Sunday, May 17, 2015

Agri Unlimited Radio Program May 16 2015

Watch our latest episode in Agri Unlimited Radio Program at Radyo Uno DZME 1530 kHZ last May 16 2015. Topics were: a) Follow up of the International Year on Family Farming and b) Aksyon Kalikasan Barangay Biodigester Project



Agri Unlimited Radio Program May 16 2015

Watch our latest episode in Agri Unlimited Radio Program at Radyo Uno DZME 1530 kHZ last May 16 2015. Topics were: a) Follow up of the International Year on Family Farming and b) Aksyon Kalikasan Barangay Biodigester Project



Monday, January 12, 2015

SEARICE DZME Radio Segment "Rights & Welfare of Farming Families"

This is a 5-minute video documentation of the SEARICE Radio Segment in the DZME Agri Unlimited Program Agri Unlimited entitled " Rights and Welfare of Farming Families" co hosted by Dr Raffy Barosso and Roy Cabonegro.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Comments to: Setting Localized Poverty Reduction Targets

Here is my commentary to an excellent article written by Ike Seneres below.

 PDAF to be re allocated to LGUs under careful and direct oversight of local citizens group is i think the spirit behind the BUB (bottom up budgeting). I think we should consider this seriously if this will mean more funds going to job creating and enterprise building efforts; for the poor and micro and small entrepreneurs.

I would like to add that another source of potential fund for job and enterprise creation by LGUs for poverty alleviation is the reallocation of the 60B plus CCT (conditional cash transfer) from dole out to something more productive that will have lasting empowerment impacts that what it is achieving now.

Finally,  OFW remittances outweighs all FDIs put together in recent decades. If only we can find better way to challenge this sacrifices of our OFW heroes not just to benefit their families but the entire country through LGU led local job and enterprise creation for poverty alleviation.

Now; having said all of these, i ask two questions. First is our national budget and development plans reflecting this? Secondly, do we now have enough honest, effective and non trapo politicians at a crucial number of LGUs today that we can trust for this reform?

And i am tempted to ask further, do we now have a strong national political party to see this work through?

Thanks!

Roy Cabonegro

Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android

From:"Mr. Ike Seneres" <iseneres@yahoo.com>
Date:Sun, Jan 4, 2015 at 14:43
Subject:SETTING LOCALIZED POVERTY REDUCTION TARGETS

BANTAY GOBYERNO 038



By Ike SeƱeres

“SETTING LOCALIZED POVERTY REDUCTION TARGETS”

The first step in the process of poverty reduction planning is to understand the difference between poverty reduction on one hand, and poverty alleviation on the other hand. The difference between these two might sound basic and simplistic to most people, but unfortunately, many of our government officials do not seem to know the meaning of one compared to the other. To put it simply, poverty reduction could be likened to a surgical operation, wherein the cause of the ailment is physically removed. Conversely, poverty alleviation could be likened to a medical prescription to take pain killers. In doing so, the pain might disappear temporarily, but the cause of the pain, meaning the cause of the ailment is not physically removed.

The comparison to surgical removal is a good analogy, because poverty reduction should mean physically removing the poor people from below the poverty line. For the sake of those who still would not know what that means, it means graduating the poor people from where they are below the poverty line, to where they should be, above the poverty line. After more than a hundred years of being a Republic, we still have a very high poverty rate, and that is why it is about time that we should rethink whether or not we should still rely on the national government to continue implementing poverty reduction projects from the top. The alternative to that is to devolve the implementation of these projects to the Local Government Units (LGUs).

As I see it, the national government should only be formulating policies and designing programs, but it should not be implementing projects at the LGU level. This should be the case not only in poverty reduction, but in practically all aspects of governance, except perhaps in foreign affairs, national defense, budget management and central banking. Needless to say, that should also include poverty alleviation projects, if only to emphasize that it is not the same as poverty reduction targets. By the way, the left has clearly and categorically debunked the notion that the delivery of public services is part of poverty alleviation, saying in effect that public services are regular functions of the government and should not be passed off as part of poverty alleviation.

