The promotion and practice of good governance in 23 of Zamboanga City’s barangays was further concretized when their barangay officials and sectoral leaders participated in the “Needs Assessment and Baselining on Barangay Governance” held in Centro Latino, Paseo del Mar, Zamboanga City on Friday, October 17.
The assessment of their respective communities’ socio-economic and ecological needs is a key step in determining what basic services and disaster risk reduction measures are required by their constituents, Department of Interior and Local Government City Director Prof. Moh. Taha Arakama told the participants during the opening ceremony.
The baselining was extrapolated from their communities’ socio-economic and other profiles. Together with the assessment results, these will be used to develop the barangays’ public investment programs, whose implementation starting next year will be in accordance with the principles of accountability and transparency since for one fund disbursements will have to be posted in the community center, Arakama further said.
The databases and identified priority needs will also serve as basis for next year’s budget programming forming the grassroot part of the national government budgeting process. For the barangays, the budgeting period is from January to June, Arakama explained. He said the funding formulations should adhere to the two main goals of the Aquino administration, which are poverty reduction and inclusive growth.
Inclusive growth pertains to special support for the welfare of the poor, persons with disability, cultural minorities, women and children and youth, to include the 20 percent special development fund.
The participants discussed and documented their outputs by barangay, which they presented towards the end of the assembly. They tackled performance areas like barangay facilities, equipment and services; human resource management (staffs); revenues collection and utilization; fiscal accountability; local legislation; transparency; delivery of basic services; waste management; economic development – agriculture, fisheries, businesses; public safety and risk reduction; environmental governance.
This good governance promotion effort was developed and spearheaded by the Zamboanga-Basilan Integrated Development Alliance, Inc. (ZABIDA), whose president is Claretian priest Fr. Angel Calvo. DILG is this civil society organization’s main partner. ZABIDA selected the partner urban and rural barangays partly from years of working with the same communities in other programs like sustainable agriculture, environmental conservation, basic services provisioning, peace-building, housing, community organizing and livelihoods. These programs and projects have been funded mostly by the Spanish government’s Agencia de Cooperacion Internacional para Desarollo and foundation Manos Unidas.
A similar effort is also being implemented by ZABIDA in Basilan province, through its local CSO partner Nagdilaab Foundation, Inc. The other ZABIDA partners are Katilingban para sa Kalambuan, Inc,, Reach Out to Others Foundation, and Peace Advocates Zamboanga.