Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Public Administration of Peace and Development:The Sarangani Experience

The Public Administration of Peace and Development:
The Sarangani Experience[1]

By: Ernesto C. Casiple Jr.[2]
(A paper presented to the Class 43rd of Masters in National Defense of the National Defense College, Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City. Presentation was held at the Environmental Conservtaion and Protection Center (ECPC), Capitol Compound, Alabel Sarangani Province, Philippines on April 18, 2007.)

The unique multicultural view of Mindanao and the challenging frontiers it has experienced showed by the occasional setbacks in development is a breakthrough to redefine livability in terms of the needs of the community. This is brought about by conflicts surrounding the island. Peace and development is viewed as eclectic in terms of definition and applicability. Like public administration per se, peace and development has become inseparable terms to look at growth of a community.

Incorporating peace and development with public administration has even become more complicated and more challenging. But it has never become a burden rather an opportunity to explore the needs of the community and being able to deliver appropriate projects and programs we will call “tool for peace.”

This paper would like to explore on the attempt of the Provincial Government of Sarangani to institutionalize peace and development in its public administration. Institutionalization here would mean formal creation of an office that would both oversee and promote peace and development initiatives of the Province and by external accessing support to fund its resources.

Initial Initiatives
& the Malabod Experience

The signing of the Final Peace Agreement (FPA) in 1996 paved way to attainment of peace in Mindanao. The FPA has gained support from the United Nations. It gave birth to the first phase of the GoP-UN Multi-Donor Programme in Mindanao. SPCPD[3] was created to oversee the second phase of the Programme until the initial months of the phase three (3). This have identified 11[4] Peace and Development Communities in the Province. It must be stressed that Phase 2 focused on MNLF members and their families while the Phase 3 included the Christians and the Lumads as beneficiaries.

During the Phase 3, the PDCs became the central institution of the programme to where the Local Peace and Development Program of the Province was founded.

On the other hand, the Local Peace and Development Program of the Province has a unique beginning. In an article published by the Kalinaw Sarangani[5] on December 2007, it was mentioned that “intermittent crimes such as cattle rustling and robbery became famous in the identified hotspots of the Province. One of the areas of concern on banditry was the Barangay Malabod in Malungon.” The situation in Malabod has worsened that the case has to be coordinated by religious groups and local leaders. Thirteen lawless elements surrendered in December 2000 through the collaborative efforts of local government units. This led to the creation of the then Provincial Task Force for Peace and Development (PTFPD). The LGU Executives believed that the Malabod experience has to be sustained and that the PTFPD was tasked to document the negotiations as well as address the various issues and concerns of the local government units.

Moreover, the peace and development initiatives in the Province was even recognized during the initial partnership between the UN-MDP3 with other stakeholders such as military, police and other cooperating agencies and national government agencies.

On June 2003, Sarangani launched the Provincial Peace Summit (first in the Province and in the Region). The Summit “provided the blueprint for the crafting of the Provincial Peace and Development Strategic Plan.” Still on the same year, “the provincial government replicated the UNMDP3 experience in the Barangays of Ticulab, Mindupok, Upo and Kalaong in Maitum, as its pilot expansion areas for peace and development communities.” The Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) saw the need to oversee the efforts of the Province. Thus, the Peace and Development Committee was created as sub-committee.

Later, Executive Order No. 29, Series of 2004 expanded the membership of the Provincial Task Force for Peace and Development to “include other key national agencies and NGOs.” This paved way to the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the Province and the ACT for Peace Programme (the successor pahse of the GoP-UNMDP 3) in 2006. The Province acted as the service provider while the ACT for Peace funds it with the aim to build the gains of the past three phases of the UNDP.

KSU Overview

In 2004, the Provincial Government of Sarangani adopted the Comprehensive Peace and Development Plan[6]. Subsequently, peace and development initiatives are underway through the Special Concerns Division under the Office of the Governor. Branded as a duplicate and replication of functions of other government units, the Province saw the need to mainstream peace and development into one compact unit that will formalize the institutionalization of the culture of peace[7]. Like in other places, the question is always on the difference of a peace and development office to the function of other offices.

Having realized that there is a unique way to resolve conflict, maintain peace and create peace, thus, brings peace and development, Executive Order # 16, Series of 2007 created the Kalinaw Sarangani as the Peace and Development Program of Sarangani Province. The Kalinaw Sarangani[8] handled the Kalinaw Sarangani Unit (referring to the office) under the Office of the Governor.

