February 6th, 2016 | by Balaod Mindanaw
The second quarter of BALAOD was packed with activities geared towards sustaining the small beginnings initiated at the start of 2012.
The journey continued as the project on “PROMOTION AND PROTECTION OF HUMAN RIGHTS THROUGH CAPACITY-BUILDING OF COMMUNITY-BASED WOMEN ON REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH RIGHTS”, which is supported by the Spanish Embassy, held two trainings on Human and Women’s Rights.
On 22-23 May and 13-14 June 2012, at MASS SPEC Hostel, Cagayan de Oro City, at least 40 individuals from the ten barangays of Alubijid and El Salvador gathered to have a wider grasp on human rights, gender equality advocacy, reproductive health promotion and other Philippine laws and programs pertaining to the rights of women and children. The first part of the trainings delved on human and women’s rights and laws. These topics were handled by BALAOD, KAISAHAN and CHR 10.
In the second part of the training, obstetricians and pediatricians in the persons of Dr. Luminarias, Dr. Bormeo and Dr. Mendoza, spoke on medical and technical concerns in reproductive health and child-rearing. They focused on the role of the community leaders and barangay health workers in advancing the rights of women and their children. At the end of the two trainings, participants were able to come up with their respective barangay plans with implications on translating what they have learned to favorable local policy issuances.
Training re-echoes, strengthening partnerships among stakeholders and actual lobbying of local policies kicked-off in the second half of 2012.
Meanwhile, the project “ENHANCEMENT OF THE CAPACITY OF COMMUNITY-BASED FARMER PARALEGALS, BARANGAY AGRARIAN REFORM COMMITTEES (BARCS) AND OTHER AGRARIAN REFORM ADVOCATES TOWARDS EFFECTIVE PARTNERSHIP IN THE AGRARIAN REFORM IMPLEMENTATION AND TO FAST-TRACK LAND ACQUISITION AND DISTRIBUTION UNDER CARPER,” held a series of Legal Clinics and Capacity-Building efforts both in the provinces of Bukidnon and North Cotabato. Consultation and coordination meetings were likewise conducted at the MARO, PARO and DARRO levels with all stakeholders.
With the support of the Foundation for Philippine Environment (FPE), the project “PROTECTING THE WATERSHED FOREST RESERVEES THROUGH LEGAL EMPOWERMENT” continued to create impact in Surigao del Sur. The second batch of the Advanced Paralegal Training was conducted on 15-17 May where participants underwent a comprehensive training on human rights concepts and principles and laws affecting their environment. The training was also maximized as venue for community planning on strengthening their ranks and actions in opposing extractive mining in their areas. This was followed by a series of clinics and consultations which served as monitoring mechanism.
On the other hand, separatemeetings with the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) of CARAGA and the court were done on 5-6 July 2012 to follow-up the status of issued Temporary Environmental Protection Order (TEPO). Meetings with key paralegals and local partners were also held to discuss and share updates and plans for the campaign and advocacy.
On another front, the 2nd of the two workshops for human rights defenders under the project Defending the Human Rights Defenders was held on 11-12 June 2012. The workshop/training was designed to share with the partner communities and organizations the human rights protection programs and mechanisms of the different government agencies particularly that of the Commission on Human Rights and the Public Attorneys’ Office. The participants gained knowledge from the sharing of the resource persons on the different government programs and mechanism on HR protection and promotion. Likewise, a thorough security assessment of the partner communities was done and a corresponding plan to respond to issues on security was formulated.
Finally, after covering all the Philippine political regions for “COMMUNITY-BASED HUMAN RIGHTS DIALOGUE BETWEEN THE SECURITY SECTOR AND THE CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANIZATIONS”, in partnership with the Alternative Law Groups, the Bukidnon Provincial Dialogue was held on 25-26 July 2012. Human Rights issues particularly from the IPs and AR were highlighted. A loose coalition was formed to meet regularly and act collectively on various human rights issues in the province. The network’s Terms of Reference is to be drafted by the CHR Region 10 and will be presented before the group on 16 August 2012.
These are some of the highlights of the different BALAOD programs aimed at contributing to the empowerment of marginalized groups and communities.