On October 12-13, 2022, thirty-eight (38) leaders and representatives of civil society organizations (CSOs) in the Municipalities of Liloy, Labason, and Salug in Zamboanga del Norte were trained on citizens’ participation in local governance.

The training contributes to the enhancement and capacity development of CSOs to be effective partners in local governance. Specifically, this two-day training aimed to assess the level of capacity of local CSOs in partnerships and network building, improve knowledge and skills in local government processes, and enhance confidence to actively participate in local government planning and budgeting processes.

Most of the CSOs represented in this training activity are duly registered and accredited in their respective LGUs. Recognizing the importance of citizen’s engagement in governance, they are part of the newly-reconstituted local special bodies in their respective municipalities.

“Nasayod mi na naay kalisuran ug risgo nga makig-alayon sa gobyerno, pero naa pud dakong kahigayunan kung kitang mga CSO makipaglambigit sa gobyerno (We know there are difficulties and risks to ally with government, but there are great opportunities when CSOs partner with government),” says Mr. Romeo Caballero, Chairman of Kahugpungan sa Gagmay’ng Mangigisda sa Kayok in Liloy.

Kung matagaan mig kahigayunan nga muhimo og development project, among i-prioritize na mahatagan og livelihood ang mga kabos labi na ang mga Badjao ug IPs, ug ponduhan gyud ang edukasyon para sa mga bata (If given a chance to implement a development project, we will prioritize giving livelihood opportunities for the poor, especially Badjao and indigenous peoples, and we will give more funds for children’s education),” says Mr. Roy Cabahug, Board Member of Karancho.

Unta walaon gyud ang korapsyon kay ang korapsyon kana gyud ang biggest cause sa kapobrehon (We hope to eradicate corruption because corruption is the biggest cause of poverty),” says Ms. Jenebev Daguplo of the Philippine Guardians Brotherhood Inc. (PGBI) Lawin Chapter Labason.

The training included sessions on CSO Basics and Legal Framework, CSO Participation in Governance, Effective CSO Networking and Partnership Building, Poverty Reduction – Analysis, Framework, and Agenda Building, Local Budget Processing, Local Government Processes on Development Planning and Budgeting, and Project Monitoring and Evaluation.

This two-day training was held on October 12-13, 2022 at JKC Royale Traders Inn, Liloy, Zamboanga del Norte. This training is undertaken with support from the European Union through the Citizen Monitoring of LGU Performance Promoting Accountability and Governance in Health and Social Protection, a project implemented by MINCODE in partnership with the Caucus of Development NGO Networks (CODE-NGO) and Agri-Aqua Development Coalition (AADC). In Mindanao, the CMLPPAG Project is implemented in Zamboanga del Norte from March 2022 to February 2025.