What made Kalinaw Sarangani unique? While we concede to the fact that the tangible projects delivered to the community may be the same with other offices, the way the projects are realized make it more acceptable and accessible to and by the community. “Kalinaw Sarangani aims to promote and preserve a peaceful and livable Sarangani where the people enjoy basic services and are actively involved in planning development and exercising governance.”

While other offices focus on addressing the issues of poverty and unemployment, the Kaliaw Sarangani incorporated marginalization, lack of access and cultural insensitivity as problems resulting to poverty and conflicts.

Kalinaw Sarangani works with Peace and Development Communities (PDCs). PDCs are Barangays in Sarangani Province that are identified as post-conflict areas and conflict-vulnerable areas. Kalinaw Sarangani also attempts to reach interior Barangays in the Province (e.g. Kinam, New Aklan, Datal Anggas, etc.) The Program would like to capacitate and uplift the living conditions of 50 Barangays in 2010. This is through incorporation of the Culture of Peace (CoP). Of the goals, objectives, and principles of program the makes emphasis on:
pursuing the tenets of peace and development by being catalyst, facilitator, and advocate of peace and development initiatives;
transforming the local communities that have been disturbed by strife and conflict into peace and loving communities meeting basic needs and providing access to basic social services;
facilitating assistance to different force multipliers/ extenders to include tanods, CVOs, rebel returnees, MILF, MNLF and community members affected by conflict; and
adhering to the principle of parallel governance and co-existence of ethno-linguistic group under the paradigm of community living and mutual respect.

The Program operates on three (3) project components namely PEACE, MaP, and Special Project with ACT for Peace. The three (3) project components are necessarily complementing each other. Although, 18 of the 50 PDCs covered in the Program are identified in the Special Project with A4P while the remaining PDCs are called regular PDCs that are PLGU funded.

PEACE Project

The PEACE Project is an acronym of Peace Education through Alliance-building and Community Empowerment. Among others, the projects aims to “increase involvement of key partners (MNLF, MILF, NPA, former bandits, religious groups, CSOs, CVOs, line agencies and others) in peace building, development planning, decision-making and governance.”

MaP Project

The MaP Project stands for Madaris for Peace Project. In has been an enduring objective of the Province preserve its Muslim Heritage through educating the youth in the establishment of Madaris.

A4P Project

The Special Project with the ACT for Peace Programme is a partnership agreement between the Province and the GoP-UNMDP ACT for Peace Programme. Areas of partnership focus on supporting 18 PDCs in the Province by providing institutional development mechanisms to PDCs[9].

Lighting the Candle: 2007 Highlights

The formal birth of Kalinaw Sarangani on September of 2007 was a challenging start. The staff have formed and capacitated as early as July of 2007. As an initial mechanism to remove the feeling of apathy of the former combatants (MNLF) towards the government, the staff underwent teambuilding workshop with the Peace and Development Advocates (PDAs)[10].

This could mean a necessary prelude to the implementation of the program. There have been ground-working on the field. On September 1, 2007 the first Culture of Peace Training were attended by 30 barangay officials in Maligang, Kiamba, seven days after the formal inception of Executive Order # 16, Series of 2007[11] on August 24, 2007.

The following are some highlights in the campaign of the Province to stop conflict and arm struggle[12]:
Kalinaw Sarangani staff (called Peace Coordinators) jointly worked with the Peace and Development Advocates (PDAs) who are former MNLF as community organizers in the ACT for Peace identified PDCs (2007);
Yield of 89 sympathizers of NPA on August 30, 2007 through inter-agency coordination;
Active partnership with government, civilian, and military authorities for the Balik Kinam Project. (Kinam is an interior Barangay in Malapatan. It was identified as neglected and rebel-influenced Barangay. Now, government interventions for development are coming in the area.)

Some tangible projects[13] for the PDCs were also delivered in the hope to alleviate poverty. However, stressed is given on the need to capacitate the people in the identified PDCs. Capacitating them include mechanism for active participation of the community in the local barangay units, formation of people’s organization for enterprise and economic development, activating the tanods and CVOs in the barangay for peace and development.

For the Madaris for Peace Project, 45 Madrasah Centers for established and supported headed by 85 Asatiz. Muslim students are having informal/ private Arabic Language and Islamic Values classes during weekend. This is in line with the goal of the Province to protect the Muslim Cultural heritage in the area.

Before the year ended, a Peace Forum jointly facilitated by the Kalinaw Sarangani and the ACT for Peace Programme through the Mindanao Economic Development Council (MEDCO) and the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) was held on November 26, 2007. This was attended by major peace stakeholders in the Province with the aim of revealing and sharing the experiences and the efforts towards peace and development.


