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April 20, 2023 Bro. Clifford T. Sorita 309 views

SoritaEnvironmental critics have long argued that the envisioned Community Development Program for mining barangays has not lived up to its potential. It has been pointed out that the Mining Industry has had negligible contributions to local livelihood and absorbed only few workers. Moreover, the underlying suspicion of the industry’s propensity to cause environmental damage only aggravates negative public perception.

Establishing therefore a “Barangay Development Model” for Mining Communities is an imperative in order to create implementation, monitoring and evaluation policies that could be utilized to empirically argue its intended impact.

Community development practice in Mining Barangays should draw on the following principles, derived from national and international literature:

SOCIAL JUSTICE – Addressing power imbalances between individuals and between different groups in society. Programs from mining funds should place a particular emphasis on promoting the interests of disadvantaged segments of the community, and ideas of respecting and valuing diversity. The focus is collective, rather than based on a response to individual circumstance.

INDIVIDUAL & COLLECTIVE HUMAN RIGHTS – Good community development practice observes and protects human rights and fundamental freedoms … allowing people to ‘claim their human rights’.

EQUITY – Opportunities and resources are allocated in an equitable manner to enhance the capacity of all sections of the community to attain their well-being.

SELF DETERMINATION & EMPOWERMENT – Seeks to empower individuals, groups and communities to attain their well-being through collective action. Communities own and drive the process.

PARTICIPATION / DEMOCRACY – Individuals and communities are active participants, identifying their vision for the future and/or their needs, and the means of achieving/ addressing these. All sections of the community are effectively engaged. Participative process and structures include and empower marginalized and excluded groups within society. Effective participation enables the community to articulate its vision, which enhances the effectiveness and sustainability of development outcomes.

COOPERATION & COLLECTIVE ACTION – Community members work together to identify and undertake action, based on a shared respect for all contributions. Partnerships are fostered to achieve positive outcomes for all community members. Action is based on solidarity with the interests of those experiencing social exclusion.

SUSTAINABILITY – Balances and integrates social, cultural, economic and environmental aspects of community. A holistic approach that recognises the connections and interdependencies between different aspects of well-being and the components of communities. Recognizes the needs of both current and future generations.

Moreover, such Development Thrusts highlight the importance of identifying outcomes and goals to guide the project development. Importantly, these must be realistic and achievable within the timeframes allowed. It is evident that several Community Development Projects from Mining Funds underestimated the amount of time it would take for communities to complete the project establishment phase, and move into project implementation. This led to an inability to achieve the outcomes agreed upon.

Having realistic expectations about what could be achieved with the available funding and timeframe will help Mining Barangays to develop and deliver successful, sustainable community development initiatives. In some mining communities, they were more successful when they took small steps and collectively recognized each success as positive progress to be built upon.

It also needs to be recognized that the outcomes or goals identified at the outset of a project may change as the project progresses. It is therefore important to build flexibility into program guidelines and funding arrangements, allowing project leaders to remain responsive to the changing needs and aspirations of a community, while still delivering outcomes that are relevant to the funds from mining initiatives. This may result in communities reporting against objectives that were no longer relevant.

Finally, the nature of community development means that enhanced levels of social capital, social cohesion and/or community capability are themselves important outcomes (regardless of the activity undertaken). This should be the underpinning model in the adoption of a devolved decision-making model for Community Development in the effective use mining funds.


For any personal comments or suggestions, you may call 0917-4805585 or email me at [email protected].