barangays should show outstanding initiatives in addressing poverty towards sustainability and viability. The Kalinaw (Peace) Award will be given to the barangay that have shown outstanding local initiatives to address violent conflicts, able transform these conflicts and capable of building peace. And the Kalig-on (Resiliency) Award will be given to the barangay that have shown outstanding resiliency and preparedness in facing disasters.
Among the criteria are (1) effects on the people of the barangay of programs and/or projects of Balay Mindanaw in the barangay, (2) Leadership and people’s participation in the barangay, (3) Innovation, and (4) Sustainability including the capability to access what they deserve from the national government.
“We have a great vision at Balay Mindanaw. But our gauge of success really is the barangay,” he said, explaining that what is given emphasis by the NGO is its programs’ and projects’ effects and impact on the people in the barangay.
Dela Torre said that barangays that are nominated for the Kalinaw (Peace) Award should have “institutionalized the mechanisms on the peaceful resolution of conflict, among others;” for Kaangayan (Equity) Award, barangays should have visibly “lessen land tenure problems, among others”; for Kalambuan (Development) Award, there should be “measurable improvement in the income and livelihood of the people”; and for the Kalig-on (Resiliency) Award, the barangay should have, among others, “a Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) Plan”.
“Through the awards, we will celebrate local victories in building empowered, sustainable, resilient and peaceful communities,” said Manlupig.
Winners will receive prize packages with a trophy and Php100,000 cash including barangay para-legal training, project development fund, community OPKORS, sky hydrant, and ram pump.
The award trophy, which represents the Balay Mindanaw vision for Mindanao as the bearer of light, hope and peace, is handcrafted by Jojo Sescon, a renowned environmentalist, photojournalist, multi-awarded film maker and international sculptor from Mindanao. The trophy depicts the tri people braced together for unity, enabling communities and inspiring lives.
Nomination for the Balay Mindanaw Awards is ongoing. Last day of submission of nominations is on March 21. Shortlisted nominees will be announced on April 8 while the finalists will be announced on May 8.
The awarding, presentation, exhibition, and celebration will be held at the Ayala Centrio activity center on May 27.