Recent Interventions

The initial activities conducted in 2007 continue to present. For 2008, 35 PDCs are supported by the Kalinaw Sarangani. Bringing rebel returnees[14] closer to the government is the aim for 2008 while it is understood that key result areas will continue to focus in strengthening peace and development mechanisms in the PDCs.

The 2007 Barangay Elecrtion resulted to the need for continued orientation and reorientation of the program and institutionalization of the culture of peace. Some undelivered 2007 projects were turn-overed to the concerned PDCs.

The opening of 2008 triggered the need to emphasize peace dialogues to resolve conflict in the community. For example, a shooting of Barangay Kagawad in Tuyan, Malapatan resulted to a Peace and Order Dialogue between the B’laans and Muslims in the community facilitated by the Barangay with the assistance of Kalinaw Sarangani. On the other hand, a feeling of apathy between the BLGU in Datu Dani in Kiamba and the residents led to Kadsisinabute (An Intercultural Dialogue for Peace) on March 15, 2008. This was done with the help of the Peace Network[15] and other partners.

Medical missions to various PDCs with the assistance of Intenational Monitoring Team (IMT) highlighted the first quarter of 2008.


Organization & Management

Kalinaw Sarangani, the peace and development program of Sarangani Province, is implemented by the Kalinaw Sarangani Unit under the Office of the Governor. The Governor generally acts as the head approving persona of all transactions of the Unit. The Unit is headed by a Peace Program Officer who heads the program implementation.

Meanwhile, the Program Manager helps the supervision and management of the program. There are also Peace Coordinators (acting as project coordinators in each of the municipalities in the Province). They facilitate the community organizing/ planning and social marketing of the Peace and Development Program.

On the other hand, a Madaris Coordinator manages the Madaris for Peace Project. He is assisted by 85 Asatiz. A Liaison Officer handles the coordination of peace efforts for the PNP, tanods, and CVOs.

A Technical Asssistant assists the Kalinaw Team in data banking and profiling of technical documents.

An administrative assistant and administrative aides plus the driver assists in the overall undertaking of the Program.

Challenges

The Kalinaw Sarangani continues to work on the goal of the Province to promote and preserve a peaceful and livable Sarangani. The specific mandate of the Program is to peace-building in the post-conflict and conflict vulnerable PDCs.

However, the Program cannot escape from the reality that it is critiqued as political. The challenge is for it to be tagged as developmental more than political or at least both. Although its political personality is never a hindrance to achieve goals. After all, everything works in a political spectrum.

A debate on territoriality will also come in. This means that other offices would debate as to the replication of the activities of the program rather than its unique persona. Thus, the Kalinaw Sarangani maintains the effort of institutionalizing the culture of peace at the local level with the inclusion of the promotion of participatory governance. Transforming communities may take decades but at least an initial step has been done.

On the issue of alleviating poverty, Kalinaw Sarangani knows its limit. Remember that Sarangani Province is 4th of the poorest Province in the country. It is good to note however that the Provincial Government has been taking the lead to address this problem.

The above are general challenges to the Program implementation. At the ground level, (I mean at the organization and management level), there is an immediate need to address a gap.

While the Program Management satisfies the requirement for the implementation of the three project-components, there is an increasing demand to more developmental work. The limitation of the program structure is anchored on these three project components. The demand for possible partnerships and collaborations with other agencies are getting high. There are on-going partnership meetings with Habitat for Humanity. Petron Foundation is eyeing the Province for partnership through building mosques. GTZ has long wanted the Province to be its partner in peace and conflict transformation. Asia Foundation is courting the Province for a project engagement.

These were challenging engagements that are useful in the aim of the Province to reduce poverty and provide development to its constituents.

There are questions that are to be answered not now but in the future academic discussion. However, it is best that these are lay down now.

Should the Unit restructure itself now in the advent of coming of new partners or should it wait for 2010 when the program is expected to have delivered its mandate as required in the key result areas?
How do we balance the issue of political persona and developmental persona of the Unit and of the Program?
Is there really public administration of peace and development? Or is it left inculcated in the mandate of other offices in the local government?

To answer this, a dynamic exchange of unfettered ideas or pursuit to intellectual orgasm must be employed. Developmental planners have their own unique way of making things done and being able to achieve it goals.

But for now, I must tell you---Kalinaw Sarangani shines in terms of peace and development advocacy.

Sukran!


