Home » Alliance » Alliances of Local Governments in the Philippines

Alliances of Local Governments in the Philippines

By: Johny S. Natad
© December 2011

Introduction

       Worldwide, alliance building or inter-local partnership considered as strategic importance in addressing local governments’ common issues and problems that do not respect political boundaries. Alliance of local government units (LGUs), which interchangeably referred to as inter-local cooperation has been proving to be cost effective and efficient in the delivery of services to its multi-stakeholders especially the LGUs.

       In the Philippines, inter-local cooperation of LGUs believed to be formally started after the proclamation of Republic Act No. 7160 or the Philippine Local Government Code of 1991. Many of these alliances are inspired by R.A 7160, which is also in consonance with the Philippine Constitution. The LGU alliances in the Philippines could be considered as significant mechanism in the realization of political and administrative decentralization and local autonomy in the country.

       The Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998 (Republic Act No. 8550) also requires inter-LGU alliance especially to water ecosystem that traverse political boundaries of many LGUs like lakes or seas.

     Economic development, the environmental protection and management (including ecosystem, coastal resource, tourism and landscape management), and integrated health development are the major purpose of establishing among many existing alliance of LGUs in the Philippines.

Definition

            The Wikipedia defines alliance as “a cooperation or collaboration, which aims for a synergy where each partners hopes that the benefits from the alliance will be greater than those from individual efforts”. Usually, the alliance is engaging for a particular or indefinite period and shared expenses and risks involving technology transfer and economic specialization used to achieve a common objective (“Strategic Alliance”, n.d.).

            The Origo Social Enterprise Partners (n.d.) presented the following description of partnership and alliance:

  • A partnership is an alliance between organizations from two or more sectors that commit themselves to working together to develop and implement a specific project. Such a partnership implies that participants are willing to share risks, costs and benefits, review the relationship regularly and revise the partnership as necessary.
  • Alliances between parties drawn for example, from businesses, government and civil society, that strategically aggregate the resources and competencies of each to resolve a specific problem/challenge.
  • Partnerships across different sectors of society imply transcending some of the divides between business/NGOs/governments. Interest from many governments and NGOs in working with business is quite high so the partnership model has been replacing the adversarial model.
  • Partnering across sectors means that different sectors of society are open to communicate and collaborate with each other, fostering and creating more inclusive-participatory models for solving problems.
  • A management tool to deliver business, social and environmental development outcomes by optimizing the effectiveness of different partners’ resources core competencies.

       The alliance of Local Government Units (LGUs) have been performing vital role in contributing genuine and sustainable development. With the establishment of the alliances, the LGUs can achieve the attainment of plans with joint effort and shared agreement to solve such as environmental problems and effective delivery of prime services that resulted to influence management and achieve better human safeguard or protection (Asia Forest Network, n.d.).

Alliance and Decentralization

            This inter-local cooperation or alliances of LGUs have been contributing to the implementation of political and administrative decentralization of the government in the Philippines. The Republic Act 7160 or the 1991 Local Government Code of the Philippines generally stresses about decentralization of powers to Local Government Units. Decentralization is the “dispersion or distribution of functions and powers; specifically the delegation of power from a central authority to regional and local authorities” (Merriam-Webster, n.d). Thus, decentralization creates need for alliances. With the formation of alliance, the stakeholders can carry various outlooks, have experience and capacity into a dialogue and can take action to wide range of concerns. Alliance is a distinctive strategic position where partnership and shared engagement with planning and implementation agencies at local level which direct them to better position in policy recommendation, decision making and can bring information from the community level to the right people in the management (Asia Forest Network, n.d). The alliances are filling the vacuum left by the central government in tackling the declined upland forest and marine ecosystem and helps formulate solutions that can be addressed by the local government (Environmental Science for Social Change [ESSC], 2011).

