[UPDATED] CITIZENS SPEAK UP: Aspirations for Agriculture, Livelihood, Good Governance lead citizens responses for good local governance in Malaybalay City in 2022-2025

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Updated as of January 3, 2023

MALAYBALAY CITY (BukidnonNews.Net/03 January 2023) Aspirations categorized under agriculture theme led 13 major themes and 95 sub themes from responses of a research on Malaybalay citizens’ aspirations for good local governance from 2022-2025, based on research results presented on December 2, 2022 in a conference in Batangas State University.  

The research was presented in the parallel session for “Community media in post-pandemic recovery” of the 10th National Conference and Scientific Meeting of the Association of Development Communication Educators and Practitioners Philippines on December 1 to 3, 2022 at the Batangas State University, Pablo Borbon Campus, Batangas City. The theme for this year is “Adaptive DevCom in Challenging Times: Reconfiguring for the Future.”

More local budget for agriculture among 12 other sub-themes were proposed to ensure better agriculture policies and programs for the local government in the 2022-2025 term.  Malaybalay City is primarily an agricultural haven. Mayor Jay Warren R. Pabillaran cited agriculture among his priorities with his six-point governance agenda dubbed “S.H.I.E.L.D.” or Kalasag in Binukid, where each letter represents the thrusts of his administration: Safety, Health, Integrity in governance, Environment, Leading to agricultural eco-tourism, and Development in infrastructure.

Responses for Livelihood and Good Governance followed with 10 sub-themes each. Environment and indigenous peoples-related aspirations also followed with nine sub-themes each. There were eight suggestions for education and six for youth development and security/peace and order. There were also a number of suggestions for other macroeconomic interventions, digital transformation and information, health, and tourism.

This qualitative research done by community researcher Walter Balane with participation from BukidnonNews.Net volunteers in a portion of the data gathering process, used Descriptive approach or transcendental phenomenology of the responses of 23 focused-group discussion participants of the Piniyalan Reporting Governance Community Project, of BukidnonNews.Net. The project held Community Consultations organized in Malaybalay and Valencia cities in March to April 2022 en route to the 2022 national and local elections.

Participants were identified through purposive selection of 12 sectoral organizations and snowball identification of respondents . The respondents came from groups of farmers, students, MSMEs, IP, Youth, LGBTQ, PWD, Women, Government Workers, Business, Religious, and Laborers/Vendors.

Due to health protocols in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic, data was gathered through a hybrid method: a combination of focused-group discussions (original and core method), interviews, and modified online guided survey.  

The researcher employed thematic analysis via six levels of categorization to generate themes from the raw transcripts to the development of categories and emerging narrative.  

An initial version of research results were used as input to the construction of interview questionnaires used in the Piniyalan Reporting Governance interviews with local candidates and elected officials in the run up and after the May 9, 2022 local elections. Results for the Valencia City research are still in progress.
Here are the results across 13 major themes and 95 sub-themes in the Malaybalay City leg of the study:

Themes and Sub-themes


1. Education

1.Go back to Normal  -Face to Face Learning


2. More budget for education

Delivery of Instruction Financial Assistance Programs in the city -monthly allowance to marginalized learners
-board and lodging should be shouldered
-More support for basic education from local school board/LGU


3.Access to education for vulnerable sectors -Inclusive scholarships for LGBTQ++
-Scholarship for LGBTQ during pandemic
-Accessible and free secondary and tertiary education for IP youth


4. Improved Infrastructure Development
-increased but for Investment in infra (retrofitting, school facilities, accessibility of schools -- Appeal to the proposed project of the Department of Education called Access Roads for All Learners (ARAL).Restore or reconstruct the old and dangerous bridges where teachers and students usually cross. Strong, long-lasting, and safe hanging bridges may be an option.


5. Provide internet access in remote areas - Provide internet to far-flung schools throughout the province
Provide free wifi to school that could not afford one
- provide more access sa internet connections in more areas especially for students doing online classes


6. Ensure there is affirmative program in higher education- Special consideration on the college entrance exam or the exam must have a translation to IP dialect


7.Ensure provision of Quality of education -Job mismatch among college graduates

 strengthened quality teachers


8. More Training  for teachers
-Computer literacy for teachers and students  -Proper training for teachers to be more competitive


2. Livelihood

1.Support to documentation for MSMEs 
-provide technical support in documentation for MSMEs to avail of government subsidy/aids/organize MSMEs so they can quality to access financial support  


2. Ease in access to financial assistance and capital/credit services - provide simple/easy access to financial assistance/credit and marketing support to MSMEs


3. Provide technical and M & E support -Give access to technical assistance, monitoring, evaluation, sustainability for MSMEs
- provide appropriate sustainable enterprise projects for MSMEs


4.Post COVID time pandemic support -provide COVID time livelihood projects for all in need


5.Support for vulnerable sectors

- -Livelihood for LGBTQ  - They should provide Livelihood Programs for out of school Youth
- Tap TESDA training programs for livelihood