At the risk of sounding redundant, I would like to repeat here (again) that no matter how much the matter how much the government would improve public services, and not matter what it would do to ease the pain of sufferings by way of poverty alleviation, the total numbers of the poor would remain the same, that is until some of their numbers would be physically removed from below the poverty line, by way of poverty reduction. Since poverty is measured in terms of income and the ability to be able to afford the imaginary basket of goods based on the earnings of people, there is no other way but to create more jobs and more businesses, so that the incomes of people would increase, thus putting them above the poverty line.

As it is usually the case, most LGUs would have their own Public Employment Service Office (PESO) to help their own residents look for jobs. However, this is actually a case of supply and demand, because the jobs that are available are usually lesser than the number of applicants. The challenge therefore is to create more jobs, more than what are usually available. The challenge is clear, but the function of the PESO is not to create jobs, but to place applicants into existing jobs. The problem is, there is no other LGU office that is tasked with the function of creating new jobs. While most LGU officials would be willing to take up the challenge of job creation, they are of course expected to raise the issue of operating budgets.

There is no argument that operating budgets are needed by the LGUs in order to create jobs, but there are actually many projects that they could do on their own, by simply relying on their existing and available resources. For example, they could provide incentives and other forms of supports to their own local businesses, so that these businesses could have better products and bigger markets. While it is necessary for the LGUs to keep on doing the function of job placement, they would just be heading towards a dead end street, if they would not do the other function of job creation. Just as they need to understand the difference between poverty reduction and poverty alleviation, they also need to understand the correlation between job placement and job creation.

As I see it, there is really nothing wrong with the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) if only it could be used for its true purpose, and that is to assist in implementing development projects. By the way, the PDAF is not the only source of budgets for the LGUs, because they also get their shares from the Internal Revenue Allocations (IRA). Since budgets are actually available for them to allocate, the remaining question is how they set their priorities, and that is where it becomes debatable. While some LGU officials would argue that they need to invest in infrastructure, others would say that they need to invest in public services. If you ask me, they should just put their money where there are returns, such as job creation.

Going back to my main thesis, I say that LGU officials should be tasked to set their own poverty reduction targets. Of course I do understand that they could not reduce their poverty rate down to single digits in six years, but that should be enough time for them to reduce it by five or ten percent for example. What is important is to set the targets and to officially embrace these as their actual objectives. If only these objectives could be set, then these would become measurable, and the local people who are the voters would know what to do with them when election time comes. What does it take to create new businesses or to expand existing ones? That is for these LGU officials to answer, because they presented themselves as knowing better than everyone else in the locality, what to do with their own problems.

On the part of the national government, the best thing that it could do from where it is at the very top, is to set the right policies that would create a healthy climate for business development to happen everywhere, down to the farthest and most remote local communities. For best results, it should support these policies with the right programs that could easily be implemented by the LGUs. As a matter of fact, many National Government Agencies (NGAs) have their own branch offices at the local level, and they could very well be in a position to assist the LGUs in business development, if there is a master plan coming from the national level that could be translated into a local plan. At the end of each local term, the outgoing LGU officials should be made to account for their poverty reduction targets, whether they have attained it or not.

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Comments to: Radical Goals for Sustainable Development

Radical Goals for Sustainable Development

This is an excellent article from HBF. This is a "must" read for all greens and sustainable development advocates in the Philippines as we buckle down to work for the challenges of 2015 and the "Aksyon 2015" campaign. It gives a good geo political context; with I think a very honest retrospection of the EU's own challenges and liabilities such as perverse subsidies, of the current global socio-economic and ecological crises. The context provided put into perspective the global climate negotiations this year, the year of the soils and the global plastic regulation campaigns. It also highlights the potentials and imperatives for effectively moving forward from the minimalist MDGs to what i would hopefully call the more viable means to realize the spirit of Rio92 and the original agenda21; the SDG (Sustainable Development Goals). Needless to say, the author also gave an honest  assessment of the current limits within an emerging SDG in the ongoing global negotiation. This is really not surprising since the current global governance platform where these discussions are taking place operate within the very system of uncheck economic growth as if ecological limits are unreal and the neo liberal system that has guided the current global trade regimes that in the first place was the very same system that created the problem and hindered the realization of agenda 21 thirty years hence.