Types of Alliances and its Purpose

            Formation of alliance of LGUs or the inter-LGU alliances varied according to its typology: (1) the natural alliance; (2) the public-private alliance; and (3) the quasi-public alliance (Philippine Development Forum, 2010). Natural alliance is formed between LGUs for either a general or sectoral but with a common purpose of general members which motivated usually by the alliance-wide impact in the delivery of basic services and facilities that surpass local political boundaries and entailed large expenditure. This type of inter-LGU alliance retains their public character.  The public-private alliances are cooperative undertaking of organizations composed of both public (LGUs) and private sectors like NGOs, business groups, and other private entities. This alliance is usually registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The quasi-public alliances are natural alliances among LGUs with common objective for public service but being managed and controlled as a private corporation through a separate legal entity. This type of alliance is granted juridical personalities through the congressional legislation.

        The ESSC (2011) identified the following emerging alliance with concerned on environmental and resources management:

Alliance

Location

Focus

Matarino Bay Management Council Eastern Samar Building partnerships to improve resource management and local livelihoods
Carood Watershed Management Council Bohol Sustaining and harmonizing local government initiatives in Carood watershed
Lanuza Bay Development Alliance Surigao del Sur Strengthening environmental governance through local policy formulation
Agusan Marsh Development Alliance Agusan del Sur Sustainable watershed management as a response to land and water problems
Bukidnon Watershed Protection and Development Council Bukidnon Collaboration initiatives towards comprehensive landscape management and greater human security
Allah Valley Landscape Development Alliance South Cotabato and Sultan Kudarat Local government initiatives for protected area management
Lake Mainit Development Alliance Agusan del Norte and Surigao del Norte Partnership building towards sustainable management of Lake Mainit

Source: Environmental Science for Social Change, (2011)

       These alliances are an evident that people are working together to deal with environmental issues and equitable resources management.

       The Philippine Development Forum (2010) presented the list of alliances with its membership, reason for coming together and mode of formalization.

Alliance

Membership

Reason for Coming Together

Mode of Formalization

Iloilo
Alliance for Northern Iloilo For Health Development (ANIHEAD 9 municipalities Health Development MOA, 2000; SEC Registration
Northern Iloilo Alliance for Coastal Development (NIACDEV) 10 municipalities Coastal Resource Management MOA, December 29, 1999; SEC Registration
Banate Bay Resource Management Council (BBRMCI) 3 municipalities Coastal Resource Management MOA, February 28, 1996
Metro Iloilo-Guimaras Economic Development Council (MIGEDC) 1 province; 1 city; 5 municipalities Economic Development EO No. 559, August 28, 2006
Southern Iloilo Coastal Resource Management Council (SICRMC) 5 municipalities Coastal Resource Management MOA, 2002; SEC Registration
Iloilo Second Integrated Area Development, Inc. 5 municipalities Economic Development MOA, July 8, 1997; SEC Registration, March 7, 2007
Negros Occidental
Southern Negros Coastal Development Management Council (SNCDMC) 1 city; 2 municipalities Coastal Resource Management EO 1996; MOA, October 6, 2005
Central Negros Council for Coastal Development (CENECCORD) 1 city; 6 municipalities Coastal Resource Management MOA, January 26, 2005
Northern Negros Aquatic Resources Management and Advisory Council (NNARMAC) 5 cities; 3 municipalities Coastal Resource Management MOA, 2000
Oriental Negros
Sta. Bayabas Inter-Local Health Zone (ILHZ) 1 city; 2 municipalities Health Per EO 205, 2008
Antique
Libertad, Pnadan, Sebaste and Culasi Bay Wide Management Council (LIPASECU) 4 municipalities Coastal Resource Management MOA, October 3, 1997; SEC Registration
Coasthaven 4 municipalities Coastal Resource Management MOA, October 15, 2007
Cebu
Camotes Sea Resource Management Council (CSRMC) 1 city; 4 municipalities Coastal Resource Management MOA, May 2, 2007
Southeast Cebu Coastal Resource Management Council (SCCRMC) 7 municipalities Coastal Resource Management MOA, April 19, 2005
Bohol
Maribojoc Bay Integrated Resource Management (MBEMO) 1 city; 4 municipalities Coastal Resource Management MOA, 2005; EO 23 series of 2005, December 20, 2005
Abatan River Development Management Council (ARDMC) 5 municipalities River Management, Ecotourism development EO No. 19, November 19, 2005
PaDaYon Bohol Marine Triangle Management Council (PADAYON) 3 municipalities Environmental Protection MOA, June 7, 2007; EO No 22 Series of 2004, September 7, 2008; SEC Registration, June 7, 2006
Eastern Samar
Alliance of Seven 7 municipalities Coastal Resource Management MOA, 2005
Borongan Inter-Local Health Zone 5 municipalities (6 RHUs) Integrated Health Services Per EO 2005, 2008
Mindanao
Lanuza Bay Development Alliance (LBDA) 7 municipalities Economic Development MOA, 2004*
PPALMA Alliance (PPALMA) 7 municipalities; 1 province Economic Development MOA, 2004**
Lake Mainit Development Alliance (LMDA) 2 provinces; 8 municipalities Lake Management MOA, March 1999
Mt. Kitanglad Range PAMB 8 municipalities Environmental Protection
Camarines Sur
Metro Naga Development Council (MNDC) 1 city; 14 municipalities Economic Development MOA, April 23, 1993; EO No. 102, June 18, 1993
Partido Development Administration (PDA) 10 municipalities Economic Development RA No. 7820, November 18, 1994; RA No. 8989, December 31, 2000

