Furthering the Mission: More Development Managers engaged in Stories of Bridging Leadership
Three Bridging Leadership (BL) Fellows of the AIM TeaM Energy Center for Bridging Leadership (AIMTEC) engaged with development managers enrolled in the executive programs of the AIM Stephen Zuellig Graduate School of Development Management (AIM-ZSDM).
At the Economic Development and Diplomacy seminar for the Department of Foreign Affairs' (DFA) Heads of Posts held from May 5 to 7, 2015, Mayor Nacianceno ‘Jun’ Pacalioga, Mayor of Dumingag in Zamboanga del Sur, talked about the formulation of the Transformative Education (TE) as Dumingag’s system of a comprehensive education program on Sustainable Organic Agriculture (SOA).
Pacalioga shared how the local government tapped different learning systems, including school-based, center-based, community-based, farm-based, enterprise-based, web-based, and home-based centers, to facilitate Dumingag’s Transformative Education. Through TE, Dumingag teachers were able to develop an Indigenous People’s (IP) curriculum responsive to the needs of Subanen cultural communities in the municipality. Community dialogues on SOA were continuously held with the 44 barangays of Dumingag as part of the continuing education program. Training in organic agriculture capacitated farming communities in crafting community plans for production of crops with high income potentials. As a result, organic farming became a way of life to most Dumingagnons. The TE served as a means of preserving the Subanen culture and transforming Dumingag into an organic farming-based municipality.
17 Heads of Posts completed the seminar. This is the sixth of these training programs specifically designed to focus on Economic Sensing and Economic Diplomacy, Strategic Management, and Leading Change and Innovation for the DFA.
Two other Bridging Leadership Fellows, Oscar Moreno and Alinader Minalang, shared their stories in engaging stakeholders and ensuring the sustainability of development initiatives and institutions with participants of the 54th Batch of the Program for Development Managers (PDM)1 held last May 11 to 29, 2015.
PDM is a three-week course for development managers focused on harnessing the skills of the development manager as strategist, mobilizer, key decision maker, and institution builder. The 54th batch consisted of 28 participants, including 20 officials of various government organizations in the Philippines and 6 officials from the Bhutan National Bank, Ltd.
Oscar Moreno2, incumbent mayor of Cagayan de Oro City, shared his journey of transforming Lantad, a sitio in Barangay Kibanban, Balingasag, Misamis Oriental, from a ‘No-Man’s Land to a Land of Hopes’ through the introduction of strategic innovations, especially in providing more livelihood opportunities for the people, building their capacities to allow them to lead their communities, and in upgrading Misamis Oriental’s Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC).
In December 18, 2007, the Kibanban-Lantad Agrarian Reform Community (KLARC) was launched. With help from the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), Moreno was also able to bring in technology for banana and peanut production benefitting 150 members of a cooperative that was established for that purpose. From 2008 to 2010, Moreno observed how the average household income rose from PhP 60,000 to PhP 120,000. He also reported how partnerships have enabled the government to power homes with the technology of a solar lighting system. As a result, the people who have left Lantad in search for a better life elsewhere were encouraged to return seeing how the conditions have improved.
Moreno emphasized the critical role of civil society organizations (CSOs) in development and peacebuilding. The Misamis Oriental PPOC has adopted this framework of enhanced participation and transparency. They also partnered with the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police in battling poverty and inequity. He closed by saying how the Lantad experience has taught him that nothing is impossible and that peace can be achieved by bringing the government closer to the people. The upgraded Misamis Oriental PPOC served as an effective vehicle in addressing the root causes of insurgency through improved teamwork with all levels of government, the churches and the CSOs.
Dr. Alinader Minalang, Provincial Health Officer of Lanao del Sur, shared the journey of Lanao del Sur towards achieving better health outcomes. He stressed the lack of a clear vision and the community’s lack of awareness and participation as major contributory factors to the health inequities in the province. Upon engaging with the AIMTEC, he realized that change must happen and that innovative strategies and responsive programs should be developed.
Through dialogue, he convened stakeholders to arrive at a “shared vision” and a “shared response.” He imparted the BL Framework with the Municipal Health Officers, Heads of Rural Health Units and Chiefs of Hospital. He advocated for the support of the provincial and local government units in transforming the health institutions in Lanao del Sur. He engaged the Local Chief Executives (LCEs) on BL and started a bottom-up planning approach. In the end, the new institutional arrangements in Lanao del Sur paved way for an empowered citizenry, including a more responsive, motivated, competent and compassionate health staff and improved health seeking behaviors among the community.
Pacalioga, Moreno and Minalang believe that leadership is a journey. As they continue to better themselves as Bridging Leaders working to co-create change with their communities, they also advocate for a greater appreciation of Bridging Leadership as the key to achieving meaningful social change through the collective action of multiple and diverse stakeholders.
With much hope for the future, they are one with the Center in developing more Bridging Leaders who have the vision, the competence, and the courage to address societal inequities in Mindanao, the Philippines, and the Asian region.
1 For more information about the Program for Development Managers, visit the website of the AIM Stephen Zuellig Graduate School of Development Management (AIM-ZSDM) at http://development.aim.edu/academics/development-executive-programs/program-for-development-managers.
2 Visit the website of the AIM TeaM Energy Center for Bridging Leadership to learn more about the leadership journey of Mayor Oscar Moreno: http://bridgingleadership.aim.edu/blog/2014/12/mayor-oscar-moreno-the-continuing-challenge-to-lead