• The Pasig Review

NGOs, CSOs keys for inclusive governance and nation building

From the Desk

It has been 6 months after the lockdown. Measures for safety have been imposed, suspended, re-imposed, examined and then re-examined. Several new rules were introduced and in totality, it brought realizations to a populace that is accustomed to reunions and parties. The new normal introduced work from home arrangements while schools resorted to synchronous and asynchronous learning methods. Internet connection became a need for survival in a cave-like setting wherein people were forced to retreat in homes. To a nation that shares the spirit of the Bayanihan, it is clear that this fight is not reserved for the government alone. Independent bodies, the Non-Government Organizations (NGO) and Civil Society Organizations (CSO) also share the burden and as they say, “No burden is heavy if carried by all”.

Pasig City played a host to numerous NGOs and CSOs. In fact, people’s participation plays a heavy role in the Mayor’s agenda. The CSOs comprised of groups and associations in the grassroots levels of the community. They help one another by always keeping the beacon of real information in order not to cause further panic or anxiety in an already worrisome situation. The emergence of online groups on different social networking sites gave the organizations an avenue to share their experiences as well as inform the latest issues and updates in their communities. Local and National News are also shared and screened thoroughly to rightfully inform homeowners’ associations (HOA) the current state of the nation. To simply put it, an online platform was created to maintain sanity and avoid the spread of depression amidst the onslaught of the virus. As community lockdowns ease in the city, the Mayor’s Office thru the Office of the CSO conducted several sights visits and mini public consultations to recondition the importance of the civil society including the HOAs in the fulfillment of the Mayor’s agenda on people’s participation. Likewise, these consultations, small ones rather, is perhaps the new normal since large caucus-like meetings would not be permitted for the time being or at least in the near future. These consultations or “kamustahan” is also another avenue for CSOs to communicate directly to the local government about their challenges and their plight since the pandemic is far from over. However, the pandemic is not an excuse for the end of the empowerment of peoples. CSOs are still encouraged to participate to do their own initiatives since the backbone of governance resides with the people.

Non-Government Organizations also have their own way in the community. Piloted by their own selfless and service-centered objective. They are often considered the invisible workers who keep communities afloat. Despite the obvious hazards of the pandemic on health, NGOs continue to organized food banks, donations and even closely coordinated and partnered with the government for the distribution of several food and health goods. Such generous Samaritans have flocked the City Hall offering various services and materials that mirror the LGU’s trustworthiness and integrity. The City Hall, to prove their honesty gave the donated goods directly to the offices in charge and accounts it on their social media pages. With this kind of arrangement, people are enticed to be part of the solution and even excels in helping more than receiving the mythical “ayuda” from the government.

Perhaps the only silver lining this Pandemic Season is that the majority of the People of Pasig is striving to help than to be helped. They are inspired to rise from this sudden setback and return to their former pre-pandemic lives. Though challenges and disappointments continue to surprise Pasig every single day, the people is astute and confident on their Government’s non-partisan performance. Development is indeed at the hands of the people and it is best showed by the flowering of groups, CSO and NGOs who are the key determinants on the life of a typical Pasigueno.

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