Wednesday, March 5, 2014

“Training on Community Participation in Procurement”

“If you have the hand to work, the heart to understand, and the head to think – everybody will go to heaven”, Hon. Mayor Atty. Nicanor De Leon reflected as he delivered his inspirational message to the one hundred thirty nine (139) participants which composed of Barangay Officials, CSOs, NGOs, and local constituents of the thirty seven (37) barangays of Amulung, Cagayan to the seminar-workshop entitled “Training on Community Participation in Procurement” with the theme Improving the Quality and Responsiveness of Public Spending in Poor Communities through Localized Procurement Reform” at St. Paul University Philippines, Tuguegarao City last February 24-26, 2014.  This second phase of engagement  was implemented  by St. Paul University Philippines – Knowledge for Development Center (SPUP-KDC) in partnership with Transparency and Accountability Network (TAN) and Government Procurement Policy Board-Technical Support Office (GPPB-TSO) supported by the Japan Social Development Program through the World Bank (WB).  The training joined by the live-in participants aimed to a) promote the adoption of transparent and participatory procurement mechanisms for the delivery of poverty reduction programs in at least disadvantaged municipalities in the Philippines; b) institutionalize public procurements processes in poor communities; c) localize procurement reform at the municipal level; and d) appreciate local project management. “Indeed, a blind man cannot lead another blind man”, Mayor De Leon added as he expressed his gratefulness to the training coordinators and organizers particularly the TAN and its linkages for guiding his compatriots in serving their own municipality better through the application of the knowledge and skills will be acquired from this endeavor.

“With this training, Amulunge├▒os will surely be empowered most specifically in implementing barangay development projects to uplift the constituents’ economic status”, Dr. Antonio Talamayan, Vice-President for Academics, articulated as he welcomed the guests and participants. The participants were acknowledged as the Municipal Budget Officer of Amulung, Ms. Judith Dela Cruz introduced them.  For the audience to have a glimpse on the objectives of the three-day fruitful training, Dr. Rosalinda Tanguilan, the Local Project Coordinator of the said activity increased the level of their expectations by staging a video presentation of the same training held last August 2013.

          Dr. Jesus Pizarro, the first resource speaker, discussed the principles of Social Accountability (SAc).  The importance and value of SAc within the context of good governance, tools and approaches, commitment to SAc, action plans to address current problems, and building partnerships were highlighted by Dr. Pizarro. 
           
Meanwhile, a Department of Budget Management representative, Mr. Rey Villon, discussed the general provisions and revisions of the Government Procurement Reform Act (GPRA).  The Republic Act No. 9184 is an act providing for the modernization, standardization and regulation of the procurement activities of the government and for other purposes.

            The participants shared their insights and lessons learned from the previous topics as the second day started.  Ms. Jo-Anne Galiza and Mr. Alejo Cambri Jr. shared the topics on Community Participation on Procurement Manual (CPPM).  Ms. Galiza expounded the essence of camaraderie on 53.12 through team building activities while Mr. Cambri elucidated the legal references, key aspects and guiding principles to community participation.

            To provide the participants with understanding on the roles of the different committees such as PPMC, PPC, MIC and CRFC, Mrs. Judith Dela Cruz stressed the steps to be undertaken by the barangay in preparation for the community procurement and the basic requirements needed for the community to participate as a contractor or service provider.  A workshop on it was transpired to experience actual practices in their own community.

            The participants from the thirty seven (37) barangays were grouped into eight. Their talents and skills in acting were forced to display as each group was tasked to portray the actual processes of community participation in procurement based from the actual development priorities of their respective locality.



            A parallel session for Resource Mobilization and CSO Observer’s Guide to Public Procurement were conducted by Mr. Allen  Cambri and Mrs. Dela Cruz respectively.  The former was attended by the Barangay Officials to increase their awareness in possible ways they can mobilize resources for procurement activities while the latter was attended by the CSOs and NGOs to internalize their responsibilities, rights and accountabilities in 53.12.


             Meanwhile, Mr. Ronaldo P. Sumait, the Knowledge for Development Center Librarian/Knowledge Facilitator, served as a Process Documenter of this engaging activity.  The comments and suggestions of the participants will be very vital in the revision and finalization of the Community Participation in Procurement Manual produced by the (GPPB-TSO).
            
            The participants shared their reactions, comments and suggestions on 53.12. They are hopeful that this training will strengthen their community participation in procurement leading to proper implementation of upcoming development projects.   The training ended with the distribution of certificates to the resource speakers and participants.