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  • Alliances of Local Governments in the PhilippinesBy: Johny Sauro Natad© December 14, 2011Posted and updated at Worldwide, alliance building or inter-local partnership considered as strategic importancein addressing local governments’ common issues and problems that do not respect politicalboundaries. Alliance of local government units (LGUs), which interchangeably referred to asinter-local cooperation has been proving to be cost effective and efficient in the delivery ofservices to its multi-stakeholders especially the LGUs. In the Philippines, inter-local cooperation of LGUs believed to be formally started afterthe proclamation of Republic Act No. 7160 or the Philippine Local Government Code of 1991.Many of these alliances are inspired by R.A 7160, which is also in consonance with thePhilippine Constitution. The LGU alliances in the Philippines could be considered as significantmechanism in the realization of political and administrative decentralization and local autonomyin the country. The Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998 (Republic Act No. 8550) also requires inter-LGUalliance especially to water ecosystem that traverse political boundaries of many LGUs likelakes or seas. Economic development, the environmental protection and management (includingecosystem, coastal resource, tourism and landscape management), and integrated healthdevelopment are the major purpose of establishing among many existing alliance of LGUs in thePhilippines.Definition The Wikipedia defines as “a cooperation or collaboration, which aims for a synergywhere each partners hopes that the benefits from the alliance will be greater than those fromindividual efforts”. Usually, the alliance is engaging for a particular or indefinite period andshared expenses and risks involving technology transfer and economic specialization used toachieve a common objective (“Strategic Alliance”, n.d.). The Origo Social Enterprise Partners (n.d.) presented the following description ofpartnership and alliance: • A partnership is an alliance between organizations from two or more sectors that commit themselves to working together to develop and implement a specific project. Such a partnership implies that participants are willing to share risks, costs and benefits, review the relationship regularly and revise the partnership as necessary. Alliances of LGU in the Philippines © 2011 Johny S. Natad Page 1 of 14
  • • Alliances between parties drawn for example, from businesses, government and civil society, that strategically aggregate the resources and competencies of each to resolve a specific problem/challenge. • Partnerships across different sectors of society imply transcending some of the divides between business/NGOs/governments. Interest from many governments and NGOs in working with business is quite high so the partnership model has been replacing the adversarial model. • Partnering across sectors means that different sectors of society are open to communicate and collaborate with each other, fostering and creating more inclusive- participatory models for solving problems. • A management tool to deliver business, social and environmental development outcomes by optimizing the effectiveness of different partners’ resources core competencies. The alliance of Local Government Units (LGUs) have been performing vital role incontributing genuine and sustainable development. With the establishment of the alliances, theLGUs can achieve the achievement of plans with joint effort and shared agreement to solvesuch as environmental problems and effective delivery of prime services that resulted toinfluence management and achieve better human safeguard or protection (Asia Forest Network,n.d.).Alliance and Decentralization This inter-local cooperation or alliances of LGUs have been contributing to theimplementation of political and administrative decentralization of the government in thePhilippines. The Republic Act 7160 or the 1991 Local Government Code of the Philippinesgenerally stresses about decentralization of powers to Local Government Units.Decentralization is the “dispersion or distribution of functions and powers; specifically thedelegation of power from a central authority to regional and local authorities” (Merriam-Webster,n.d). Thus, decentralization creates need for alliances. With the formation of alliance, thestakeholders can carry various outlooks, have experience and capacity into a dialogue and cantake action to wide range of concerns. Alliance is a distinctive strategic position wherepartnership and shared engagement with planning and implementation agencies at local levelwhich direct them to better position in policy