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So It Begins

By: Bien Cagayan

Two weeks of never ending phone calls, sleepless nights, and endless worries. At last, the Planning Exercises for Provinces workshop happened. It was a big day for the iCSC team and I. After gruelling weeks of making sure that this workshop goes well, finally it happened.

 What is the Planning Exercises for Provinces, you ask?

The Planning Exercises for Provinces workshop, held in February 5, 2015 at the Filipiniana Hotel in Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro, is the first of a series of workshops in Luzon, Visayas and Mindnao. Organized by the Human Development Network and the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities, this workshop aims to build a powerbase for the 2012-2013 Philippine Human Development Report.  Gathered were planning coordinators and officers, department heads of the provincial and local governments, civil society organizations, and academicians from the provinces of Occidental and Oriental Mindoro. Also in attendance were Governor Alfonso Umali, Mayor Arnan Panaligan, and provincial board member Hon. Apollo Ferarren.

What’s so special about the 2012-2013 Philippine Human Development Report?


Participants huddle up during the break out session in the Planning Exercises for Provinces Workshop last February 5, 2015 in Calapan Mindoro, Mindoro Oriental.

The 2012-2013 Philippine Human Development Report discusses the relationship between geography and human development. It is the primary reference document used in the workshop. Presented by Dr. Toby Monsod, the lead author, the report emphasizes the critical role geography plays in human development. In her presentation, she gave examples on how failure to take geography into account in development planning results in lost opportunities in pursuing human development. One of the emphases of her presentation is that planning will be most effective when undertaken by the province, currently the most practicable level of authority that can give full weight to the specificity and diversity of local conditions.

At the end of Dr. Toby Monsod’s presentation, she left three questions for the participants to ponder on:

  1. Does geography help explain local development experience across Mindoro? Is the conclusion about provinces worth pursuing?
  2. Is the conclusion, feasible? Why or why not
  3. If the conclusion was to be tested, and the province was to be given power, what would you do with that power?

Food for thought: How do you think the participants took the conclusions of the report? Well, you have to read my next blog post to find out.

Want to know more about the 2012-2013 Philippine Human Development Report? You can access the 2012-2013 PHDR through this button: 

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