6.Support for local creative industries -create a creative industries office with the investment promotions office to strengthen the local creative industries


7.Push for cooperativism and financial literacy


8. Provide sustainable livelihood programs for surrenderees (rebel returnees)


9. Strengthen Employment support  -Hold Jobs Fairs throughout the province


support to workers during layoffs
- provide  jobs training
-encourage MSMEs to take interest in hiring college graduates


10. Enable barangays to provide employment support - proper allocation for all barangays for wide distribution of funds and resources (who can help employ workers)



1.Access to Education
--Ensure access to quality education in all levels - it is key to end the vicious cycle of poverty


2.Wholistic approach to Anti Poverty Program -Whole of government approach to poverty

-interdisciplinary response to poverty-environment-health issues to ensure resilience  in vulnerable communities

-appropriate sustainable enterprise projects


3. Data-driven interventions in providing anti-poverty action -use of data-base lining as basis for decision making in providing interventions 
- social security for marginalized sectors
(household poverty mapping tools and land use baselines


4.  Direct food/cash assistance and emergency employment for the survival of the poor


5. Equal access to anti-poverty interventions --Incentives or rewards for IP elders, or tribal seniors like the Talama: for example, SSS or insurance for the indigenous peoples (including tribal elders and women)



4. Other Macroeconomic Aspects

1. Buffer effects of Inflation
(Fair price for agricultural goods and services, Policy regulation on the price of consumers and farm inputs)


2.Stimulate the local economy - provide investments by providing Incentives for business

-Create and Implement a Local Post COVIC Recovery plan


3.Ensure there is ease of doing business
(demand BIR/ROD to abide by their citizens charter and not delay process/sabotage economic transactions


4.Mind electric and water utilities
-Engage members in decision making in  Buseco, BSTC, and NGCP- Counter privatization of the Malaybalay City Water District  


5.Support development of creative industries
- create a creative industries office with the investment promotions office




1. Build local agricultural data bases   
-Use of data baselining in farm registry/decision making

-Universal database/mapping out cultivated parcels and data processing (household

poverty mapping tools and land use baselines

- create farm registry system


2. -Promote permaculture/ sustainable agriculture- Do not allow further expansion of mono crop plantations
- avoid expansion of plantations agriculture


3. Provide price and other subsidies to farmers
 - Farm inputs subsidy to farmers


4. Construct more farm to market roads


5.Build more post-harvest facilities assistance


6.  provide marketing support to farmers


7. Go for quality support not quantity
- help farmers be productive and profitable


8. Provide access to shared facilities and to soft loans or non interest or low interest bearing loans


9. Organize farmers Iprovide farmers into strong coops so that they can have better control of pricing


10. Better regulation fair price for agricultural inputs/subsidy
- carefully review expansion of agricultural plantations


11. Promote local, home-based agriculture - urban gardening/permaculture


12. Prioritize agriculture and provide more local budget for agriculture .-priority support to agriculture
-More priority projects for agriculture
- ang agricultural activities kinahanglan unta maoy priority
- supportahan o i-prioritize ang small farmers
more priority projects for agriculture


13. Promote agriculture as a course for young people



1.Data-driven agriculture mechanism  
-Use of data baselining in farm registry/decision making

Use of community baselines for decision making

Unable to design good programs with lack of quality data/unmeasured/unverified data sets


2. Institutionalize Community-based Monitoring System and align with PSA (poverty mapping, farm registry) for PSA  use of CBMS aligning national scale with community-based data universal data-based government programs/ governance based on data science


3. Provide more and better internet Connection in the rural areas where the farms are
Provide internet to far-flung schools throughout the province
- Pakusgan ang internet connection
. provide more access sa internet connections. Kini para sa mga estudyante nga ga-online classes


4.Provide training against disinformation to the general public


5. Provide IEC against cyber libel, disinformation


7. ENVIRONMENTAL protection

1. Ensure Clarity of environmental agencies roles in the local 


2. Protect the forests - Control of opening and expansion of business operations in protected/forestal and ancestral domain areas

-strengthen forest protection efforts

Train and hire more forest guards to augment the manpower of denr.


3. Ensure participatory approach in environment policy
- increase percentage in IRA to be given to protection of protected and forestal areas areas

- Provide social security for marginalized sectors

Provide incentives or rewards for IP elders, or tribal seniors like the Talama: for example, SSS or insurance sa tribu/ absence on Social Security for IP/ Women and Youth Environmental Defenders


4.  Implement Solid Waste Management properly  


5. Construct a flood control system
-Flooding in the city and surrounding areas/Flood control system


6. Ensure there is reliable potable water system


7.  Counter privatization of the Malaybalay City Water District  


8. implement proper programs for education, environment, livelihood


9. Environmental protection  - review the opening of too many highways that c


8. Good governance

1.- Provide opportunities for dialogue on sustainability, resilience
Proper allocation of budget in every barangay 


2.Ensure there is data-based  governance Governance/decision making based on verifiable data/data science. I


3.Implement data baselining for crafting of programs/interventions


4.Ensure corruption is addressed  


5.Ensure priority projects in rural communities .dugang nga services ngadto sa mga rural communities.