Source: Critical Ingredients in Building and Sustaining Inter-Local Cooperation (pp.20-21)

       The Philippine Development Forum (2009) reveals that the institutional, financial and legal aspects are the crucial and interrelated elements of the alliance building as manifested in the publication entitled “Critical Ingredients in Building and Sustaining Inter-Local Cooperation”. The institutional aspects largely deals with the purpose and with the structures and system while involves minimally in resources. Legal aspects essentially deal with structure, system and resources while also link with purpose. Resources are the main concern on financial aspects to attain the purpose but also take into account the structure and system.

Legal basis on Alliance formation

       The legal basis on the formation of alliance can be specifically defined in the Philippine Constitution of 1987, the Local Government Code of 1991, the Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998, the Memorandum of Agreement entered into by concerned LGUs, the Executive Orders, and other relevant laws. The 1987 Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines Article X. Section 13 states that “Local government units may group themselves, consolidate or coordinate their efforts, services, and resources for purposes commonly beneficial to them in accordance with law.”

       Likewise, the Local Government Code of the Philippines emphasizes the general provision of local government as declared in the Constitution. Under the Local Government Code’s Book I General Provisions, Title One, Article Three, Section 33 provides the Cooperative Undertakings among Local Government Units.

Local government units may, through appropriate ordinances, group themselves, consolidate, or coordinate their efforts, services, and resources for purposes commonly beneficial to them. In support of such undertakings, the local government units involved may, upon approval by the sanggunian concerned after a public hearing conducted for the purpose, contribute funds, real estate, equipment, and other kinds of property and appoint or assign personnel under such terms and conditions as may be agreed upon by the participating local units through Memoranda of Agreement.

       With the joint undertakings of the inter-LGU alliance, the basic legal instrument used to initiate such is the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA). Encarta Dictionary defines a “memorandum” (n.d) as “summary of legal agreement: a written statement summarizing the terms of a contract or a similar legal transaction”.  It serves as the formal agreement among involving LGUs and binds them to adhere the cooperative undertakings of the alliance. The MOA provides for the agreed roles and responsibilities and the details on the focus programs of the alliance. Osorio (2010) defined MOA as “the basic legal instrument used to initiate an inter-LGU alliance. The MOA serves as the formal agreement involving 2 or more LGUs whereby each become obligated to the other with reciprocal rights to demand of what is promised by each respectively. The MOA binds the LGUs to adhere to the alliance’s cooperative undertakings. To formally organize an alliance. Local Chief Executives (LCEs) of participating LGUs are required to sign a MOA” (p.24)

