Ferdinand Marcos was called a dictator because he imposed martial law and people lost their fundamental rights and freedoms. Policies were decreed instead of being legislated. For more than 20 years, “what Marcos wants, Marcos gets”.
He wanted to take over the ABS-CBN, he got it. He wanted a nuclear plant, he got it. He wanted Aquino, Diokno, Tañada and many others jailed, he got it. Something similar is happening nowadays.
In a certain government office today positions are changed and policies are imposed and never consulted. Employees are treated as if they are enemies to be watched and monitored. They are even cajoled, if not required, to do propaganda work for politicians. What is worse is the way procurement is done. An employee told us, “Sa wa pa na sija Sir kay diha na may among na-canvass nga nindot nga quality for reasonable price. Sa sija na kay giilisdan og mauton nga quality, maguwang ras multicab, for 2.5 million”.
Such shenanigans do not happen in Bohol’s civil society. Thank you to Daidee Padron of the Diocesan Social Action Center for providing us the data for Part I of this article. This week we feature the Process Foundation under the leadership of Jun Salgados, and the Bohol Integrated Development Foundation (BIDEF) with Franz Batoy at the helm.
The Process Foundation has been serving Boholanos for many decades, organizing and empowering communities, particularly fisherfolks and women. In recent years they had been busy with three major projects; the Renewable Energyfor Livelihoodand Youth (RELY), the Sustainable Resource Management through Coastal Protection Affected by Climate Change in Northern Bohol (SRM-Pro Coast), and its project with DOST – “Accelerating Science and Technology on Women Advoacy through Economic Empowerment in establishing Fish and Coconut-based Responsible Enterprises in the Municipalities of Talibon and Balilihan or (an iSTART) Project.
BIDEF, on the other hand, could be said to be a part of Bohol’s civil society history already. It was founded by Fr. Romeo “Boy” Dompor, 33 years ago, after his stint as the Diocesan Social Action Director. Father Boy, as he was fondly called, organized BANGON or the Bohol Alliance of Non-Government Organizations. He was even appointed by President Cory Aquino as a Member of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan after the EDSA Revolution.
Today’s BIDEF has implemented a total of 64 various programs and projects on coastal resource management, sustainable agriculture, livelihood, disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM), environment, governance, health and sanitation, literacy, consultancy, culture and the arts, and humanitarian projects.
The Project RELY of Process Foundation promotes the use of renewable energy to improve lives and foster climate change mitigation in poor and remote communities by energizing their off-grid public schools. The approach combines solar electrification with community development and improved vocational education by collaborating with partner senior high schools.
Currently, six (6) schools in Bohol particularly in the towns of Talibon and Bien Unido have been provided with solar energy to support the education of off-grid island communities. Solar panels, batteries and other PVC materials were provided to the schools. Specifically, teachers can use electricity 24 hours in making their modules to the pupils. They can use it for their computer technology assistance to island based students, whereas they used to utilize 10 liters of diesel to use electricity for their computers in a one (1) hour learning session.
RELY also provided livelihood support to the 5 women organizations in Talibon and Bien Unido with assistance from the Provincial Government of Bohol, particularly the Office of Governor Art Yap and the Provincial Veterinarian for meat processing, seaweed processing by BFAR and TESDA for bread making and pastries.
There are several community projects currently implemented by BIDEF. The DRRM projects which started in 2011 in Jagna and Duero have now expanded to other areas. The “Disaster Risk Reduction Initiatives in Loay, Loboc and Sevilla or DRILLS Project” has provided capacity building training to the community-based disaster brigades, management and contingency planning, provision of early warning devices and information materials, and other awareness raising activities.
BIDEF is also presently implementing a governance project entitled “Consolidating CSO Networks for Citizens’ Engagement towards Participatory and Accountable Governance for Poverty Reduction (CCCE PAG-PR)” to strengthen civil society organizations’ (CSOs) capacities in mobilizing effective citizens’ demand for transparency, accountability and participatory local governance in pursuit of improved service delivery towards poverty reduction.
The “Local Initiatives for Coastal Management” is currently implemented in the LGUs of Alburquerque, Calape, Clarin, Loay, Loon and Tubigon, to contribute to the effective management of coastal resources to reduce the effects of climate change in the said LGUs, while the Phased Upgrade of BIDEF Farm in Dagohoy into a Demo-Eco Farm with Training Center is currently on its way to completion. This will serve several farmers and organizations who are willing to practice or would like to shift to organic farming methods.
BIDEF has also responded to the current crisis with a total of 1,178 individuals having received food and non-food items during the early months of community quarantine, rice, canned goods and PPEs distributed to several partner LGUs and organizations. BIDEF is currently chaired by Rev. Fr. Victor Bompat, a secular priest belonging to the Diocese of Tagbilaran.