recommendation, decision making and can bringinformation from the community level to the right people in the management (Asia ForestNetwork, n.d). The alliances are filling the vacuum left by the central government in tackling thedeclined upland forest and marine ecosystem and helps formulate solutions that can beaddressed by the local government (Environmental Science for Social Change [ESSC], 2011).Types of Alliances and its Purpose Formation of alliance of LGUs or the inter-LGU alliances varied according to its typology:(1) the natural alliance; (2) the public-private alliance; and (3) the quasi-public alliance(Philippine Development Forum, 2010). Natural alliance is formed between LGUs for either ageneral or sectoral but with a common purpose of general members which motivated usually bythe alliance-wide impact in the delivery of basic services and facilities that surpass local politicalboundaries and entailed large expenditure. This type of inter-LGU alliance retains their public Alliances of LGU in the Philippines © 2011 Johny S. Natad Page 2 of 14
  • character. The public-private alliances are cooperative undertaking of organizations composed of both public (LGUs) and private sectors like NGOs, business groups, and other private entities. This alliance is usually registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The quasi-public alliances are natural alliances among LGUs with common objective for public service but being managed and controlled as a private corporation through a separate legal entity. This type of alliance is granted juridical personalities through the congressional legislation. The ESSC (2011) identified the following emerging alliance with concerned on environmental and resources management: Alliance Location Focus Matarino Bay Management Building partnerships to improve resource Eastern Samar Council management and local livelihoods Carood Watershed Sustaining and harmonizing local government Bohol Management Council initiatives in Carood watershed Lanuza Bay Development Surigao del Sur Strengthening environmental governance through Alliance local policy formulation Agusan Marsh Agusan del Sur Sustainable watershed management as a Development Alliance response to land and water problems Bukidnon Watershed Bukidnon Collaboration initiatives towards comprehensive Protection and landscape management and greater human Development Council security Allah Valley Landscape South Cotabato Local government initiatives for protected area Development Alliance and Sultan management Kudarat Lake Mainit Development Agusan del Partnership building towards sustainable Alliance Norte and management of Lake Mainit Surigao del Norte Source: Environmental Science for Social Change, (2011) These alliances are an evident that people are working together to deal with environmental issues and equitable resources management. The Philippine Development Forum (2010) presented the list of alliances with its membership, reason for coming together and mode of formalization. Alliance Membership Reason for Coming Mode of Formalization TogetherIloiloAlliance for Northern Iloilo For 9 municipalities Health Development MOA, 2000; SECHealth Development Registration(ANIHEADNorthern Iloilo Alliance for 10 municipalities Coastal Resource MOA, December 29,Coastal Development Management 1999; SEC Registration(NIACDEV) Alliances of LGU in the Philippines © 2011 Johny S. Natad Page 3 of 14
  • Alliance Membership Reason for Coming Mode of Formalization TogetherBanate Bay Resource 3 municipalities Coastal Resource MOA, February 28, 1996Management Council Management(BBRMCI)Metro Iloilo-Guimaras 1 province; 1 city; 5 Economic EO No. 559, August 28,Economic Development municipalities Development 2006Council (MIGEDC)Southern Iloilo Coastal 5 municipalities Coastal Resource MOA, 2002; SECResource Management Management RegistrationCouncil (SICRMC)Iloilo Second Integrated Area 5 municipalities Economic MOA, July 8, 1997; SECDevelopment, Inc. Development Registration, March 7, 2007Negros OccidentalSouthern Negros Coastal 1 city; 2 municipalities Coastal Resource EO 1996; MOA, OctoberDevelopment Management Management 6, 2005Council (SNCDMC)Central Negros Council for 1 city; 6 municipalities Coastal Resource MOA, January 26, 2005Coastal Development Management(CENECCORD)Northern Negros Aquatic 5 cities; 3 Coastal Resource MOA, 2000Resources Management and municipalities ManagementAdvisory Council(NNARMAC)Oriental NegrosSta. Bayabas Inter-Local 1 city; 2 municipalities Health Per EO 205, 2008Health Zone (ILHZ)AntiqueLibertad, Pnadan, Sebaste 4 municipalities Coastal Resource MOA, October 3, 1997;and Culasi Bay Wide Management SEC RegistrationManagement Council(LIPASECU)Coasthaven 4 