[1] A paper presented to visitors from the National Defense College on April 18, 2008 at the ECPC, Capitol Compound, Alabel, Sarangani Province. Unedited and unpublished.
[2] Ernesto C. Casiple is a Peace Coordinator of Kalinaw Sarangani. He is currently acting as OIC Program Manager of the Kalinaw Sarangani.
[3] SPCPD stands for Southern Philippines Council for Peace and Development.
[4] The identified PDCs in the Province included Sapu Masla, Tuyan, and Lun Padidu of Malapatan; Daliao, Lumatil, and Kanalo of Maasim; and Datu Dani, Tambilil, and Katubao of Kiamba.
[5] The official publication of the local program is also named Kalinaw Sarangani.

[6] The Comprehensive Peace and Development Plan was packaged by the Peace and Development Task Force in 2004.
[7] The culture of peace is based on the principles established in the Charter of the United Nations and on respect for human rights, democracy and tolerance, the promotion of development, education for peace, the free flow of information and the wider participation of women as an integral approach to preventing violence and conflicts, and efforts aimed at the creation of conditions for peace and its consolidation."
[8] Kalinaw Sarangani commenced on September 2007 to 2010.
[9] Institutional Development mechanisms service delivery of projects such as Barangay Health Station, Botika ng Barangay and other livelihood projects for the PDCs.
[10] The PDAs were former MNLF. During the reconciliation effort of the Government to integrate returnees to the arm forces, they are those who opted to work as peace advocates (community organizers). PDAs form the Peace and Development Advocates League (PDAL).
[11] Executive Order # 16, Series of 2007 institutionalizes the Kalinaw Sarangani.
[12] From Kalinaw Sarangani, Vol. 1. No.1: December 2007 issue.
[13] Some tangible projects delivered in the PDCs for 2007 are ambulance in Pinol, Maitum, road extension for Tambilil in Kiamba health center in Lagundi, Kiamba Day Care Center for Katubao. Carabao dispersal, water systems etc.
[14] A Kalinaw Sarangani Program Orientation and Intro. to Culture of Peace were given to 18 former NPAs on February 27, 2008 at the 66th IB, Malapatan.
[15] Peace Network is an informal circle of organizations working for peace in SOCSARGEN.

AIM-World Bank Mindanao Bridging Leaders Programmme (MBLP)

AIM-World Bank Mindanao Bridging Leaders Programmme (MBLP)
CLICK ON PIC FOR LINK: The overall objective of the program is to build a cadre of Bridging Leaders in Mindanao, who can address issues like peace, education, health, land conflicts, poverty, and poor local governance, among others. The MBLP is implemented by AIM Center for Bridging Leadership.

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B'LAAN INDIGENOUS NITO PRODUCTS

B'LAAN INDIGENOUS NITO PRODUCTS
Let's help B'laan Communities in Tampakan earn additional income by buying their products made of nito. Products include plates, baskets, hats, and others. Call directly the Municipal Agriculture Office of Tampakan at (083) 227-2902.

SWEET, SPICY AND CRUNCHY

SWEET, SPICY AND CRUNCHY
Mommy Juling's Atsara of BKR Foods continue to increase productivity, hence increasing its job generation and income. On its launching of its expanded processing plant on Oct. 23, BKR reported that it has increase its production from 60 kgs a month in the late 2008 to 600 kgs a month in 2010. Mommy Juling's Atsara is available at Gaisano Mall, KCC Malls, ACE Centerpoint and other convenient store. See its processing plant at Bayan, Polomolok, South Cotabato. Rona Ortiz will be happy to hear and know from you through (+63) 0919-461-0152.

CORN HUSK NOVELTY ITEMS

CORN HUSK NOVELTY ITEMS
Help protect environment, help our rural women and out-of-school youth from Surallah. Buy Novelty items for Christmas and any occasions (souvenirs and corporate giveaways) to Pag-Asa Youth Association of Centrala, Allah Valley Crafters Association and Neza's Novelty Items. Text or call (+63) 0917-347-0832.

HEALTH AND WELLNESS! CLEANSE TO A HEALTHY LIFE

HEALTH AND WELLNESS! CLEANSE TO A HEALTHY LIFE
Food supplements are never expensive and should never be. What we need now are 100% natural products (no synthetic materials or foreign bodies and no artificial preservatives added). For Jong Bajunaid of Tupi, South Cotabato helping others is very important. Her advocacy of natural healing and remembering old ways of healing and bring that to present scenario is never old. Buy mangosteen tonic, papaya cider, and coco-papaya vinegar from JNB Industries in Tupi, South Cotabato. Mam Jong will be happy to share her knowledge on the wonders of natural healing. She is a Gawad-Saka Awardee (farmer-scientist). You can reach her through (+63) 0916-795-3154.

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