Butuan City-The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Field Office Caraga through the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program conducted a forum with the civil society organizations (CSO) and parent leaders at LJ Mega Convention Centre on October 23, 2015, this city.

Participated by 83 parent leaders representing the barangays in Butuan, the activity aims to channel the message on active citizenship, and discuss the crucial role of parent leaders in the implementation of the program in their respective areas.

Along with these objectives, the activity also aims to encourage the Pantawid Pamilya partner-beneficiaries on their roles in community development, to strengthen the organization of parent leaders, and to broaden the participation of parent leaders in governance processes.

Kristina Macas, Pantawid Pamilya CSO focal, emphasized the roles that parent leaders play in empowering and transforming the lives of its member beneficiaries.

CSO is the “aggregate of non-governmental organizations and institutions that manifest interests and will of citizens.” CSO includes the family and the private sphere, referred to as the “third sector” of society, distinct from government and business.

“Pantawid Pamilya parent-leaders serve as our direct channel in the community in delivering the message of development in the lives of partner-beneficiaries. This activity was realized because the regional program management office (RPMO) have seen the importance of making our partner-beneficiaries understand their role in good governance, and their contribution in the process,” Macas said.

Also, in his discussion, Romeo C. Dayuhag from the Peoples Alternative Study Centre in Research and Education for Social Development (PASCRES) Caraga Incorporated discussed the concept of democracy in relation to his focused-topic “aktibong pagkalungsoranon” or active citizenship.

Dayuhag highlighted the personal commitment of parent leaders in good governance. He said that good governance should emanate from every parent leader so they could be transparent and effective in delivering the message of “aktibong pagkalungsoranon”.

PASCRES was founded in 1989 as a non-governmental organization, which aims to provide a framework for meaningful participation of people in the ongoing democratization project being forged in the Philippines.

Present in the event were parent leaders in Butuan City, Pantawid Pamilya regional staff, and personnel from PASCRES Caraga Incorporated.

Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program is a conditional cash transfer program of the Philippine government under the Department of Social Welfare and Development. It aims to eradicate extreme poverty in the Philippines by investing in health and education particularly in ages 0–18 (###DSWDFieldOfficeCaragaSocialMarketingUnit###).