#PEFtalks 2 features CSOs’ COVID-19 response

Civil society organizations (CSOs) taking action to address challenges of the COVID-19 crisis was the highlight of the second #PEFtalks of the Peace and Equity Foundation on 23 September 2020.

Zuellig Family Foundation Executive Director Austere Panadero, Synergia Foundation CEO and President Milwida Guevara and KASAGANA-KA Credit and Savings Cooperative General Manager Maria Anna De Rosas-Ignacio shared their organizations’ efforts to assist local governments, teachers, parents and entrepreneurs on health, education, and livelihood

Strengthening local governance framework for COVID response

In his talk, Austere Panadero shared how ZFF is working actively with local chief executives in the provinces of Agusan, Aklan, and Bataan in strengthening their health care systems. He pointed out that the health information systems they helped build were used to better identify, guide and monitor locally stranded individuals coming to the provinces allowing local governments to manage and slow down the spread of the disease.

“Part of the effort was to help these provinces improve their capacities should a surge of cases happen. We also provided additional equipment to upgrade some hospitals,” he said.

Retooling teachers and reshaping nanays and tatays as teachers

With the opening of classes this October, Milwida Guevara said that Synergia focused on training teachers to develop learning modules and training parents on how to help their children adapt to distance learning. A Nanay-Tatay-Teacher campaign was also conducted through workshops done via Zoom on making the switch to e-learning. Guevara added that they are continuously coordinating with the local school boards for the smooth delivery of public education.

“Capacity building for all actors in the education sector is important. Parents, teachers, and students need a support system for this to work”, she said.

Restarting Urban Economy through Project Karinderya

In an effort to stimulate the local economy to address the needs of urban poor communities, Kasagana-Ka Credit and Savings Cooperative, with the help of PEF, Jollibee Foods Foundation and Philippine Business for Social Progress launched Project Karinderya in different parts of Metro Manila, Cavite, Bulacan, and Rizal.

“During our initial survey, we found out 75% of our members lost their income during the pandemic,” Maria Anna De Rosas-Ignacio said.

Ignacio said that Project Karinderya in Bagong Silang alone was able to provide food to 200 households and extra income to 10 carinderia owners in a span of one month.

The project was also replicated in seven other areas, such as Payatas, Quezon City; Sapang Palay, Bulacan; Dasmarinas, Cavite; Batasan, QC; and Masinag, Antipolo.

In total, around 1,600 families or 8,000 individuals were fed during the project.

A call for collaboration

In his remarks, PEF Chair Senen Bacani encouraged CSOs to work together in addressing the challenges caused by the pandemic.

“The current pandemic is a clarion call for CSOs to strengthen its role as a critical partner of government, communities and other sectors. I therefore urge everyone to become more relevant during this crisis. We can do so by continuing to search for way forward solutions, by harmonizing and strengthening our efforts and by delivering on our commitment of positive change to those we serve,” he said.

#PEFtalks are online learning events organized by PEF that tackle relevant topics in search for moving forward strategies and solutions under the new normal.