       Based on the Memorandum of Agreement (1999) of Lake Mainit Development Alliance (LMDA) signed and entered into by 2 provincial LGUs of Surigao del Norte and Agusan del Norte, 8 municipal LGUs (town of Alegria, Mainit, Tubod and Sison in Surigao del Norte, and municipalities of Kitcharao, Jabonga, Santiago and Tubay in Agusan del Norte) and government line agencies (e.g. NEDA, DA, DENR, BFAR, DOT, PIA) of Lake Mainit Development Alliance in March 1999 declares the (1) formation of the alliance, (2) purpose, (3) benefits to the LGUs, (4) LMDA board, (5) Project Management Office, (6) responsibilities of the parties, (7) trust fund, (8) transitory provisions, (9) amendments, (10) effectivity.

       A MOA formally creating the Metro Naga Development Council (MNDC) was signed by the 13 LGUs – Naga, Bombon, Calabanga, Camaligan, Canaman, Gainza, Magarao, Milaor, Minalabac, Pamplona, Pasacao, Pili and San Fernando on April 23, 1993.  The municipalities of Bula and Ocampo joined the MNDC through a MOA with the then existing members of the Council in July 1997. The LCEs of the 15 member-LGUs comprise the Council’s Executive Committee. In charge of the administrative operations of the Council is its Project Development Unit (PDU) headed by the MNDC Executive Director. The unit is likewise primarily responsible for the implementation of the Council’s programs, projects and activities (Sacendoncillo, 2007).

       Pigcawayan-Alamada-Libungan-Midsayap-Aleosan Alliance popularly known as PALMA was formalize the establishment of the Alliance on August 07, 2000 during the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) was signed by and between the five municipal governments of PALMA and the Provincial Government of Cotabato (PALMA Alliance, n.d.). As inspired by PALMA, the Southwestern Ligawasan Alliance of Municipalities or SLAM was officially created on June 25th, 2008. A MOA was signed between the four municipalities of Maguindanao namely Paglat, Datu Paglas, Sultan sa Barongis and General S.K. Pendatun committing to their participation in SLAM and defining roles and responsibilities. (Southwestern Ligawasan Alliance of Municipalities (SLAM), n.d.)

       Illana Bay Regional Alliance in Region 9 (IBRA-9) composed of 8 LGUs signed a new Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) last December 13, signifying their renewed commitment to protect the Illana Bay. Mayors of Tukuran, Tabina, Dinas, Labangan, Tungawan, Dimataling and San Pablo; and the city of Pagadian and the provincial governor of Zamboanga del Sur signed the MOA. (“Alliance of LGUs”, n.d.)

       Aside from MOA, there are other legal instruments used in the formation of alliance like Executive Orders (EO), Special Order, Memorandum Order and the Republic Acts. Some LGU alliance have been created or supported by Executive Orders signed by the President or by the Provincial Governor (GTZ, 2009). Based on the Philippine Constitution, the President can create councils or other similar bodies as stated in Article X Section13.

The President shall provide for the regional development council or other similar bodies composed on local government officials, regional heads of departments and other government offices, and representatives form non—governmental organizations within the regions for purposes of administrative decentralization to strengthen the autonomy of the units therein and to accelerate the economic and social growth and development of the units in the region.

      The MNDC establishment was further bolstered by the Executive Order (EO) No. 102 issued on June 18, 1993 providing for its powers and functions, and an initial budget for its operating expenses. (Sacendoncillo, 2007). The EO added representatives from line agencies with offices in Camarines Sur and pegged at 25% (one-fourth) the representation of the private sector (Metro Naga Development Council, n.d.).

       Executive Order 559 (2006) created the Metro-Iloilo Guimaras Economic Development Council or MIGEDC composed of 8 LGUs like Iloilo City, Municipalities of Oton, San Miguel, Pavia, Leganes, and Sta. Barbara, and the provinces of Ilioilo and Guimaras.

       The Bukidnon Watershed Protection and Development Council (BWPDC) was created through Memorandum Order 270.   The Council is mandated to generate policies and guidelines and coordinated all programs and projects concerning watershed management in the entire province (Pasicollan, Pualo and Pasicolan, Simplicia, 2005). The BWPDC is composed of all mayors, DENR, DA, DAR, NAPOCOR, NIA, academic and research institutions, NGOs, POs, and religious and business sectors. (The Bukidnon Experience, n.d.)