municipalities Coastal Resource MOA, October 15, 2007 ManagementCebuCamotes Sea Resource 1 city; 4 municipalities Coastal Resource MOA, May 2, 2007Management Council Management(CSRMC)Southeast Cebu Coastal 7 municipalities Coastal Resource MOA, April 19, 2005Resource Management ManagementCouncil (SCCRMC)BoholMaribojoc Bay Integrated 1 city; 4 municipalities Coastal Resource MOA, 2005; EO 23Resource Management Management series of 2005,(MBEMO) December 20, 2005Abatan River Development 5 municipalities River Management, EO No. 19, NovemberManagement Council Ecotourism 19, 2005(ARDMC) developmentPaDaYon Bohol Marine 3 municipalities Environmental MOA, June 7, 2007; EOTriangle Management Council Protection No 22 Series of 2004,(PADAYON) September 7, 2008; SEC Registration, June 7, 2006 Alliances of LGU in the Philippines © 2011 Johny S. Natad Page 4 of 14
  • Alliance Membership Reason for Coming Mode of Formalization TogetherEastern SamarAlliance of Seven 7 municipalities Coastal Resource MOA, 2005 ManagementBorongan Inter-Local Health 5 municipalities (6 Integrated Health Per EO 2005, 2008Zone RHUs) ServicesMindanaoLanuza Bay Development 7 municipalities Economic MOA, 2004*Alliance (LBDA) DevelopmentPPALMA Alliance (PPALMA) 7 municipalities; 1 Economic MOA, 2004** province DevelopmentLake Mainit Development 2 provinces; 8 Lake Management MOA, March 1999Alliance (LMDA) municipalitiesMt. Kitanglad Range PAMB 8 municipalities Environmental ProtectionCamarines SurMetro Naga Development 1 city; 14 Economic MOA, April 23, 1993; EOCouncil (MNDC) municipalities Development No. 102, June 18, 1993Partido Development 10 municipalities Economic RA No. 7820, NovemberAdministration (PDA) Development 18, 1994; RA No. 8989, December 31, 2000 Source: Critical Ingredients in Building and Sustaining Inter-Local Cooperation (pp.20-21) The Philippine Development Forum (2009) reveals that the institutional, financial and legal aspects are the crucial and interrelated elements of the alliance building as manifested in the publication entitled “Critical Ingredients in Building and Sustaining Inter-Local Cooperation”. The institutional aspects largely deals with the purpose and with the structures and system while involves minimally in resources. Legal aspects essentially deal with structure, system and resources while also link with purpose. Resources are the main concern on financial aspects to attain the purpose but also take into account the structure and system. Legal basis on Alliance formation The legal basis on the formation of alliance can be specifically defined in the Philippine Constitution of 1987, the Local Government Code of 1991, the Memorandum of Agreement entered into by concerned LGUs, the Executive Orders, and other relevant laws. The 1987 Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines Article X. Section 13 states that “Local government units may group themselves, consolidate or coordinate their efforts, services, and resources for purposes commonly beneficial to them in accordance with law.” Likewise, the Local Government Code of the Philippines emphasizes the general provision of local government as declared in the Constitution. Under the Local Government Code’s Book I General Provisions, Title One, Article Three, Section 33 provides the Cooperative Undertakings among Local Government Units. Local government units may, through appropriate ordinances, group themselves, consolidate, or coordinate their efforts, services, and resources for purposes Alliances of LGU in the Philippines © 2011 Johny S. Natad Page 5 of 14
  • commonly beneficial to them. In support of such undertakings, the local government units involved may, upon approval by the sanggunian concerned after a public hearing conducted for the purpose, contribute funds, real estate, equipment, and other kinds of property and appoint or assign personnel under such terms and conditions as may be agreed upon by the participating local units through Memoranda of Agreement. With the joint undertakings of the inter-LGU alliance, the basic legal instrument used toinitiate such is the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA). Encarta Dictionary defines a“memorandum” (n.d) as “summary of legal agreement: a written statement summarizing theterms of a contract or a similar legal transaction”. It serves as the formal agreement amonginvolving LGUs and binds them to adhere the cooperative undertakings of the alliance. TheMOA provides for the agreed roles and responsibilities and the details on the focus programs ofthe alliance. Osorio (2010) defined MOA as “the basic legal instrument used to initiate an inter-LGU alliance. The MOA serves as the formal agreement involving 2 or more LGUs wherebyeach