Galing Pook Activities: March 2024 Recap
March 31, 2024
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The Search for the Ten Outstanding 
Local Governance Programs Begins:

Galing Pook, SM Prime, and DILG-LGA launches the 2024 Galing Pook Awards

Watch the livestream

The pursuit of excellence in local governance takes center stage once again as the Galing Pook Foundation, in partnership with SM Prime and the DILG-LGA, proudly opened the search for the ten outstanding local governance programs for 2024.

“As a partner of the Galing Pook Foundation for decades, LGA and the Galing Pook share a common goal of fostering and enabling excellence in local governance. We believe that excellence in local governance is key to national development in both contributing to the major development and economic indicators while also creating meaningful impact on the lives of our communities,” said LGA Executive Director Thelma Vecina.

Building on its four-year collaboration, SM Prime reaffirms its dedication to highlighting best practices in local governance. "Throughout previous cycles, we've witnessed the remarkable resilience and innovation of LGUs in addressing challenges such as climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic," remarked Liza Silerio, Vice President for Corporate Compliance Group for SM Supermalls . "Effective local governance not only drives economic progress but also fosters enduring partnerships between public and private sectors. We eagerly await entries from empowered LGUs with sustainable, replicable programs," she added.

Chairperson Mel Sarmiento of the Galing Pook Foundation stressed the importance of showcasing pioneering models amidst global shifts. "Our rapidly changing world demands innovative solutions. We urge local governments to share their exemplary programs as beacons of inspiration," remarked Sarmiento. "Participate in the 2024 Galing Pook Awards and let us celebrate and glean insights from initiatives that elevate our communities."

The 2024 Galing Pook Awards welcomes entries  from all levels of local governance, including barangays, cities, municipalities, and provinces. Entries are encouraged to showcase initiatives that reflect meaningful collaboration within local government units, regardless of whether the program was initiated independently or jointly with NGOs, CSOs, or other LGUs. To qualify, programs must have been operational for a minimum of two years prior to the submission deadline and demonstrate verifiable, substantial impact.

Deadline of submission is on June 28, 2024.

Let's Continue to Share Best Practices!
SPACES Goes on a Learning Visit to
Galing Pook Awarded LGUs

The SPACES project embarked on a comprehensive journey across various regions, each stop providing invaluable insights and fostering collaboration among LGUs and civil society organizations, guided by esteemed GP members and mentors.

Our first destination was Negros Occidental, where we extend our heartfelt gratitude to the Provincial Government, led by Governor Bong Lacson, for graciously welcoming the SPACES Study Visit participants from Tabaco City, Albay, and the Municipality of Del Carmen, Surigao del Norte, Philippines. Here, we had the opportunity to witness firsthand the adaptive innovations of LGUs and civil society organizations in addressing food security and nutrition, under the guidance of esteemed GP members Gerry Bulatao, Ed dela Torre, former Governor Lito Coscolluela, and Rene Gayo. A highlight of our visit was the presentation by the Provincial Environment Management Office, showcasing the 2021 Galing Pook Award-winning program, "Network of Alliances for Coastal Wetlands Conservation." This program exemplified effective inter-LGU collaboration, fostering climate resilience and ensuring sustainable food sources for coastal communities.

We also gleaned a crucial lesson in food security and nutrition governance: climate-resilient partnerships, anchored on the economic empowerment of families, yield sustainable improvements in nutritional outcomes. The SPACES LGU and CSO teams were particularly impressed by the innovative approach of one of the 2023 Galing Pook Awards finalists, which focused on reviving the biodiversity of the Bago City watershed through ridge-to-reef integrated ecosystem management.

Learning never stops! Thanks to the Municipality of EB Magalona and the community organizations managing the Tomongtong Mangrove Eco-Trail for showing the transformation of their community into an ecotourism destination through strong people's participation and collaboration. This Local Conservation Area has not only protected the environment but also provided income for its cooperative members and the local government. We hope there would be more of these all over the country!

In Negros Oriental, we learned another vital lesson in food security and nutrition governance: supporting local food production ensures the availability of food and co-ownership by the community. The Bayawan City LGU (IbayawBayawan) showcased their 2023 Galing Pook Awarded Program “Fish From the Mountain: The Bayawan Inland Aquaculture.” During the SPACES study tour of Del Carmen LGU and CSO representatives last 06 March 2024, the Bayawan LGU showcased their practices on sustaining local food production jointly managed by the LGU and upland CSOs. This ensured food security and increased the income of families in these communities as demonstrated in the site visits to the upland fish production facilities conducted by the Bayawan LGU. On the same day, Bayawan City Mayor John “Jack” Raymond Jr. personally received the 2023 Galing Pook Awards Marker for their innovative upland aquaculture program, with guidance from GP Member Rene Gayo.