       Alliance of LGUs can also be created through an organic act of the Congress stipulating detailed powers and responsibilities and providing the necessary funds under the General Appropriation Act (Osorio, 2010). The popular alliance of LGU with the Act of Congress is the Lake Laguna Development Authority (LLDA) and the Partido Development Administration (PDA). LLDA was established under Republic Act No. 4850 or An Act Creating the Laguna Lake Development Authority in July 18, 1966 as amended by Presidential Decree No. 813 October 17, 1975. The LLDA member LGUs covers 14 cities and 47 municipalities within the provinces of Laguna, Rizal, Batangas, Cavite, Quezon and Metro Manila (LLDA, 2007). The RA 7820 created the PDA in 1994 with the member of 10 municipalities in Camarines Sur rationalizes the integrated and coordinated approach for the development of the covering regions and districts in order to draw alongside with develop regions and districts within of Camarines Sur (Osorio, 2010).

       Republic Act No. 8550 or the Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998 provides the development and conservation of the fishes and aquatic resources. Article 1, Section 16 of the said Act states that:

The management of the contiguous fishy resources such as bays which straddle several municipalities, cities or provinces, shall be done in an integrated manner, and shall not be based on political subdivisions of municipal waters in order to facilitate the management of a single resource system. The LGUs which share or boarder such resources may group themselves and coordinate with each other to achieve the objectives of integrated fishery resources management. The Integrated Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Management Councils (IFARMCs) established under Section76 of this Code shall serve the venue for close collaboration among LGUs in the management of contiguous resources.

        With RA 8550 as the basis, inter-LGU is a key to sustain integrated fishery resources. Five adjoining municipalities of Hindang, Hilongos, Baybay, Bato and Matalom in Western Leyte agreed to form alliance through IFARMC which was manifested by signing of MOA among Local Chief Executives (LCEs) in April 2002. This alliance aimed to an integrated management of a common fishery ground used by the majority of fishfolk in Western Leyte, Camotes Sea (Savaris, 2004).

       Illana Bay Regional Alliance in Region 9 (IBRA-9) composed of 8 LGUs signed a new Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) last December 13, signifying their renewed commitment to protect the Illana Bay. Mayors of Tukuran, Tabina, Dinas, Labangan, Tungawan, Dimataling and San Pablo; and the city of Pagadian and the provincial governor of Zamboanga del Sur signed the MOA (“Alliance of LGUs”, n.d.).

       In the successful operation of an alliance, financial stability and sustainability is a very critical concern. Thus, the alliance must have the ability to generate funds essentially required to perform its responsibility and implement the projects of the alliance. The member LGU varies on their annual contribution to the alliance. They may agree to contribute an annual minimum amount. Some also agree to contribute certain percent of their 20% Internal Revenue Allocation (IRA). The MOA entered into by member LGUs stipulated provisions pertaining to financial obligation of the members to the alliance (Ferrer, 2010). The MNDC Memorandum of Agreement, April 23, 1993 specify that the source of financing the Council program shall be sourced from the contributions of the members equivalent to at least 2% of their annual Economic Development Fund  (Sacendoncillo, 2007).

       Memorandum of Agreement signed by members of LMDA stipulate the Trust Fund provision which states that:

The two provinces to this MOA shall initially contribute Php150,000.00 each while the different municipalities shall contribute the amount of Php50,000.00 each to the trust fund. All subsequent contributions of the LGUs are based on the approved work and financial plan and all monies sourced by the alliance shall likewise form part of the trust fund.

       As also stipulated in MOA, each mayor agreed to initially provide a monthly contribution of Php15,000.00 to a common SLAM fund. When the alliance activities began to show up, the contribution later raised to Php25,000.00. Such fund will be used to shore up the development projects of the alliance and its Project Management Office operations (SLAM, n.d.)