6.Ensure basic needs are provided and ensured like food and water and livelihood


7.-Ensure there is proper zoning and implementation of building permits


8. Go for quality support not quantity


9. -Implementation of PWD related laws
- -1.Implementation sa 10070 (Persons with Disability affairs office) 2.adaptation sa Bukidnon magna carta for persons with disability (2021 - )
3. Implementation if RA 10524 5 % of the population should be for PWD (employment) city/municipal level wala pa


10. Mind social inclusion
-Talama social includion mechanism


9. Indigenous peoples 

1.Allow tribal governance to co-exist with current models of governance
-support IP local governance mechanisms. -IP governance in forest landscapes
-Unauthorized intrusion of Ancestral Domain
-- Pre and prior consent must be observed


2. Support CADT holders -Enable CADT holders by providing financial support for them to also patrol and protect their domains


3. -Assist IP in initiated livelihood projects


4. -Ensure peace and security in IP territories
-Ensure peaceful life for IPs, people living in remote areas
-Support efforts of the IP communities for cultural profiling in Mt. Kitanglad n Mt. Kalatungan;

- exploitation and recruiting the IP youth as child combatants in armed struggle of the CPP-NPA

 Help regulate selling of ancestral lands


5. Uplift the economic status of the IP's within the ancestral Domain- Enable IPs to engage in entrepreneurial/business enterprise

- Provide support to jump start industries

Help IPs create industries  within domains

- Pursue an inclusive
Poverty alleviation program-

-Ensure visibility programs of IP Women and Youth for green livelihoods;


6. Protect the environment and IP rigths in their territory -Involve IP in tourism in their territories
Have a strong campaign for tourism and involve CADT  holders as partners.
- Control private investments encroaching in forested domains and Territories.


7. -Ensure sustainable  development in the IP territories
Support the development and implementation of ADSDPP
- Ensure collaboration of the different government agencies in the implementation of the plans and programs of the tribe base on ADSDPP or Ancestral Development Sustainable Development Protection Plan.

-specify agencies to be involve and implement, issues-

-  To assist the ICCs for funding of the different economic livelihood projects based on the ADSDPP's Vision and Mission


-8.  Support the Educational Orientation of the youth on the customs and traditions and practices of the ICC and IPs.


9. Provide infrastructure projects for the IPs liks tribal housing and road access to tribal communities



10. Health

1.Pass ordinance for AIDS-HIV Awareness Health – HIV awareness – proposed ordinance HIV AIDS Awareness – City Health PHO


2. Provide regular and widely provided free medical checkup for the poor  


3. Distribute free medicines properly 


4. More allocation for health in the local budget
Operate more advanced health care units

invest in the hospital for
better health care facilities
Provide adequate Health care insurance


5. Hire more doctors in hospitals and health centers




11. Youth

1.Conduct Information and education for youth on safety during the  pandemic


2. Support the Kabataang Barangay especially  in organizing activities


3. More funding for relevant  youth activities
- Provide relevant tecvoc education for out of school--Provide specific local livelihood program for out of school youth  
-- Promote values formation program

4. Leaders should lead by example for the youth


5. Pay more attention to OSY/Unemployed youth - Focus should be given to  Out of School Youth Sector
- Provide employment opportunities for the unemployed youth


6.Ensure that IP/tribal youth are not recruited as child combatants in armed struggle of the CPP-NPA


12. Tourism

1.Tap unique natural resources for tourism



2. Work with IP communities
- Go after illegal operators of ‘tourist destinations’
- Work in partnership with CADT holders on tourist spots in their territory


3. - Regulate tourism activities and enforce laws and ordinance
-Ensure only registered and legitimate businesses operate in tourism industry


4.-Ensure only registered and legitimate businesses operate in tourism industry


13. Safety/Peace and Order

1.Organize a Multi-sectoral peace and order council


2.Organize a Multi-sectoral peace and order council


3.LGU should ensure enough capacity on disaster preparedness and response


4.Check all areas that require rubber boats and life vests for teachers and students to be safe in crossing rivers


5.Pursue/support local peace process between government and NPA kay maka epekto jud ni sa economic activities


6. Do not allow exploitation and recruitment of the IP youth as child combatants in armed struggle of the CPP-NPA


The research was done factoring in a number of considerations.

Safety protocols shaped limited media coverage of community-level governance issues during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Most stories came from government sources and have focused on health-related issues, specifically COVID response.  

There was a dearth of coverage on issues and proposed actions raised by citizens from across sectors. In the provincial setting, collective knowledge of citizens preferred priority government actions after the pandemic is nil. These inputs are crucial to inform voters and local governments for the crafting of relevant action plans to proceed to recovery. (Contributed to BukidnonNews.Net by Walter I. Balane)

See related story: Pursuing community journalism to help close gaps between citizens, local governance in Bukidnon

IN PHOTO: Snapshot of one of the focused-group discussions in March 2022. 

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