become obligated to the other with reciprocal rights to demand of what is promised byeach respectively. The MOA binds the LGUs to adhere to the alliance’s cooperativeundertakings. To formally organize an alliance. Local Chief Executives (LCEs) of participatingLGUs are required to sign a MOA” (p.24) Based on the Memorandum of Agreement (1999) signed and entered into by 2 provincialLGUs, 8 municipal LGUs and government line agencies of Lake Mainit Development Alliance inMarch 1999 declares the (1) formation of the alliance, (2) purpose, (3) benefits to the LGUs, (4)LMDA board, (5) Project Management Office, (6) responsibilities of the parties, (7) trust fund, (8)transitory provisions, (9) amendments, (10) effectivity. A MOA formally creating the Metro Naga Development Council (MNDC) was signed bythe 13 LGUs – Naga, Bombon, Calabanga, Camaligan, Canaman, Gainza, Magarao, Milaor,Minalabac, Pamplona, Pasacao, Pili and San Fernando on April 23, 1993. The municipalities ofBula and Ocampo joined the MNDC through a MOA with the then existing members of theCouncil in July 1997. The LCEs of the 15 member-LGUs comprise the Council’s ExecutiveCommittee. In charge of the administrative operations of the Council is its Project DevelopmentUnit (PDU) headed by the MNDC Executive Director. The unit is likewise primarily responsiblefor the implementation of the Council’s programs, projects and activities (Sacendoncillo, 2007). Pigcawayan-Alamada-Libungan-Midsayap-Aleosan Alliance popularly known as PALMAwas formalize the establishment of the Alliance on August 07, 2000 during the signing of aMemorandum of Agreement (MOA) was signed by and between the five municipal governmentsof PALMA and the Provincial Government of Cotabato (PALMA Alliance, n.d.). And as inspiredby PALMA, the Southwestern Ligawasan Alliance of Municipalities or SLAM was officiallycreated on June 25th, 2008. A MOA was signed between the four municipalities ofMaguindanao namely Paglat, Datu Paglas, Sultan sa Barongis and General S.K. Pendatuncommitting to their participation in SLAM and defining roles and responsibilities. (SouthwesternLigawasan Alliance of Municipalities (SLAM), n.d.) Illana Bay Regional Alliance in Region 9 (IBRA-9) composed of 8 LGUs signed a newMemorandum of Agreement (MOA) last December 13, signifying their renewed commitment toprotect the Illana Bay. Mayors of Tukuran, Tabina, Dinas, Labangan, Tungawan, Dimataling andSan Pablo; and the city of Pagadian and the provincial governor of Zamboanga del Sur signedthe MOA. (“Alliance of LGUs”, n.d.) Alliances of LGU in the Philippines © 2011 Johny S. Natad Page 6 of 14
  • Aside from MOA, there are other legal instruments used in the formation of alliance likeExecutive Orders (EO), Special Order, Memorandum and the Republic Acts. Some LGUalliance have been created or supported by Executive Orders signed by the President or by theProvincial Governor (GTZ, 2009). Based on the Philippine Constitution, the President can createcouncils or other similar bodies as stated in Article X Section13. The President shall provide for the regional development council or other similar bodies composed on local government officials, regional heads of departments and other government offices, and representatives form non—governmental organizations within the regions for purposes of administrative decentralization to strengthen the autonomy of the units therein and to accelerate the economic and social growth and development of the units in the region. The MNDC establishment was further bolstered by the Executive Order (EO) No. 102issued on June 18, 1993 providing for its powers and functions, and an initial budget for itsoperating expenses. (Sacendoncillo, 2007). The EO added representatives from line agencieswith offices in Camarines Sur and pegged at 25% (one-fourth) the representation of the privatesector (Metro Naga Development Council, n.d.). Executive Order 559 (2006) created the Metro-Iloilo Guimaras Economic DevelopmentCouncil or MIGEDC composed of 8 LGUs like Iloilo City, Municipalities of Oton, San Miguel,Pavia, Leganes, and Sta. Barbara, and the provinces of Ilioilo and Guimaras. The Bukidnon Watershed Protection and Development Council (BWPDC) was createdthrough Memorandum Order 270. The Council is mandated to generate policies and guidelinesand coordinated all programs and projects concerning watershed management in the entireprovice (Pasicollan, Pualo and Pasicolan, Simplicia, 2005). The BWPDC is composed of allmayors, DENR, DA, DAR, NAPOCOR, NIA, academic and research institutions, NGOs, POs,and religious and business sectors. (The Bukidnon Experience, n.d.) Alliance of LGUs can also be created through an organic act of the Congress stipulatingdetailed powers