       The RA 4850 (1966) clearly specify that the LLDA’s operating expenses with the sum of One Million Pesos (Php1,000,000) is appropriated annually for rive (5) years from the general fund of the National Government.

Common Issues and Problem in Alliance Operation

       The Asia Forest Network (n.d.) cited the hindering feature of weak alliance, which are the difficulties in securing commitment; lack in funding, human resources and technical knowledge; low level of involvement from local government personnel due to little flexibility; conflicting laws or different interpretation of issues; need for local champions; and quandaries over legal identity and structure. LLDA (2007) is still faced with institutional, technical and financial hindrances that will take more than persuasion to resolve despite the growing partnership.

       It is remarkable that the common fund generated from member LGU of Alliance are not enough to ensure significant impact given the fact that alliance need to sustain its hired personnel.  There is very little budget or no amount is left to finance the significant project or services of the alliance. Thus, there is a need for the alliance to access grants and other forms of supports to augment the contribution of the members. Possible sources of grants and supports are the provincial and national government, national line agencies, grants from lawmakers, international funding agency and grants from foundations, NGOs and private sector (Ferrer, 2010).

       The experience of alliances shows that the generous and most committed members financially sustain the alliance. The member LGUs may remit the whole amount at one time or make installment payments until the whole amount is paid. Unfortunately, there are common experiences of existing alliances showing the delays or no remittance of contribution (Ferrer, 2010).  Member LGU contributions are not enough to sustain the operation of the alliance since there are LGUs who did not contributed regularly. Changes in LGU direction of priorities might hamper the operation of alliance especially when newly elected Local Chief Executives (LCEs) set their main agenda and concerns to their respective LGUs that may or may not complement the overall achievement of the alliance. Modification of new LCEs priorities may create fear in the continuity of the implementation of the identified projects (Gidacan & Harting, 2008).

       A clear statement regarding the schedule of remittance of contribution to be incorporated in MOA or other legal instruments is of significant. There are only few alliances that clearly define the schedule of payment in MOA. Reminders are very important through official written notice of payments or verbal reminders. In most alliance, peer pressure is considered successful strategy wherein members can make prompt payments if other members did it (Ferrer, 2010).

Sustaining Alliance: The Pooling of Resources and its Impact

       In spite of this problems encountered, the alliance continually delivered their mandate through networking and accessing of funds (Gidacan & Harting, 2008). The pooled fund can also be used by alliance as leverage in accessing external fund and supports especially as form part of its counterpart.

       Aside from the Common Fund, the MNDC practices resource complementation and maintains a Common Fund that is from individual contributions of the member-LGUs, and other sources accessed from the appropriation from the national government and assistance extended by local and foreign donors. MNDC also pool human resources. A Project Development Unit that is composed of 5 individuals – 2 Project development officers; 1 Administrative and Finance Officer and 2 Support personnel—that manages the operation of the Council. Officers/employees of member LGUs are at times assigned to assist the members of this unit in the implementation of the MNDC’s programs and activities. The Council also maintains an office at Naga City and maintains an Equipment Pool to facilitate the use of equipment and machinery of its member-LGUs. (Sacendoncillo, 2007)

       Sharing and pooling of fund and human resources is significant in LMDA’s operation. Members the two provincial and 8 municipal LGUs afforded to allocate their meager annual budget for the operationalization of alliance. Each LGU and member stakeholders delegated one technical staff to become a member of the LMDA- Technical Working Group. (Gidacan & Harting, 2008)

       The shared fund and the regular payment of contribution by member LGUs will ensure timely implementation of activities which promotes achievements of alliance goal. Likewise the pooled fund can also be used by alliance as leverage in accessing external fund and supports especially as form part of its counterpart (Ferrer, 2010).

       Pooling of resources is so significant in PALMA. Aleosan town Mayor Cabaya, who once was chair of PALMA, proudly updated the ARMM mayors about the PALMA accomplishment of on construction of 281.45 kilometers farm to market roads with a total cost of P8.47 million, through their pooled efforts. With PALMAs shared experience, Mayors of SLAM learned that this strategy was also being applied to pursue similar development program concerning environmental protection and health (SLAM, n.d.).