Our third stop led us to Palayan City, Nueva Ecija, and La Paz, Tarlac, with the Quezon City LGU team, accompanied by GP Member Ella. In Palayan City, the Quezon City team explored the city's Cold Storage Facility, Mango and Calamansi Processing Centers, and its partnership with the Jollibee Group Foundation. The visit aimed to seek potential collaboration for Quezon City's Urban-Peri Urban Market Linkage Project. Subsequently, in La Paz, Tarlac, the team visited the Caut FFS Marketing Cooperative to gain insights on cooperative development and explore partnership opportunities. We extend our gratitude to Mayor Vianne Cuevas of Palayan City and Mr. Alex Cancio and the members of the Caut Farmers Field School Marketing Cooperative for their warm welcome and valuable insights.

Our fourth stop took us to Piddig, San Nicolas, and Burgos in Ilocos Norte, with LGUs from Borongan City, Eastern Samar, Virac, Catanduanes, and Irosin, Sorsogon, accompanied by GP Member Dr. Eddie Dorotan and former San Nicolas Mayor and GP Member Alfredo Valdez. In light of the challenges posed by El Nino on our food system, LGUs learned about the effectiveness of Small Water Impounding Projects (SWIP) in mitigating flooding and serving as a water source during drought periods. San Nicolas, Ilocos Norte, showcased its program "Catching Rain," demonstrating the feasibility of such projects. Piddig LGU set the bar high with its Consolidated Farm Production System, which supports farmers in accessing farm inputs and connecting produce to the market. The establishment of multiple SWIPs further enhances their resilience to El Nino. Our LGUs and civil society leaders left inspired, eager to implement similar innovations in their own areas.

Additionally, our sixth stop involved a study visit from Santa Catalina, Negros Oriental, to Piddig, Ilocos Norte, organized by GP Member Rene Gayo. This effort underscores our commitment to promoting and replicating GP-awarded programs, fostering learning and collaboration among LGUs nationwide.

Building BRIDGES for Sustainable Development:
Mentoring Visits in BARMM Continues

Download BRIDGE in BARMM Booklet

Mentoring visits under the BRIDGE (Building Resilience and Inclusion through Democratic Governance and Engagements in the Bangsamoro) program continues, led by the Galing Pook Foundation together with The Asia Foundation and supported by the UK government.

Members of the local government of Matanog and Parang, Maguindanao del Norte convened in Davao City for coaching and mentoring sessions facilitated by GP Mentor Dr. Elmer Soriano, the focus was on fostering resilient peace through community strength and regional cooperation.

Meanwhile, LGUs of Marawi, Pagayawan, Butig, Taraka, and Piagapo, Lanao del Sur  presented exciting initiatives for sustainable development during workshops held in Marawi and Taraka. Facilitated by GP ED Georgina Ann Hernandez Yang, collaborations with government stakeholders and private entities like Airspeed Philippines are set to propel these plans forward.

LGUs from Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, and Basilan attended workshops hosted in Zamboanga City that underscored the importance of regional collaboration and capacity-building. With guidance from GP Mentor Dr. Elmer Soriano and former Zamboanga Mayor Beng Climaco, these sessions aim to empower communities and drive progress.

Lastly, LGUs from Maluso and Tipo-Tipo, Basilan explored opportunities for sustainable development during the mentoring visit. Notable initiatives, including women-operated sardines mini-canning enterprises and the Buwa Salam sardines brand, symbolize the fruits of peace in the region.

Empowering Women Artisans:
A Showcase at the Philippine International Furniture Show

In celebration of International Women's Day 2024, the talent and craftsmanship of women weavers from Matanog, Maguindanao del Norte, Datu Hoffer, Maguindanao del Sur, and Marawi City, Lanao del Sur were spotlighted at the prestigious Philippine International Furniture Show held at the SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia, Pasay.

This remarkable opportunity, made possible by Ayala Foundation, Inc., provided a platform for the Social Cohesion and Resilience LGUs Fellows from BARMM to showcase their exquisite products. From intricately woven textiles to stunning artisanal pieces, these women artisans demonstrated their exceptional skills and rich cultural heritage on an international stage.

