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Community-based Dialogues Project
CBD Core Group Strengthening and Institutionalization Workshop in the Province of Antique

In support of the CBD institutionalization phase, a one-day face-to-face dialogue cum capacity-building was held on July 27, 2022 in San Jose, Antique. The activity was organized by the Commission on Human Rights-Region VI (CHR-VI) and PROCESS Foundation-Panay in cooperation with the Hanns Seidel Foundation (HSF).

PROCESS Foundation-Panay

It was attended by thirty-four (34) participants comprising the marginalized sector/CSOs representing indigenous peoples (IPs) and fisherfolk, concerned government agencies [National Commission on Indigenous Peoples/NCIP-VI, Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Antique Province/DENR-PENRO, Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources/DA-BFAR VI); local government units (LGUs) (barangay & Sangguniang Bayan officials); security sector (AFP-Philippine Army 61st Infantry Battalion, PNP-Deputy Provincial Director for Administration & Chief, Provincial HRAO); academe (St. Anthony College); and representatives from partner organizations, namely, Commission on Human Rights (CHR), PROCESS Foundation-Panay (PROCESS), and Hanns Seidel Foundation (HSF).   

The objectives include: 1) Gather government agencies, LGUs and marginalized sectors to define long-term solutions to the identified problem/s and CBD recommendations; 2) Equip the community / CSO leaders with knowledge and skills relative to the concerned issues including basic human rights on arrest, search, and seizure, as well as relevant basic paralegal skills applicable to the identified issues; and, 3) Formulate monitoring and evaluation plan for regular updating & core group strengthening.

There was a good mix of participants and majority are from the marginalized sector/CSOs who were very active during the discussions.  As a result, this brought about a productive interaction/exchange of experiences, ideas, insights and information on the actual situation on the ground in relation to the implementation of the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA) law (Certificate of Ancestral Domain Claim/CADC, Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title/CADT & DENR Survey Processes towards the Declaration of Ancestral Domain) and the enforcement of the Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998 as amended by Republic Act No. 10654 (Fisheries Law, Maritime Protected Areas-territorial & municipal waters). 

The inputs from NCIP-VI, DENR-PENRO and DA-BFAR VI were comprehensive and appropriate.  The representative from the academe shared scholarship opportunities for IP children which is supported by the Archdiocese of Manila thru CARITAS Manila. 
The ensuing discussions, facilitated by CHR-VI, were germane to the local situation.  PROCESS area manager, Mrs. Lorena Navallasca, presented the outputs/issues/concerns of previous (2021) CBDs that were subject of the discussions as well as relevant information on the resource mapping of three (3) barangays in Hamtic municipality for consideration of concerned government agencies present.

PROCESS Foundation-Panay

A plenary action planning, facilitated by Mrs. Navallasca, followed after the discussions.  Immediate and medium-term proposals were identified and discussed for follow-up action, monitoring and evaluation.  The CBD core group in Antique led by PROCESS including those present in the activity was tapped to take the lead in pursuing the next steps.  The issues and concerns raised by the IPs and fisherfolk were addressed to the NCIP-VI, DENR-VI, DA-BFAR VI and Police Provincial Office (PPO).  One immediate step agreed upon was to meet with the fisherfolk association in Hamtic municipality together with other stakeholders.  It was also suggested to talk with concerned LGU chief executives along with the PNP-VI for their support.  For the medium term, it was found necessary to review local ordinances/issuances in the province and/or concerned municipalities for possible amendments, updating or creation of a new one considering that current ordinances have been existing since 2003.  Areas of concern include violations of marine sanctuaries & limited funding for the Fisheries Law Enforcement Group.

The resource persons from NCIP-VI (Atty. Princess Alcalde-Corral), DENR-PENRO (Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office Director Cynthia Blancia), DA-BFAR (Mr. Glenn Nonifara, OIC BFAR Region VI), and CHR-VI (Regional Director Atty. Jonnie Dabuco) are all knowledgeable, articulate and responsive.  As a capacity-building intervention, Atty. Dabuco shared an input on the basic human rights related to the topic on “Arrest, Search and Seizure,” which were well received by the participants as it affects their daily lives and field of work.

The participants appreciated the conduct of CBDs which they find a good avenue for sustaining collaborative efforts among stakeholders.

CHR-VI Regional Director, Atty. J. Dabuco, gave the welcome remarks and opening statement.  HSF Sr. Program Coordinator, Ms. Maria Adelia Co shared Opening and Closing Messages to the partners and participants.  CHR-VI Training Director, Mr. Chris Montano, who served as facilitator during the activity, presented the rationale and objectives of the activity.