Wednesday, March 11, 2015

A TABLET to improve the barangays in Davao City

The barangay is considered to be the local government unit closest to the people in terms of access and proximity, its role in local service delivery is very essential in the development of the community.  Leaders in the barangay are key players in national development for they have highly significant roles in shaping the future of the nation. Hence, empowerment of these leaders is one of the keystones in achieving progress.

With this important role in national development, barangay leaders should be properly equipped with the appropriate knowledge and skills in governing the community. Most of the barangay leaders lack the technical skills (i.e. technical writing, data management, project planning and evaluation, etc.) in serving their constituents. Given that barangay leaders are not experts (yet), supplementary materials and trainings are needed to improve their current abilities, for they are expected to efficiently and effectively serve their clienteles.

The need of the barangay leaders for technical assistance and trainings gave birth for the School of Applied Economics’ (SAEc) TABLET (Technical Assistance and Barangay Life-Long Enhancement Training) Extension Program. The inception of this program was based from the results of Isidro and Gabuya’s (2007) study about the capability of the barangay councils in preparing barangay development plans (BDPs). In their study, they have enumerated several problem areas that most barangay councils encounter (arranged according to the most priority problem):
  • a.    Budget allocation
  • b.    Technical writing skills
  • c.    Knowledge on the importance of BDPs
  • d.    Development programs, assistance from other groups
  • e.    Knowledge on all aspect and stages of the planning process
  • f.     Participation of the NGOs, PO, CBOs that operate in the barangay
  • g.    Action from the council to initiate the preparation of plans
  • h.    Participation of the constituents
  • i.      Technology, materials and equipment

One of the recommendations of their study is for barangay councils to look for other sources of outside (external) intervention. Aside from their municipal office, provincial office and other line agencies, the barangay is encouraged partnering with academes and non-government organizations. In this light, the School of Applied Economics offers a course on Project Planning and Management that equips BS Economics students in the preparation of a comprehensive barangay development plan. This is mutually beneficial to the barangays (who will be assisted) and to the students (who will be exposed and trained in doing BDPs).

The opportunity to serve the community is one of the main thrusts of the SAEc. The faculty, staff and students are committed in responding to the needs of the community through our technical assistance and trainings.

 About the TABLET Program

The TABLET program aims to provide skills enhancement and technical assistance to barangay leaders and their respective constituents, through trainings, workshops, and consultancy and advisory services. The program’s name (TABLET) has a twofold message:

(1)  TABLET as a medicine. This program was inspired by the problems in the community that can be associated as a sickness that should be cured. A tablet, as prescribed by the doctor, served as a medicine to cure different ailments. In this program we are (faculty, staff and students) the doctors that will diagnose and provide appropriate solutions to their existing predicaments.

(2)  TABLET as a computer. A tablet is a mobile computer and its major component is the touch input, this allows the user to navigate easily and type with a virtual keyboard on the screen. We can relate this feature in assisting the community, we will provide package of programs and projects that will serve as a step-by-step guide for them to plan, implement and evaluate their major programs/projects/activities. They will just navigate and study the prepared modules, workbooks and development plans served to them.   


The TABLET program can be implemented in the barangay through MEDS (a medicine for community problems). The program will be implemented through four (4) general objectives:

Legal Basis

Section 106 of the 1991 Local Government Code of the Philippines mandates every barangay to “prepare a comprehensive multi-sectoral development plan to be initiated by its local development council and approved by its local sanggunian”. The CBDP (Comprehensive Barangay Development Plan) will be the basis for the programming of funds and budgeting of the barangay to operationalize the priority programs and projects identified in the approved plan as mandated by Sec. 305 of R.A 7160.