This collaboration resulted from the BRIDGE Partnership Forum supported by the UK government and implemented by The Asia Foundation and Galing Pook.

All Hands On Deck for WGA preparations:
Walang Gutom Awards On Track to Award 10 LGUs for the Transformative Program for Food and Nutrition

The Walang Gutom Awards' National Screening Committee (NSC) has convened a series of meetings to screen Local Government Units (LGUs) to proceed to the validation phase of the recognition program. The first meeting took place on February 14, 2021, at the DSWD office and was attended by Secretary Rex Gatchalian and Assistant Secretary of Innovation, Atty. Baldr H. Bringas.

To ensure alignment between WGA criteria and relevant agencies, the secretariat met with the National Nutrition Council representatives on March 6, 2024. In the meeting, we learned from NNC's previous similar initiatives, such as the Gawad Pagkain and their long-standing CROWN Award.

On March 18, 2024, the NSC met again online to identify the LGU qualifiers that will proceed to the validation phase. The NSC endorsed 25 LGUs (5 Barangays, 9 Municipalities, 7 Cities, and 4 Provinces) from 101 entries received from 17 regions of the country.

The members of the National Screening Committee (NSC).

Partners for ,
GPF meets with FES for the GP@30 Governance Fair

Galing Pook Chairperson Mel Sarmiento and Executive Director Georgina Hernandez-Yang and representatives from Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) charted a course for collaboration for the upcoming GP@30 Governance Fair.

During the meeting, shared priorities emerged, focusing on critical issues such as climate change adaptation and just transition, peace and development, and the enhancement of local governance through active community involvement.

Exploring Governance in Action:
GPF x FEU Public Innovation Field Lab

Interns from the FEU Tech through Galing Pook's and FEU's Public Innovation Field Lab explored more governance in action!

Throughout the program, interns had the opportunity to engage directly with Local Government Units (LGUs) across a spectrum of ongoing projects. From initiatives addressing food security and nutrition through the SPACES program to endeavors promoting collaboration, peace, and development in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) under the BRIDGE program, and efforts dedicated to building smart, safe, and sustainable communities showcased by the Galing Pook Awards, interns were immersed in diverse and impactful Galing Pook programs and initiatives in the country. 

Guided by mentors and experts in the field, they gained practical insights and a deeper understanding of their role in shaping the future of governance. The hands-on experiences provided by the Public Innovation Field Lab equipped them with essential skills and ignited a sense of purpose and responsibility.

Elevating Education for Social Impact:
Galing Pook participates in the
TESSI Institute

Learn more

Galing Pook Foundation participated in the Transformative Education for Sustainable Social Impact (TESSI) Institute co-organized by University of the Philippines and Lehigh University from Pennsylvania USA.

Galing Pook member, Dr. Elmer Soriano, led the organizing of the event alongside Khanjan Mehta, Vice Provost for Creative Inquiry of Lehigh University. Executive Director Georgina Ann Hernandez Yang shared about the local coalition models of local government units (LGUs), civil society organizations (CSOs) and State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) as part of the COLLABDEV project as well as the Public Innovation Field Lab partnership with FEU. She also talked about the Galing Pook Awards as a platform for incentivizing and encouraging collaboration between LGUs, communities and academe. These are some models that the participants, who are administrators and faculty of higher education institutions, could replicate. The participants then presented their innovation ideas where Ms. Hernandez Yang served as one of the panelists. 

Women Inspiring Women:
Galing Pook Joins Women's Month Celebration at the Visayas State University and Muntinlupa Youth Forum

Galing Pook's Executive Director, Georgina Hernandez-Yang, recently inspired women and girls as a keynote speaker at two prestigious events commemorating Women's Month.

At the Women Inspiring Women event hosted by Visayas State University, Hernandez-Yang shared her remarkable journey as a woman in public service. From her tenure at Ateneo to serving as a director at the DWSD, to becoming as Vice President Leni Robredo's spokesperson, and now Executive Director of Galing Pook, she emphasized the importance of unity in addressing challenges. "We should all work together to address the challenges. We need to find spaces for compassion, collaboration, and convergence."

Furthering her commitment to women's empowerment, Hernandez-Yang talked with the student leaders at the Young Women Empowerment Forum organized by the Muntinlupa Youth Affairs and Sports Development Office. Here, she emphasized the importance of amplifying the collective influence of female leadership.

Here's to championing the potential of women to shape a fairer and more inclusive Philippines!

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