12 best practices in local governance in Mindanao cited

The Surveys, Training, Research and Development Services, Inc. (STRIDES), a joint effort of government, private sector and civil society organizations, presented 12 local government units at the Forum on Innovative Local Governance for Peace and Development in Mindanao in Apo View Hotel here in time for the 15th anniversary celebration of the enactment of the Local Government Code of 1991.

Representatives from each municipality presented their achievements to other local government units, private and civil society organizations to help facilitate replication, expansion or upscaling.

Cited for improved service delivery were the municipality of Dumingag, Zamboanga del Sur for Reproductive Health and Child Friendly Services; municipality of Sto. Tomas in Davao del Norte for solid waste management; and the municipality of Datu Paglas in Maguindanao for housing.

Three local government units (LGUs) were chosen for their success in local economic development, namely: Butuan City for economic enterprises, the municipality of Impasug-ong in Bukidnon for agricultural extension, and the municipality of Libungan in North Cotabato for its basic infrastructure development.

Davao City's gender-responsive local governance is among the three programs cited for enhanced and functional local structures. The others were the municipality of Kolambugan in Lanao del Norte for local special bodies, and the municipality of Lumbayanague in Lanao del Sur for its barangay justice service system.

Peace and development initiatives in Pikit, North Cotabato with its GiNaPaLadTaKa (acronym of seven villages with a mixed Muslim-Christian population helping together to preserve peace); Upi in Maguindanao with its transformative conflict-resolution , and Misamis Oriental's peace zones were also cited.

Workshop discussions for each of the four themes were held for other LGUs to identify which of the practices could be applied to their context; the other gains achieved for the theme and the factors that led to the gains and possible collaboration efforts.

On Oct. 26, panel discussions will be conducted on innovations in public-private partnerships and service delivery. There will also be a workshop on identifying needs and future actions.

The forum was organized to recognize and share LGU, private sector and civil society groups' achievements in service delivery, participatory and accountable governance. Also, it was organized as a venue for them to learn and build up capacity from the cited initiatives, to explore ways of improving and continuing the efforts and to promote partnerships.

The Mindanao Coalition of Development NGO Networks (MINCODE) co-organized the forum with STRIDES and 16 other government, private and donor organizations with support from the Transparent Accountable Governance Project of the Asia Foundation and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).