Comprising a wide range of local civil society groups including non-government and people’s organizations, social movements, progressive political formations and concerned citizens, the founding general assembly and launching of the Negros Coalition for Social Change (NCSC) was held last April 2, 2011 at the Servants of the Lord Center, San Antonio Abad Parish, Bacolod City. The NCSC calls and aims to work for authentic social reforms and transformation in Negros and the country.
Around 81 leaders and representatives of various sectoral and civil society formations participated in the activity. Among them were farmers and agrarian reform beneficiaries, fisherfolks, urban poor, labor, environmental and social activists, development workers and church people. The dedication and activism of the members of the secretariat which include the Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC), Negros Organic Agriculture Movement (NOAM), Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement (PRRM), Negros Environment Watch (NEW), Negros Caucus and Social Action Center (SAC) as well as the council of convenors in ensuring the spadework and organizing of the coalition spelled its eventual success.
The project was initiated to formalize the organizational meeting of the NCSC as well as to publicly launch it and present it to the media and the general public.
The general assembly was held to formalize and project the coalition, discuss and approve its concept paper and principles of unity, reaffirm members of its council of convenors and elect its executive officers and formulate and approve its general program of action (GPOA) for 2011.
Notably taking the lead in the groundworking and preparatory activities were PRRM and the SAC which performed secretariat work and provided initial fund and material support. PRRM was instrumental in the crafting of the concept paper and together with SAC shepherded the process of building the NCSC towards its formal launching. Among the challenges faced by the NCSC are the usual dynamics of coalition work and its unique nature, considering that it unites various sectors, individuals and thematic networks which have their own dynamisms and relative set of perspectives and appreciation on a topic as diverse and as gripping like social change and reform. The coalition also has to deal with the reality of lack of funds for mobilization and for maintaining the coalition’s initial operations. Without a clear source of fund support, the secretariat and conveners undertook their respective fund sourcing activities that mobilized initial funds to finance the assembly. Edwin Balajadia, PRRM Negros
March 8, 2014, Cocoon Boutique Hotel
Quezon City, Philippines