and responsibilities and providing the necessary funds under the GeneralAppropriation Act (Osorio, 2010). The popular alliance of LGU is the Lake Laguna DevelopmentAuthority (LLDA) and the Partido Development Administration (PDA). LLDA was establishedunder Republic Act No. 4850 or An Act Creating the Laguna Lake Development Authority in July18, 1966 as amended by Presidential Decree No. 813 October 17, 1975. The LLDA memberLGUs covers 14 cities and 47 municipalities within the provinces of Laguna, Rizal, Batangas,Cavite, Quezon and Metro Manila (LLDA, 2007). The RA 7820 created the PDA in 1994 with themember of 10 municipalities in Camarines Sur rationalizes the integrated and coordinatedapproach for the development of the covering regions and districts in order to draw alongsidewith develop regions and districts within of Camarines Sur (Osorio, 2010). Republic Act No. 8550 or the Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998 provides thedevelopment and conservation of the fishes and aquatic resources. Article 1, Section 16 of thesaid Act states that: The management of the contiguous fishy resources such as bays which straddle several municipalities, cities or provinces, shall be done in an integrated manner, and shall not be based on political subdivisions of municipal waters in order to facilitate Alliances of LGU in the Philippines © 2011 Johny S. Natad Page 7 of 14
  • the management of a single resource system. The LGUs which share or boarder such resources may group themselves and coordinate with each other to achieve the objectives of integrated fishery resources management. The Integrated Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Management Councils (IFARMCs) established under Section76 of this Code shall serve the venue for close collaboration among LGUs in the management of contiguous resources. With RA 8550 as the basis, inter-LGU is a key to sustain integrated fishery resources.Five adjoining municipalities of Hindang, Hilongos, Baybay, Bato and Matalom in Western Leyteagreed to form alliance through IFARMC which was manifested by signing of MOA among LocalChief Executives (LCEs) in April 2002. This alliance aimed to an integrated management of acommon fishery ground used by the majority of fishfolk in Western Leyte, Camotes Sea(Savaris, 2004). Illana Bay Regional Alliance in Region 9 (IBRA-9) composed of 8 LGUs signed a newMemorandum of Agreement (MOA) last December 13, signifying their renewed commitment toprotect the Illana Bay. Mayors of Tukuran, Tabina, Dinas, Labangan, Tungawan, Dimataling andSan Pablo; and the city of Pagadian and the provincial governor of Zamboanga del Sur signedthe MOA (“Alliance of LGUs”, n.d.). In the successful operation of an alliance, financial stability and sustainability is a verycritical concern. Thus, the alliance must have the ability to generate funds essentially required toperform its responsibility and implement the projects of the alliance. The member LGU varies ontheir annual contribution to the alliance. They may agree to contribute an annual minimumamount. Some also agree to contribute certain percent of their 20% Internal Revenue Allocation(IRA). The MOA entered into by member LGUs stipulated provisions pertaining to financialobligation of the members to the alliance (Ferrer, 2010). The MNDC Memorandum ofAgreement, April 23, 1993 specify that the source of financing the Council program shall besourced from the contributions of the members equivalent to at least 2% of their annualEconomic Development Fund (Sacendoncillo, 2007). Memorandum of Agreement signed by members of LMDA stipulate the Trust Fundprovision which states that: The two provinces to this MOA shall initially contribute Php150,000.00 each while the different municipalities shall contribute the amount of Php50,000.00 each to the trust fund. All subsequent contributions of the LGUs are based on the approved work and financial plan and all monies sourced by the alliance shall likewise form part of the trust fund. As also stipulated in MOA, each mayor agreed to initially provide a monthly contributionof Php15,000.00 to a common SLAM fund. When the alliance activities began to show up, thecontribution later raised to Php25,000.00. Such fund will be used to shore up the developmentprojects of the alliance and its Project Management Office operations (SLAM, n.d.) The RA 4850 (1966) clearly specify that the LLDA’s operating expenses with the sum ofOne Million Pesos (Php1,000,000) is appropriated annually for rive (5) years from the generalfund of the National Government. Alliances of LGU in the Philippines © 2011 Johny S. Natad Page 8 of 14
