As part of the preparatory activities and gaining the support of and common understanding by partner LGUs on the project objectives, key interventions, logframe/indicators, implementation plan and budget/financial requirements of the 3-year EU-funded RESOURCEGov Phase 2 project, the project conducted project orientations to two (2) partner LGUs in Compostela Valley (COMVAL) Province on January 31, 2018.  The MLGUs/municipalities covered by the orientation activities are Maragusan and New Bataan, COMVAL Province.  At least 38 (Male 15, Female 23) key officers and staff of two (2) partner LGUs and project team participated in the project orientations.

Joining Mahintana Foundation Inc. (lead implementer) in the project orientations are MINCODE (co-implementer) and Agri-Aqua Development Coalition or AADC (local CSO partner in COMVAL). The project team was spearheaded by Mr. Jobe C. Tubigon, Program/Operations Manager of Mahintana. Ms. Myra G. Macla, Project Officer of MINCODE, Ms. Glenda Plaza, Deputy Administrator of AADC and Ms. Cherrylyn Dapiton, Project Point Person of AADC represent the other members of the project team.

During the preliminary part of the project orientations in the two (2) respective partner LGUs, the project team introduced their own respective organizations highlighting their strategic priorities, programs, and projects in partnership with LGUs, line agencies and other CSOs. Likewise, the LGUs, through the Local Chief Executives, and the DILG, through the MLGOOs, provided a brief background and priority programs/projects of their respective offices while thanking the project for choosing their LGUs as replication areas.

During project overview, Mr. Tubigon provided the background/rationale how the project was conceptualized and the partnerships with DILG, DBM and CSO networks in Mindanao were forged. He also shared why EU is supporting the project and why it has expanded to other regions/LGUs in Mindanao including COMVAL in Region XI.

Like what he did in the previous project orientations in CARAGA region, Mr. Tubigon presented before the LGUs the project rationale, objectives, framework, key interventions, project management structure, budget and results of the RESOURCEGov Phase 1 project. One by one, he demonstrated each of the five (5) key interventions of the RESOURCEGov Phase 2 project which include (1) ODK/Qlik-based tax mapping/business inventory system, (2) ODK-based project/budget monitoring system, (3) legislative information tracking system, (4) LGU performance monitoring through Citizen Satisfaction Index System (CSIS), and (5) CSO participation and LGU compliance to local budget process. He then shared the system and hardware requirements, staffing and budgetary requirements, and the benefits of using each of the systems to improve the local revenue generation of LGUs and participation of CSOs in local governance.

After the seeing the project intentions and demonstrations of its key interventions/systems, the same appreciation, excitement and thanks were expressed by both LGUs in COMVAL as what the partner LGUs in CARAGA had expressed. With their excitement, the LGUs have commited to support the project by providing the necessary counterparts and logistical support the project needs.

According to Mayor Maricel C. Venidiola, SB Member Arnel Sesa and MPDC Leah M. Dalaygon of Maragusan, COMVAL Province, while they are upgrading their existing systems for tax collection, mapping and legislative archiving, they have been excited to avail the systems of the project where based on demonstrations you can transparently see the status of the LGU-funded projects and the potential tax collection targets in tabular, graphical and spatial presentations in just a click of a mouse. They said that the systems will be of great help to improve their capacities to increase their local revenues and provide better services to their constituents.

Same appreciation and excitement were echoed by the Mayor, Vice Mayor, SB Members, MLGOO, Department Heads and Staff of New Bataan, COMVAL Province. According to Mayor Geralford N. Balbin, Vice Mayor Larie Pagalan, SB Member Atty. Bianca Cualing-Brua, MLGOO Ivy Mae Esteban and other Department Heads of the LGU, the project is timely as they have been waiting for these systems/mechanisms to help improve their capacities to collect local revenues and increase the participation of CSOs in local governance. They acknowledge that while they are SGLG awardee (2016), they still want to measure how the SGLG award/compliance is translated into better services where their constituents are satisfied with their services/projects. Fortunately according to them, measuring this citizen satisfaction is part of the key interventions of the RESOURCEGov 2 project.

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