The Community-Based Monitoring Seminar has officially started this month with the first Module Seminar-workshop held at Blue Pot Family Resort, Cawayan, Dalaguete, Cebu from September 4-8,2017. It took a lot of planning, crafting and leading in order for this project to reach its optimum potential to be adapted finally in the Municipality. What then is CBMS? What is the rationale for CBMS? It is a standard poverty monitoring systems (PMS) in the Philippines which generally rely on surveys such as Income-Expenditure surveys, Health surveys, Censuses, etc. The CBMS Network, which is under the Angelo King Institute for Economic and Business Studies of De La Salle University-Manila, is part of the Poverty and Economic Policy (PEP) Research Network with fund support from the International Development Research Centre (IDRC)-Ottawa, Canada. Furthermore, The Community-Based Monitoring System (CBMS) is an organized and digitized process of data collection and processing at the local level and of integration of data in local planning, program implementation and impact-monitoring. It is a system that promotes evidence-based policy-making and program implementation while empowering communities to participate in the process. It was developed in the early 1990s under the Micro Impacts of Macroeconomic Adjustment Policies (MIMAP) Project-Philippines to provide policymakers and program implementer with a good information base for tracking the impacts of macroeconomic reforms and various policy shocks. Currently, coordination on CBMS work is being handled by the CBMS Network Coordinating Team. The team have partnered with a number of agencies to scale up the implementation of the CBMS particularly to the  Department of the Interior and Local Government – lead agency in providing capacity building to local government units and other government agencies.

tumblr ow7f9a2xnS1v6ycn2o9 1280The Module 1 seminar speakers, who are  adept in their own respective fields  from the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) are Ma’am Ammie Marie Generale, Sir Michael Eltanal and Dennis Itom. These speakers wouldn’t be possible without the Municipal Local Government Operations Officer (MLGOO), Ma’am Susan Tolentino. The speakers guided our 30 enumerators, 7 field editors, 4 data processors and the Techinical Working Group leaded by Engr. Donald Abraham Lara with Sir Neil Arvin Barte as the lead focal to the technicalities of the enumeration for the whole duration of the monitoring for 5 days. The group also will be deployed to the different barangays and sitios for the enumeration proper. Mayor Cesante was there on the first day and assured the enumerators of his full support to the project. Present also on the one week seminar were the secretaries of the 33 barangays that were assigned as field coordinators, they will be responsible in guiding the enumerators to the far-flung areas in their barangay. Moreover, the mayor graciously thanked the secretaries for devoting their time to be a part of this massive project to the municipality.

From first to the third day, the speakers tackled up the following 186 questions that every household should answer or relative questions that the household should at least answer in order to be a part of the system. The enumerators had a jump packed start since they are learning by doing from the start of the seminar. Furthermore, the enumerators were collaborating with the barangay secretaries for the possible situations that they are going to encounter on the real enumerating part.

The second day was immensely good because the enumerators and the field editors were given their own tablet as a service equipment to the enumeration with the application from the CBMS team continued up to the third day. The speakers entertained all the queries that the participants wanted to be clarified.

On the fourth day of the seminar was the actual simulation of what they have learned from the speakers. They went to at least 33 Cawayan Households with the supportive barangay secretaries all tablets in tow. Some were successful which made them elated yet the common problem the enumerators encountered were the tablet malfunction which brought a positive impact to the IT team because they can eventually address ahead of the time the problems that concerns more on the technical sides before the enumeration proper. Right after their enumeration, they were once again met by the Mayor for following questions that concerns to this project particularly on their safety albeit the barangay secretaries were very supportive and shows eagerness to show their hospitality at all cost. The Mayor added that he is very supportive to this endeavor in order for him to address what is still lacking in order for the municipality to reach its potential and to be constantly in line with the first class municipalities in the province.

The last day was a mixture of pressure and enjoyment. The participants, yes, including the TWG were adamant to start right away in order for what they have learned from the 5 days of seminar be practiced. They were given their full kit as enumerators, field editors and data processors which included bags, 2 shirts, an umbrella, notes, pens ids’ and necessary tool for the enumeration. Everyone was gladdened when they received their full provisions for the duration of the enumeration. The seminar-workshop ended with the TWG headed by Engr. Lara gave certificates to the participants with Ma’am Susan of DILG.

Beginnings will always be difficult but with great camaraderie and optimism, the Community-Based Monitoring System will eventually uplift the municipality’s dire need of information especially to the  poverty-restricted area and what programs should be done to address such problems.

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