February 6th, 2016 | by Balaod Mindanaw
Established Community- Based Paralegals in Cantilan
Balaod Mindanaw conducted two sets of Basic Paralegal Training (BPLT) to the representatives of the partner communities of Cantilan, Madrid, and Carrascal, Surigao del Sur. The participants of the training were mostly farmer-irrigators in the communities.
With their active participation during the training, they reaffirmed the communities’ stake and important role in the protection of their natural resources. They were able to formulate a tangible and comprehensive plan in sustaining their anti-mining advocacy that will complement actions by other groups like anti-mining coalition in the province.
TEPO in Cantilan, Surigao del Sur extended
After months of arduous hearings, strategizing and campaign together with the farmer irrigators, the Temporary Restraining Order (TEPO) issued against Marc Ventures Mining was finally extended after it was deemed lifted early this year. The RTC ruling on the TEPO extension also added that the TEPO shall remain valid until revoked.
The ruling does not conclude CANTILAN’s struggles to protect its watershed. The legal battle continues until final and favorable judgment is issued. However, the community was happy as this ensures protection from further threat and damage to the area’s natural resources.
Conducted Paralegal Assemblies in Gingoog, Claveria and MISORET
Series of Paralegal assessment and assemblies were conducted in partnership with KPMFI and the partner communities in Gingoog, Claveria and MISORET (composed of Misamis Oriental Eastern towns namely Balingasag, Lagonglong, Sugbongcogon and Kinoguitan). The assemblies were well attended by the paralegals – Gingoog City, 51; in Claveria, 53; and MISORET, 16.
In the assemblies, the status of the paralegal committees were assessed, their coordination structure strengthened and the mechanism for the sustainability of the committees was estalished.
Conducted the second Regional CARPER Multi-Sectoral Partnership ( RCMP) Forum
The Regional CARPER Multisectoral Partnership (RCMP) core-group meeting was facilitated by BALAOD in March 2011. The meeting was attended by the Convenor Archbishop Antonio Ledesma of the Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro and DAR Regional Director Engr. Felix Aguhob as Co-Convenor. All of the PAROs and operation officers were also present as a show of force on the part of the DAR. Representatives from the academe and civil society also participated.
Established Partnership with the Provincial Government of Misamis Oriental
The application of BALAOD for accreditation was approved by the Sangguniang Panglalawigan (SP) with relative ease, owing to the SP’s familiarity with BALAOD through the Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC). BALAOD was also accepted as one of the members of the Conflict Management Cluster of the PPOC, a special body tasked to address peace issues in the province including resource-based conflicts. The partnership with the provincial government was made even stronger through the signing of Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) on 14 June 2011 to jointly implement a legal empowerment program by addressing resource-based conflicts in some areas in the province.
Enhanced Advocacy Campaign
- Community-based Human Rights Dialogue
- As the Region 10 Coordinator for the Community-based Human Rights Dialogue Project of ALG (Community-based Human Rights Dialogue between AFP/PNP and the Civil Society Organizations).BALAOD in parternship with LRC-KsK conducted the CARAGA leg of the regional human rights dialogue between AFP/PNP and the Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) on 5-6 May 2011 at Balanghai Hotel and Convention Center, Butuan City. The issues on mining and other economic, social and cultural rights violations were highlighted in this dialogue. Participants decided to come up with a mechanism as to possible contribution in addressing these issues.
Likewise, the core group from the 14 regional dialogues met on June 22-23, 2011 at MMLDC to consolidate the results of the regional dialogues and discuss best practices particularly on sustaining the project. From the discussion, the participants shared the same insights that the project contributed in human rights awareness both in the basic and security sectors. While the civil society groups welcome some progressive development in the security sector as far as human rights promotion is concerned, like the establishment of human rights offices in the ranks of AFP and PNP, they (CSOs) likewise registered their mandate to continue being watchdog of the state and non-state actors on human rights issues.
The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) Chairperson, Etta Rosales gave her word that the office will be more pro-active in this initiative. The gathering produced a concrete plan in sustaining the initiative.
- SAGIP Gubat Network and Minerals Management Bill Campaign
BALAOD has also been actively involved in two interrelated bills in Congress for the protection and preservation of the environment: the Forestry Resources Bill (House Bill 3485) and Minerals Management Bill (House Bill 3763).
In April 2011, Balaod joined the Sagipin ang Ugat ng Buhay at Tubig (Sagip GUBAT), a national network of forests conservation advocates promoting management of forest resources through the passage of Forest Resources Bill (FRB) launching.
Balaod, in partnership with Tambuyog Development Center, conducted the first Provincial Anti-Mining Dialogue between the vulnerable sectors such as the peasants, fisherfolks and indigenous peoples in Surigao del Sur, and the different line agencies of the government including the DENR, MGB, PAWB, DA and the NCIP. The dialogue was held in Tandag, Surigao del Sur on June 22-23, 2011.
Strengthened Partnership with Zamboanga LGUs in its KP Training
In partnership with DILG Zamboanga del Sur, BALAOD, acted again as resource speakers for the Katarungang Pambarangay (KP) Training, held on April this year at Pagadian City, with an attendance of 140 participants.
The training participants include Local Government Officials particularly Barangay Captains and councilors.
Organized MCLE in Cagayan de Oro
BALAOD Mindanaw, thru the Alternative Law Groups, Inc. (ALG) and in partnership with Portia Sorority, organized and facilitated a 36-unit Mandatory Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) Course on 6-10 June 2011 at Grand Caprice, Cagayan de Oro City. The activity was attended by at least 60 lawyers from different parts of Mindanao.
The topics delved on social legislations, both in the substantive and procedural laws, and on the integration of human rights concepts and laws in the works of a lawyer, such as the following:
- CARP Extension with Reforms
- ARMM and other Peace Processes
- Environmental Rules of Procedure and Prosecuting for the Environment
- International Human Rights instruments
- Access to Justice
- Alternative Dispute Resolution
- Anti-Human Trafficking and Anti-Voyeurism Laws
Continued Internship Program
The Center for Alternative Lawyering in Liceo (CALL) was revived earlier in 2011 through the initiative of one professor, Eldred Cole. As part of the exposure of the students, 20 fourth year law students from Liceo were sent for a two-month internship in BALAOD. The interns were assigned research works focusing on the different BALAOD advocacies. Some were exposed in case-handling activities including, attendance in court hearings, drafting legal documents pertinent to their respective assigned case.
In the summer of 2011, BALAOD also hosted at least 3 interns from the Xavier University Center for Legal Assistance (XUCLA). The interns were exposed to several alternative lawyering activities and engagements. They also assisted in policy and data researches and documentation.
Held External Evaluation and SAP
BALAOD had its external evaluation as well as Strategic Assessment and Planning during the months of April-May. The organization’s outputs and accomplishments for the past three years were assessed in consideration with the recommendations made in the 2008 External Evaluation. The process was likewise maximized in assessing BALAOD’s impact as a developmental legal NGO after 10 years of operation.
Launched BALAOD website www.balaodmindanaw.org and released of Fifth KUDLIT
KUDLIT (the official publication of BALAOD) with the theme “Balaod Impressions; Balaod Expressions”showcasing the reflections of Balaod’s journey in the past 10 years including the highlights of 2010 was published in the 1st quarter of this year. It contained 15 articles and personal stories of the Balaod staff and 2 position papers on prevailing relevant issues.
Balaod finally uploaded its new and improved website to the public. Relevant information about the organization could now be accessed at www.balaodmindanaw.org.