The purpose of this program is highlighted from the four major objectives:

Mentor to empower barangay leaders

The aim of an extension program is to improve communities and to sustain programs and projects implemented. The program does not desire to have a one-shot deal project, but rather a sustainable one. The essential element of this program is to teach “people how to fish” and not a “dole-out” activity. Mentoring is a powerful personal development and empowerment tool. It is meant to have a transmission of knowledge, social capital and the psychosocial support perceived by the community (our major clientele) as relevant to their needs and problems. This is an effective way of helping barangay leaders to progress in their careers as their potentials are now realized. We would like to teach them to be independent and do the job on their own, even if our assistance is no longer available. We would like to put emphasis on the essence of sustainability. This will form part on our desired impact to transform and empower barangay leaders in the community.

Educate and establish a knowledge management system

In educating the community through barangay leaders/staff, we would like to provide them relevant information, education and communication materials that will suit their current issues and problems. One of the main issues experienced by our barangay leaders is the succession of administrations. In the Philippine barangay elections, one of the hindrances in continuing the projects is the term of the leaders. Some programs and projects are not continued because previous administrations do not turn-over properly relevant documents and information to the new administration, especially if they came from the opposing political parties.

To gradually eradicate this problem in the barangay, the information should not be kept by the person (or leader) but rather it should stay with the organization. Our desired impact is to create a knowledge management (KM) system. The KM system is not solely meant on the technology and equipment their using, but this rather focus on documenting and organizing the tacit and explicit knowledge of the barangay leaders and staff. As we provide information to them, we want to have sustainability and echo of this knowledge to their colleagues and to the community. We want to emphasize to our clienteles that the knowledge should not stay to the person but rather nailed in the organization.

Develop skills through trainings and workshops

Many barangay leaders lack the necessary skills in technical writing (writing project proposals), development planning, data management, etc. and one of the ways to address this is to transfer knowledge to clienteles through trainings and workshops (Isidro and Gabuya, 2007). The training should be attended by the person involved in such duties and responsibilities and re-echo this to his/her colleagues. Major problems arise when the person trained, who resigned or ceased its duty, do not share the learnings he/she had during the training/workshop. Knowledge management should also be applied in this case, to avoid information from not being transferred.

Synergy in implementation

This program will never be a success if there is no existing commitment with the beneficiaries. A partnership with the barangay should be a key priority, since this is a two-way program. This will not push through if one of the parties is not willing to cooperate. Synergy is the interaction of the stakeholders, because if they will work together it can create a greater impact compared to working individually. In short, it should be a mutual understanding and no parties should be worse-off and they should benefit from each other. This pertains to collaborative projects between the academe, government and private agencies. Our individual energy will create a strong synergy.

Log-frame Matrix

Intervention Logic
Objectively verifiable indicators (OVIs)
Means of verifications (MOVs)
Empowered barangay leaders with  well-equipped knowledge and skills

G1: increase in the number of barangays who have developed their comprehensive barangay development plan
Hard copy of barangay development plan
The barangay leaders and staff participated in the TABLET program
Outcome 1:
Provide activities that will enhance the knowledge and skills of barangay leaders

Output 1:

Enhanced planning and management capacity

Increased number of proposals/ development plan submitted for funding

Comprehensive barangay development plan (long-term plan)

Output 2:

Knowledge management system developed

Organizational   KM process flow developed

Increase efficiency in service delivery to constituents (number of hours or days that a barangay request is given to the clientele i.e. barangay clearance, certification, cedula)

Process flow chart and manuals of the KM process

List of daily transactions and clienteles in the barangay

The barangay has initial knowledge about KM and participated in a training or workshop
Output 3:

Improvement of knowledge and skills in planning and management

Increased attendance to training and workshops attended

Number of re-echoing- of-training-activities to barangay staff

Letter of invitations, certificate of participation/ appearance and pictures

Re-echo activity attendance

All training attendees will re-echo to the barangay
Output 4:

Multi-sectoral stakeholder partnership

Increase in the number of partners in the program/ project/activity

Number of counter parting activities in the barangay

Memorandum of Agreements/ Understanding signed

Partners are actively involved in the project

The proponent of this project would like to seek funding from the local government units and other national and foreign aid. We hope that this project will be realized. 

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