It's time to roll up sleeves

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By Gingging Avellanosa-Valle

Bahin sang Bubay

Sunday, February 2, 2014


A CASE study on the inclusive economic development in the local government units in the municipalities of Parang and Upi have given us a glimpse into the how these LGUs were able to manage in transforming conflict in their communities.

The results as enumerated in the study highlighted the “key to this is the inclusiveness of governance approaches and strategies that bring about positive impact on the perceptions, participation and well-being of community folks and governance stakeholders.”

Some indicators of inclusive development in Parang include among others the intensification of market activity being a trading center for neighboring time municipalities as a result of producers’ and entrepreneurs’ confidence in the peace and order condition. Moreover, the reduction of illegal economic activities and related criminalities (such as dynamite fishing and theft in the farms) have been significant improving the status of one of Parang’s main local resource (coastal/marine/fishery).

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The people’s mindset as to their old fears of gun battles has also been transformed, now shifting to their motivation to produce commodities for the market instead of worrying about the threats of war. Moreover, the growing local market activity has also shown tangible results in terms of increase in local revenue.

In Upi, there is also a significant reduction in the incidence of crimes as a result of a significant drop in poverty incidence from 71.74 percent in 2000 to 39.5 percent in 2009. Likewise, the economic initiatives have mostly benefited internally-displaced persons whose lives, economic activities and families were separated and rudely disrupted by conflict between the government armed forces and Moro rebels.

The study further cited some insights on key elements for the realization of progress and development in the two towns are anchored on a number of key elements. These include the following:

First, the strong leadership qualities of the local chief executives with advocacy and vision for the well-being of their communities, and with sincere and passionate dedication for service towards achieving fruitful results. In an LGU structure where the chief executive is vested with strong powers to take control of the entire local bureaucracy, it is easy to conclude that the LGU can only be as good as the Mayor’s performance.

But while power is oftentimes exploited by their holders in government for their personal advantages, the subject chief executives opted to exemplify the type of leadership that match what people think would be for the best interest of their communities.

Good governance is exemplified, with emphasis on transparency and accountability. This is proven by different awards received by both LGUs and their local chief executives for their performance in “good housekeeping.”

The LGUs’ commitment to stakeholders’ participation in governance is apparent, where a broad range of actors are made actively involved and supportive of government development/poverty reduction programs, including NGOs, POs, business/private sector and academe. Various actors in local development are at work, interplaying with the role and functions of the 2 LGUs.

These are just some of the learning shared in these case studies which can well be emulated by other LGUs in Mindanao.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on February 03, 2014.

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