LGUs boost Comdev efforts to clean up Manila Bay, Philippines

LGUs boost Comdev efforts to clean up Manila Bay, Philippines

In a bid to hasten restoring life to Manila Bay, a historic landmark in the Philippines, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) organized four batches of training workshops on ComDev planning last June and July 2017. Through the Manila Bay Clean Up, Rehabilitation and Preservation Program (MBCRPP), 250 staff from Regional Project Management teams, 5 provincial offices, 1 highly urbanized city, and 94 towns and cities in Metro Manila and surrounding Regions III and IV-A, went through the formulation of a five-year ComDev plan.      

A major shift in the ComDev plan is the formulation of stakeholder-oriented objectives. That is, targets are set based on what the intended stakeholders such as households, factories, and informal settlers should be able to do after the targeted period of implementation. In the past, communication targets have always been set based on what the DILG bodies as the implementing agency should do, giving more emphasis on what they should deliver. In the process, desired changes on the stakeholders’ actions and behaviours have been missed out. The shift, thus, redirects their monitoring and evaluation to assessing the impacts of their communication efforts on the behaviour transformation among the intended stakeholders first and later finding out how the ComDev efforts might have contributed to this outcome. 

The ComDev plan aims to strengthen compliance to the putting up of waste water treatment facilities among commercial establishments and factories, septic tanks for the households, and solid waste management for the LGUs. Likewise, it seeks to facilitate enforcement of the law pertaining to the need   to clear up waterways of informal settlers and relocating these settlers to local government housing.   

Manila Bay clean up is significant in that it was a result of a Supreme Court issuance of a continuing Mandamus compelling the 12 government agencies to clean up, rehabilitate, and preserve Manila Bay. This was in response to a legal complaint filed by a group of concerned citizens against such agencies on the neglect of the lake. The government agencies involved are those in the sectors of local governance, environment, agriculture, education, health, public works, budget, justice, ports, waterworks and sewerage, and police. 

The College of Development Communication, University of the Philippines Los Baños provided the technical assistance to the undertaking.

Photo credit: Manila Bay Clean Up; www.rotary3810.org

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