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    Project updating with Governor Emylou Mendoza
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    CSOs from Magpet formulating their CSO Development Agenda, September 8, 2015
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    Stakeholders at the EU Headquarter in Makati, Dec 6 2016
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    Courtesy visit of EPG's Stakeholders to the EU last Dec 6 2016, with Attache Eric Galvin and Matthias Lentz

E P G - Progress

Empowered Participatory Governance Towards Progress in North Cotabato Communities
. . . a European Union funded project
. . . . . a project implemented by ACF

Our Objectives

To contribute to the upliftment of the lives of people living in poverty in five municipalities in North Cotabato through improved and responsive local governance and strong participation of the community.

Specific Objective

To strengthen the capacities of local government units (LGUs) and civil society organizations (CSOs) to effectively collaborate in development planning, project implementation and policy making.

Specific Objective

To strengthen CSOs in their the role as governance “watchdogs” aimed at making LGUs aware of their accountabilities to the communities and ensure transparency in their performance of their duties.


Why to choose us

Consortium Coordination Team (CCT) Meetings: The project conducts quarterly coordination meetings with the consortium: ACF International, Mindanao Land Foundation and the Department of Interior and Local Government- Cotabato Province. At the municipal level, the Technical Working Group (TWG) discusses project action plans and updates, in various mechanics: interface or group meetings, done monthly.

For the year 2016, the CCT will be conducted monthly and will already involve representatives from the Local Government Unit and civil society organizations.

This is to solicit from among stakeholders feedbacks about the project and its partners, through ACF feedback address and SMS. The project installed visibility billboards along project areas with feedback address and provides feedback flyers every activities. However, stakeholders were more comfortable on verbal relay of feedbacks and EPG’s activities like meetings and trainings became avenues of these feedbacks. So far, there has been no significant feedback about the project being received.

To date, the project was able to:
Conduct a baseline of CSOs at the barangay and municipal level, segregated by types, scope and personality.
Form a network of CSOs per municipality that was capacitated on project planning, monitoring and evaluation; and strengthen their capacities to become ‘partners’ of the LGUs on development.

One of the aims of the project is the installation of CSO Desk that will provide as a link between the LGU and the CSOs. The CSO Desk Officer, was tasked to assist the needs of the CSOs, ensures their representation and participation to local special bodies, and coordinates CSOs to LGUs programs, projects and activities that needs people’s participation and volunteers.

EPG have facilitated the conduct of capacity building with civil societies to better equip them with knowledge on project planning and implementation, lobbying and advocacy and monitoring and evaluation.

These are the related activities conducted:
Basic Proposal Making
Training on Lobbying and Advocacy
Orientation of CSOs on Anti-Red Tape Act (ARTA), Seal of Goof Local Governance (SGLG)
Forum on El Niňo
CSO Day and Donor’s Forum, Antipas


Increase in engagement between LGUs and CSOs as CSO representatives are integrated in formal LGU bodies and processes and increase in community agenda addressed by LGU.

Under this expected result, two main impacts made by the project as identified by the Project’s Final Evaluation conducted last January 2017: (1) the good governance training roll-out to all 132 barangays of the Arakan Valley Complex; and (2) the conduct of the Barangay Development Plan (BDP) workshops to the total of 61 priority barangays of the project. The training roll-out has emphasized the partnership engagements between CSOs and LGUs as provided by the Philippine Laws; and on principles of governance on budgeting, prioritization and leadership. The BDP process on the other hand was able to mobilize and engage 965 individual barangay-based CSOs and people’s organization, bringing the community’s development agenda into the plan. Barangay San Miguel of Arakan for example has developed an eco-tourism site upon realizing during the BDP workshop that their greatest economic potential would be along this program. The BDP has become their tool in asking for additional funds from the Municipal government and the Department of Labor (DOLE) for the development of the resort. Its first year gross income from last year has reached PHP13,000 for the 130 day soft opening of the resort. At the municipal level, the orientation with the members of the CSO Formation has resulted to an increased in number of CSOs accredited by their respective Sangguniang Bayan. By 2016, the CSO accreditation have increased by 23% as compared to 2013. Most of the CSO Formation members are members to the Local Special Bodies for 2016-2019.

CSOs and LGUs openly discuss and resolve feedbacks from CSOs about the LGUs’ Performance and the community has access to information about local government units’ performance and transactions.

With the adoption of the Local Government Unit to the Seal of Good Local Governance as mechanism for performance monitoring, along with the Anti-Red Tape Act’s (ARTA) Clients Survey; Bottom-Up Budgeting Program Monitoring and the Barangay Governance Performance Monitoring System (BGPMS), 93 individual civil societies were able to participate. These monitoring mechanisms were jointly made with the local government units, providing a platform of a transparent and responsive exercise of governance. Several reforms were made based on the monitoring feedbacks like the repair and improvement of facilities for the persons with disabilities and the senior citizens.

Number of documented best practices increased and evidences of adoptions are captured.

Twenty stories (20) were captured on the ground as documentation of best practices both for the Local Government Unit (LGU) and the Civil Society Organization (CSO). It was published in a handbook entitled a “We Inspire Each Other: Compendium of Inspiring Stories of Local Governments and Civil Society Organizations on Good Governance”. It was launched during the Good Governance Summit last October 2016 and during National Roundtable Discussion on Participatory Governance on December 2016.

Photo Documentation

Behind the Project Some facts, the funding agency, & the implementing agency

Project Facts

1.4k+ Govt. Officials
334k+ Lives Touched
3+ yrs Project Duration

[ Project Beneficiaries ]
Province of Cotabato with engagements at provincial level and interventions at municipal levels, specifically in the Municipalities of Antipas, Arakan, Magpet, Matalam and Pres. Roxas.

[ Direct Beneficiaries ]
1,435 local government officials, including local councils and members of local civil society organizations.

[ Indirect Beneficiaries ]
334,494 women, men and children living in the communities in different municipalities of North Cotabato, including the five target areas.

Our Funder & Partners