January 23, 2013
With two years left to go before deadline of the United Nations – Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), prospects of achieving the country’s commitments are far from reassuring. However, considering the lag time involved, government targeted action – policies, programs, activities – may yet produce a brighter picture come 2015.
The assessment was made by Isagani Serrano, co-convener of Social Watch Philippines (SWP) and president of the Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement (PRRM), in a 2012 report on the status of the MDGs.
Social Watch Philippines (SWP) and Alternative Budget Initiative (ABI), the network of a hundred nongovernment organizations globally acknowledged for initiating legislator-citizens’ partnership in formulating and lobbying for alternative budget proposals for the national budget, is set to probe into President Benigno Aquino III’s proposed budget items for 2013 that are still unfamiliar; as well as those that are not visible in the national budget.
“We have to be more vigilant as the P2.006 trillion proposed 2013 appropriations is the first budget proposal to exceed the P2 trillion mark. This is 10.5 percent higher than 2012 budget and almost 21.9 percent higher than the 2011 GAA,” explained former national treasurer and SWP lead convenor Leonor Magtolis Briones. “More than half of the budget continues to escape scrutiny because of the special purpose funds, automatic appropriations and unprogrammed funds,” she said.
Every year on or near PRRM’s founding anniversary date on July 17, former PRRM staff, partner NGOs and friends gather in PRRM to eat, sing and dance the anniversary night away. In July 17 of this year, over 150 current and former staff, friends, partners and guests of PRRM got together in the penthouse of the PRRM building to partake of dinner, drinks, wine, song and memories.
PRRM development workers from different generations, staff, officials, partner POs, NGOs and government agencies, and special friends joined the 60th anniversary program and homecoming last July 17, 2012 at the PRRM Building in Quezon City. The event was the culmination of the year-long celebration which kicked off last July 2011 in PRRM Nieves Center in San Leonardo, Nueva Ecija.
The RR Trade, Inc., joined PRRM in celebration of its 60th anniversary by hosting the Organic Fair held from July 15 to 17, 2012, at the PRRM building grounds, with the theme “Celebrating 60 Years of Rural Reconstruction”.
PRRM Chairperson Ka Bobby Tañada, President Isagani Serrano and Vice President Marlon Palomo led the opening ceremonies.
Last 16 July, PRRM hosted the International Dialog on Rural Reconstruction and Sustainable Development as the highlight of its 60th anniversary celebration. Participating national rural reconstruction movements were the China Rural Reconstruction (CRR) and Rural Reconstruction Nepal (RRN). China RR was represented by Prof. Wen Tiejun of the Renmin University of China and Prof. Lau Kinchi of the Lingnan University in Hong Kong. The event was also attended by the representatives of PRRM’s different provincial and city chapters and partner NGOs and POs.
Representatives of 18 PRRM provincial and city chapters across the nation stood for PRRM’s 300 plus members in the National Council (NC) meeting held last July 15 at the PRRM Building in Quezon City.
Emceed by PRRM Vice Chairperson and Trustee Edicio dela Torre, the NC meeting affirmed the resolutions made by the Board of Trustees (BoT) in the past year. The NC also discussed local and national issues and opportunities for development programs in partnership with private institutions and public agencies.
The month-long inter-NGO sports competition culminated last 10 July at the Amoranto Sports Complex along Roces Avenue with the awarding of the champions and winners in basketball, volleyball, badminton, table tennis and darts. Fielding their teams and players in these games were five NGOs – Center for Patriotic Initiatives (CPI), Haribon Foundation, World Vision Development Foundation (WVDF), World Vision International and PRRM.
PRRM’s 60th anniversary celebration became symbolic and historic this July when it was commemorated at the Nieves Center in San Leonardo, Nueva Ecija. More popularly known as the NTI, or National Training Institute, the Nieves Center served as PRRM’s headquarters in the 50s and 60s where rural reconstruction workers (RRWs) trained in rural development technologies. In the 80s to the 2000s, the Nieves Center provided the learning and conference facilities for the education and training of staff, partner people’s organizations, government agencies and non-government and private institutions.
Launched in June 14, 2012, at the PRRM Building in Quezon City, the photo exhibit entitled “PRRM Story: Texts and Images” captures in text and images the “60 years of PRRM’s struggle against poverty, ignorance, disease and civic inertia”.