Balay Mindanaw, Tagum Cooperative win Galing Pook’s 1st Citizenship Award

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/02 September) — Two of three organizations honored for the Galing Pook Foundation’s 1st Citizenship Award on September 1 are from Mindanao: the Cagayan de Oro-based Balay Mindanaw Foundation, Inc. (BMFI) and Tagum Cooperative of Tagum City, Davao del Norte.

BMFI was awarded for “empowering communities in peacebuilding and development,” while Tagum Cooperative was cited for “contributing to both members’ welfare and community development.”

The third winner, the Concerned Citizens of Abra for Good Governance, Inc. won for its “community-based monitoring of government programs and services.”

According to the Galing Pook Foundation, the Citizenship Award supports and builds on the core thrust of the Galing Pook Foundation in promoting good governance through its annual Galing Pook Awards.

The Citizenship Award was launched this year to search for, identify, recognize and promote the initiatives of individuals and civil society organizations working with the grassroots “who keep making good in the midst of continuing controversies in the government, socio-economic difficulties that beset not only the Philippines, and the development challenges brought about by the adverse effects of climate change.”

It also recognizes individuals and institutions that continue to “discover opportunities within the existing democratic institutions and venues; who creatively find, utilize and mobilize wealth from available resources; and who keep producing and adding more values for social good, with and for the people and the communities they work with.”

Kaloy Manlupig, BMFI Chairman Emeritus, received the award on behalf of BMFI during the awards rites on Tuesday night, September 1 at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay.

Manlupig thanked Galing Pook Foundation for the “historic honor.”

01balaymin_web“We humbly accept this award, as we thank you for recognizing our efforts to be good citizens, making the principles of good governance truly alive. We also accept this award as a challenge for us to pursue our effort to spread the good news that there is hope for our country when citizens and government help each other,” Manlupig said.

“We are thankful for the space entrusted to us by our partners – the citizens and local governments of the barangays, towns and provinces, the tribes, the basic sectors, the Moro,Lumad and Christians of Mindanao, the government agencies, our resource partners, and most specially our families,” he added.

He also thanked his colleagues at Balay Mindanaw for the “continuing journey together.”

BMFI was set up on May 8, 1996 with a mission statement of “Helping Build Empowered Sustainable Communities. Helping Build Peace in Mindanaw” in pursuit of its vision for Kaangayan, Kalambuan, Kalinaw sa Mindanaw, sa Pilipinas, sa Kalibutan (Equality, Development, Peace for Mindanao, for the Philippines and for the World).

Tagum Cooperative started in May 1967 as the “Holy Name Society” of Tagum Parish with a handful of members and an available share capital of only 80 pesos.

Today, it is a multi-awarded cooperative with at least 117,000 members.

The cooperative’s vision statement is to be the “icon of trust and excellence in social and financial services.”

According to the Galing Pook Foundation, the co-op’s Education, Community Development Program (ECDP) Section implements various programs and activities that support the community, such as providing scholarships for 10 intelligent but financially challenged students, vocational training for 60 beneficiaries, school supplies for more than 2,000 indigent students in 22 schools, cleaning materials to 91 partner schools, an alternate learning system or back-to-school program for out-of-school youth, and a literacy program for adults.

The co-op also supports a nutrition program for school children, free cholesterol screening for senior citizens and free medical check-up for Lumad families. It also helped finance the repair and construction of schools and churches.

For its members, the co-op offers “womb-to-tomb” services — savings program for the young, credit and insurance services for the adults, and mortuary benefits for bereaved families, among others.

The co-op also trains future cooperative leaders through its TC Youth Laboratory Cooperative, which was launched in October 19, 2009. The laboratory teaches some 52,000 junior members on how to manage and operate a regular cooperative, and how to operationalize the principles of financial management, planning and budgeting. (Carolyn O. Arguillas / MindaNews)