A Seal of Commitment and Collaboration: A look into MOA Signing Partnership Between Solution Ecosystems Activator Incorporated (SEA Inc.) and the Local Government Unit of Sta. Barbara

Written by: Analiza Pacheco

Partnership play a crucial role in today’s interconnected world, enabling organizations to achieve shared goals and maximize their potential. Partnerships have emerged as a powerful tool for fostering collaboration and thriving sustainable development in communities around the world. These partnerships bring together local government units (LGU), Organizations, Stakeholders to address common Challenges, share knowledge, and work towards shared goals.

One such occasion where partnership was formalized through the unwavering determination of SEA Inc. to partner with the LGU of Sta.Barbara, was during the signing of Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) last January 26, 2024 at Brgy. Duyan-Duyan Sta. Barbara, Province of Iloilo. It was attended by 39 Participants composed of Municipal Officials of Sta. Barbara, Including the municipal mayor Hon. Dennis Superficial MD, Hon. SB Member Atty. Portia Maquino, Hon. SB Member Crisanto Colata, Department heads, Accredited Civil Society Organizations from transport sector, Senior Citizen, Taos- Puso Foundation, Irrigators Association, Kabalikat, BHW Federation, and Life Bank Foundation headed by Ms. Berna Halongong and Solution Ecosystems Activator staff (SEA Inc.). The presence of Mindanao Senior Facilitator Mr. Ronie Bautista was also of great help during the MOA Signing who gave the overview of the Integrated Participatory Accountability and Transparency towards Sustainable Integrated Area Development (IPAT – SIAD) program.

Executive Director Ms. Mary Ann Fanega blatantly said on her speech that “We don’t have any tangible projects to offer you, we only bring with us the process of how to achieve sustainable development”. She explained that “many tangible projects given without proper capacitation and having knowledge how to make it sustainable has failed because of weak understanding on the process of development and how it works but through IPAT-SIAD we will teach you  how to make development a sustainable one”.

Ms. Berna Halongong , Department head of Sustainable Development Department (SDD) of Life Bank Foundation (LBF)

Conversely, Ms. Berna Halongong Department head of Sustainable Development Department (SDD) of Life Bank Foundation (LBF) openly encouraged the participants to link with them because LBF is very much willing to cater proposals with focus on Health, Education, and livelihood training. She also strongly emphasized that infrastructure projects are not accepted because the government has enough fund to finance such kind of projects. The participants were clarified on the objectives of the IPAT-SIAD Program partnership after being oriented with emphasis that “Sustainable Development is not the sole responsibility of the government but it should be participatory with active participation of the CSOs and the Private or Business Sector as key actors to operationalize intersectoral and multi-sectoral consensus”. Through this Threefold partnership will result in achieving comprehensive, responsive and sustainable development.

Hon. Mayor Dennis Superficial, MD , Municipal Mayor of Santa Barbara, Iloilo

After signing the MOA, Hon. Mayor Dennis Superficial, MD and Mr. Vincent Lusaya, Municipal Planning and Development Coordinator expressed their appreciation to LifeBank and SEA, Inc. for choosing Sta. Barbara as an expansion area and stated that “through IPAT-SIAD program we will achieve our goals and realize our dreams and with that we laid our commitment and collaboration until the end of the program”.

Both parties are looking forward for upcoming activities and representatives of different sectors were encouraged to get

engage in the implementation of the IPAT-SIAD Program. Ms. Rosanna P. Constantino  invited all the CSOs to become member of the Collective IPAT-SIAD Team (CIT) to be formed in Sta. Barbara because they are considered as one of the development actors towards sustainable development and participatory governance.

Indeed “Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much– Helen Keller.

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