Civil Society Organizations or CSOs, as described by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), are non-state or non-profit associations that work to improve society and the human condition.
CSOs from all over Sarangani, which are composed of people’s organizations (POs), non-governmental organizations (NGOs), civic groups, cooperatives, and other private groups, held their first conference to discuss matters concerning the guidelines on the CSOs’ accreditation.
“We called for this conference to somehow inculcate ‘yung people’s participation, and of course to promote transparency among the citizens of the province, considering that these are groups of people working in different communities,” Galzote said.
Galzote, the chairperson of the Committee on Cooperative Development and People’s Organization/Non-Governmental Organization, further said the conference is also an avenue for these organizations “to bring their issues and concerns to the government pertaining to what is happening in their respective communities.”
After the orientation on the guidelines of accreditation conducted by DILG-Sarangani, an open forum was done where CSOs aired their concerns and opinions as partners of the government.
Vice Governor Elmer De Peralta recognized that the CSOs have “a vital role in supporting and helping the government in terms of economic development and in nation-building.”
To become active partners of the government, De Peralta noted that the CSOs should not only be recognized and accredited at the municipal level, but also at the provincial level, to achieve “transparency, accountability, and effectiveness as an organization.”
“Their accreditation can actually boost their morale,” Galzote said, “and they could freely participate and join not only in the planning and implementation but even so during the evaluation and monitoring of the programs and projects.”
As a member of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, Galzote also assured the CSOs that the Sanggunian “can be able to facilitate their accreditation even their intention to be part of the governance.”
The establishment and operation of CSOs, POs, NGOs, and the private sector is mandated by the DILG to the local government units, under the Local Government Code of 1991 or the Republic Act 7160.
This is to make CSOs active partners in the pursuit of local autonomy and to directly involve them in the plans, programs, projects, and activities of the local government unit.
“We cannot do this alone, we need the full support of the citizens, and the government is willing enough to join them for whatever desire they have for their communities, their families, and even for the entire province,” said Galzote. (Jori Mae R. Samillano/SARANGANI PROVINCIAL INFORMATION OFFICE)