  • Common Issues and Problem in Alliance Operation The Asia Forest Network (n.d.) cited the hindering feature of weak alliance, which arethe difficulties in securing commitment; lack in funding, human resources and technicalknowledge; low level of involvement from local government personnel due to little flexibility;conflicting laws or different interpretation of issues; need for local champions; and quandariesover legal identity and structure. LLDA (2007) is still faced with institutional, technical andfinancial hindrances that will take more than persuasion to resolve despite the growingpartnership. It is remarkable that the common fund generated from member LGU of Alliance are notenough to ensure significant impact given the fact that alliance need to sustain its hiredpersonnel. There is very little budget or no amount is left to finance the significant project orservices of the alliance. Thus, there is a need for the alliance to access grants and other formsof supports to augment the contribution of the members. Possible sources of grants andsupports are the provincial and national government, national line agencies, grants fromlawmakers, international funding agency and grants from foundations, NGOs and private sector(Ferrer, 2010). The experience of alliances shows that the generous and most committed membersfinancially sustain the alliance. The member LGUs may remit the whole amount at one time ormake installment payments until the whole amount is paid. Unfortunately, there are commonexperiences of existing alliances showing the delays or no remittance of contribution (Ferrer,2010). Member LGU contributions are not enough to sustain the operation of the alliance sincethere are LGUs who did not contributed regularly. Changes in LGU direction of priorities mighthamper the operation of alliance especially when newly elected Local Chief Executives (LCEs)set their main agenda and concerns to their respective LGUs that may or may not complementthe overall achievement of the alliance. Modification of new LCEs priorities may create fear inthe continuity of the implementation of the identified projects (Gidacan & Harting, 2008). A clear statement regarding the schedule of remittance of contribution to be incorporatedin MOA or other legal instruments is of significant. There are only few alliances that clearlydefine the schedule of payment in MOA. Reminders are very important through official writtennotice of payments or verbal reminders. In most alliance, peer pressure is consideredsuccessful strategy wherein members can make prompt payments if other members did it(Ferrer, 2010).Sustaining Alliance: The Pooling of Resources and its Impact In spite of this problems encountered, the alliance continually delivered their mandatethrough networking and accessing of funds (Gidacan & Harting, 2008). The pooled fund canalso be used by alliance as leverage in accessing external fund and supports especially as formpart of its counterpart. Aside from the Common Fund, the MNDC practices resource complementation andmaintains a Common Fund that is from individual contributions of the member-LGUs, and other Alliances of LGU in the Philippines © 2011 Johny S. Natad Page 9 of 14
  • sources accessed from the appropriation from the national government and assistanceextended by local and foreign donors. MNDC also pool human resources. A ProjectDevelopment Unit that is composed of 5 individuals – 2 Project development officers; 1Administrative and Finance Officer and 2 Support personnel—that manages the operation of theCouncil. Officers/employees of member LGUs are at times assigned to assist the members ofthis unit in the implementation of the MNDC’s programs and activities. The Council alsomaintains an office at Naga City and maintains an Equipment Pool to facilitate the use ofequipment and machinery of its member-LGUs. (Sacendoncillo, 2007) Sharing and pooling of fund and human resources is significant in LMDA’s operation.Members the two provincial and 8 municipal LGUs afforded to allocate their meager annualbudget for the operationalization of alliance. Each LGU and member stakeholders delegatedone technical staff to become a member of the LMDA- Technical Working Group. (Gidacan &Harting, 2008) The shared fund and the regular payment of contribution by member LGUs will ensuretimely implementation of activities which promotes achievements of alliance goal. Likewise thepooled fund can also be used by alliance as leverage in accessing external fund and supportsespecially as form part of its counterpart (Ferrer, 2010). Pooling of resources is so significant in PALMA. Aleosan town Mayor Cabaya, currentchair of PALMA, proudly updated the ARMM mayors about the PALMA accomplishment of onconstruction of 281.45 kilometers farm to market roads with a total cost of P8.47 