The year gone by was a singularly difficult year of transition. PRRM went through two major changeovers—at the executive and at the board level—while the world was shaking from an unprecedented global crisis that affected our nation, our local communities, our Movement.
We saw through these trying and troubled times and emerged stronger than we had imagined. Now, we look forward to another three years (2010-2012) of stabilization and further strengthening of our Movement.
From the bottom up
Our local movements in fifteen provinces and in the capital have not only survived the crisis but have continued to achieve with less. Our small cadre of field managers, assisted by the national units, have succeeded in consolidating our local chapters, primary organizations and federations of farmers, fishers, women, youth, and indigenous peoples. They continued building local alliances to advance the interests of the poor and their communities. Together, they engaged local governments in ways that would press these authorities of power to deliver on their commitments to justice and sustainable development.
From the ground up, PRRM and its partners have addressed poverty (in particular, our commitments to the millennium development goals or MDGs) and climate change (in terms of disaster risk reduction, adaptation, and mitigation) within the framework of governance for sustainability. Our small paid workforce on the ground, with little operations subsidy, carried out their plans to educate, organize and mobilize the poor and excluded, not only to challenge government inaction but also to seek some relief and improvement in their lives without government. They have done so under a somewhat hostile and polluted political environment.
Our local movements have continued to promote sustainable and organic farming, agro-forestry and watershed rehabilitation, sustainable fisheries including mangrove restoration and coastal clean-up, to oppose destructive mining operations and environmentally-harmful industries, to do ecological waste management, to improve governance. Our micro-finance operations continued to thrive to finance small social enterprises and livelihood activities and are now poised for expansion of their operations with substantial funding investment from our institution.
PRRM has earned its leading role in sustainable development policy debate and action. Several of our local cadres and community leaders, together with our national officers (from the staff and the board) are now leading voices in poverty and climate issues. They are among the leaders of different local and national coalitions addressing such issues. They have led in engaging government, both local and national, on policies and projects that truly matter to the poor and the environment. They have demonstrated leadership in different forums and platforms, in areas around which citizens, especially the poor among them, would mobilize to advance their causes and interests. They have participated in regional and global activities addressing poverty and climate issues organized by the United Nations and non-state actors. We have participated in official processes (such as the Philippines’ Second National Communication or SNC on Climate Change to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and even became part of the Philippine delegation in some of these events, such as the UNFCCC Conference of Parties or COP15 and the UN Convention to Combat Desertification or CCD COP 9.
Our programs on the ground from advocacy to demonstration are concrete interventions to address the most pressing challenge of our times – climate change. All we have been doing up till now in the realms of sustainable development are now gaining recognition from climate change adaptation advocates, giving us a great track record.
What we have done and continue to do in our own building—the greening of our home—has now become a model to others in living one’s own advocacies for an environment-friendly operation and lifestyle.
We have achieved our project financing target.
Our operations would not have been possible without institutional funding support for our core staff and core Movement activities. But beyond that, we could not have achieved as much as we did had we not met our project financing target.
A good part of our transition, from the grounding of our previous president to date, was dedicated to project development and the aggressive search for funding sources.
Our efforts at project development delivered beyond expectations and with a lot of promise. Project grants exceeded projection by 34% or PhP5 million more than the expected PhP15 million for 2009. More than accomplishing so much with very little resources on the ground, we have actually mobilized more locally to move further forward with our resolve.
We foresee even brighter prospects. Our major project funding proposal for a multi-year operation is currently awaiting positive result. Were this to be successful we can look to a future of continuity and stability for our core staff and core programs. Add to this the other funding possibilities coming our way, generated both by our field people and at the national level, with assistance from our board and advisers and an ‘army’ of volunteers, we are confident we can avoid the worst-case scenario of having to cut down on our staff and operations.
We have cut our costs substantially and continued to operate more efficiently.
Operations of our scale necessarily would entail huge costs and strain on our available assets. But we believe we have acquired a level of discipline in spending to say with confidence that we have done and can continue to do more with less.
We have defined and are set to realize our strategic directions for 2010-2012.
The country will be under a new regime, in whatever form it comes. That regime may lead our nation to sustainable development or bring more disasters; the year 2010 looks better than 2009 but still the problems are many, locked in complex webs indicating unsustainable development.
The prospects for delivering on the MDGs by 2015 are uncertain and threatening to be compromised by all-encompassing climate change impacts. And underlying many of our difficulties is the festering problem of governance as shown in the decline of democratic institutions, principally in terms of transparency, accountability, and failure to deliver on outstanding commitments to social and environmental justice.
The Philippines is among the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change which may spin out of control in no time should developments continue as usual. Yet we seem unprepared to deal with the potentially devastating consequences to agriculture and food security, environment and natural resources (such as water, biodiversity, coastal and marine ecosystems, forests), industry and services, and human settlements.
PRRM commits to help the poor, the nation and government meet these challenges. Policies and operations shall be geared to achieve the following outcomes and key result areas over the next three years:
Outcome 1: Strong local movements and learning centers for sustainable development
Outcome 2: Strong national influence on sustainable development policy and action
Outcome 3: Financial sustainability