       The combined resources and putting up on their own road-building crew, PALMA is currently maintains two construction fleets, each consisting of a bulldozer, a grader, three to four dump trucks and a compacter. The alliance has opened and repaired of farm-to-market roads that give benefits to their 145 barangays. It helps increased farming incomes and reduced transportation costs. This made PALMA won as one of the Galing Pook in 2007 for innovative governance practices (Contreras, 2008)

       Likewise the pooling of resources in two provinces of South Cotabato and Sultant Kudarat now forming the Allah Valley Landscape Development Alliance (AVLDA) has also garnered Galing Pook Award for 2008. With the multi sectoral cooperation among 19 Barangays, 1 banking institution, 2 water districts, 2 electric cooperatives, 2 mining companies, 1 agro-industrial company, 4 agricultural cooperatives, 4 NGOs and 2 civic groups the Riparian Zone Revegetation program has able to accomplished planting of 15,000 bamboo hills in a 30-kilometer stretch at the banks of major rivers. “The AVLDA also pursued the construction of dikes at critical sections of the rivers and the re-channelling of water flow to save prime lands, settlements and infrastructure facilities. Other projects include the Reforestation and Upstream Resource Management (RURM) program which aimed to improve forest land cover, reduce river siltation and provide livelihood opportunities to upland dwellers” (Allah Valley, n.d.). Provinces of Sultan Kudarat and South Cotabato showed how the involvement of their different LGUs concerning livelihood and sustaining major environmental task working together with inter-government and other multi-sector (Mindanews, 2009)

       In IBRA-13, the gains from collective efforts of inter regional bay-wide collaboration for resource management and fishery law enforcement has been significantly manifested. “Inter-LGU cooperation has been helping settle differences between municipalities, specifically in facilitating dialogues on coastal terminal points (CTPs) which determine municipal water boundaries, a contentious issue among adjoining towns. In 2005, a total of 29 apprehensions were reported by the Maritime Police, with violations ranging from fishing in municipal waters with no permits to the use of illegal fishing methods.” (“Concerted effort” par.12).

       Inter-local government collaborative approach has brought about meaningful development in the northern part of Iloilo especially on the areas of health and coastal resource management.   “These alliances subsequently attracted the interest of funding agencies that have found value in supporting development initiatives undertaken by allied local government units.  This synergistic modality implies greater assurance of success, fund management efficiency, and also a greater number of people benefiting from the initiatives”. (Latoza, 2010, par. 5).

       LLDA (2007) find that the benefits achieved from the partnership overflow to the 13 million residents living in the Laguna de Bay watershed.

Insights Gained

Based on the above-related literature, the following are the insights gained about the inter-LGU alliance in the Philippines:

  • The alliance building or inter-local cooperation allows local government units to deal with environmental management and socio-economic agenda not covered by national government programs as part of the decentralization.
  • Resources can be maximized and augmented to share out with resources and ecosystems those cross-political or administrative boundaries.
  • Alliances also allow the local government units to raise and improve priorities and plans to higher planning authorities (i.e. provincial, regional and national government)
  • The alliance permit the organization of LGUs and their LCEs based on a common cause, (e.g. geographical proximity, common needs, similar passion, similar problems, has borne very good results). Alliance served as the venue for Local Chief Executives (LCEs) support each other, share-learning experiences in informal meetings, complement each other’s strengths, and exert a pressure on other LCEs and communities to participate in similar reforms.
  • Other organizations have benefited from building alliances in the implementation of their programs. Alliances have been demonstrating to be cost-effective to scale up programs.

References:

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Website Links THE PLACES WE BELONG Republic of the PhilippinesProvince of Surigao del Norte Municipality of AlegriaBarangay Don Julio Ouano

SCHOOLS WE ATTENDED Alegria National High School-1Alegria Central Elementary School Alegria National High School-2Global Competency-Based Training Center Mindanao State UniversityBukidnon State University

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