million, throughtheir pooled efforts. With PALMAs shared experience, Mayors of SLAM learned that thisstrategy was also being applied to pursue similar development program concerningenvironmental protection and health (SLAM, n.d.). The combined resources and putting up on their own road-building crew, PALMA iscurrently maintains two construction fleets, each consisting of a bulldozer, a grader, three to fourdump trucks and a compacter. The alliance has opened and repaired of farm-to-market roadsthat give benefits to their 145 barangays. It helps increased farming incomes and reducedtransportation costs. This made PALMA won as one of the Galing Pook in 2007 for innovativegovernance practices (Contreras, 2008) Likewise the pooling of resources in two provinces of South Cotabato and SultantKudarat now forming the Allah Valley Landscape Development Alliance (AVLDA) has alsogarnered Galing Pook Award for 2008. With the multi sectoral cooperation among 19Barangays, 1 banking institution, 2 water districts, 2 electric cooperatives, 2 mining companies,1 agro-industrial company, 4 agricultural cooperatives, 4 NGOs and 2 civic groups the RiparianZone Revegetation program has able to accomplished planting of 15,000 bamboo hills in a 30-kilometer stretch at the banks of major rivers. “The AVLDA also pursued the construction ofdikes at critical sections of the rivers and the re-channelling of water flow to save prime lands,settlements and infrastructure facilities. Other projects include the Reforestation and UpstreamResource Management (RURM) program which aimed to improve forest land cover, reduceriver siltation and provide livelihood opportunities to upland dwellers” (Allah Valley, n.d.).Provinces of Sultan Kudarat and South Cotabato showed how the involvement of their differentLGUs concerning livelihood and sustaining major environmental task working together withinter-government and other multi-sector (Mindanews, 2009) In IBRA-13, the gains from collective efforts of inter regional bay-wide collaboration forresource management and fishery law enforcement has been significantly manifested. “Inter- Alliances of LGU in the Philippines © 2011 Johny S. Natad Page 10 of 14
  • LGU cooperation has been helping settle differences between municipalities, specifically infacilitating dialogues on coastal terminal points (CTPs) which determine municipal waterboundaries, a contentious issue among adjoining towns. In 2005, a total of 29 apprehensionswere reported by the Maritime Police, with violations ranging from fishing in municipal waterswith no permits to the use of illegal fishing methods.” (“Concerted effort” par.12). Inter-local government collaborative approach has brought about meaningfuldevelopment in the northern part of Iloilo especially on the areas of health and coastal resourcemanagement. “These alliances subsequently attracted the interest of funding agencies thathave found value in supporting development initiatives undertaken by allied local governmentunits. This synergistic modality implies greater assurance of success, fund managementefficiency, and also a greater number of people benefiting from the initiatives”. (Latoza, 2010,par. 5). LLDA (2007) find that the benefits achieved from the partnership overflow to the 13million residents living in the Laguna de Bay watershed.Insights Gained Based on the above-related literature, the following are the insights gained about theinter-LGU alliance in the Philippines: • The alliance building or inter-local cooperation allows local government units to deal with environmental management and socio-economic agenda not covered by national government programs as part of the decentralization. • Resources can be maximized and augmented to share out with resources and ecosystems those cross-political or administrative boundaries. • Alliances also allow the local government units to raise and improve priorities and plans to higher planning authorities (i.e. provincial, regional and national government) • The alliance permit the organization of LGUs and their LCEs based on a common cause, (e.g. geographical proximity, common needs, similar passion, similar problems, has borne very good results). Alliance served as the venue for Local Chief Executives (LCEs) support each other, share-learning experiences in informal meetings, complement each other’s strengths, and exert a pressure on other LCEs and communities to participate in similar reforms. • Other organizations have benefited from building alliances in the implementation of their programs. Alliances have been demonstrating to be cost-effective to scale up programs. Alliances of LGU in the Philippines © 2011 Johny S. Natad Page 11 of 14
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