Four members of civil society organisations from Papua New Guinea had a study visit in Manila, Leyte and South Cotabato last December 3-11, 2015 to deepen their understanding of how EITI data is used to promote good governance at the subnational level and also civil society movements in the extractive sector.
The initiative is a collaboration among civil society organisations in the Philippines and Publish What You Pay (PWYP) International. The delegation consists of: Epeo Minok, Martyn Namorong, Senson Mark, and Henry Yamo from Papua New Guinea; Diana Kaissi from PWYP and Teresita Tabada from Bantay Kita and Visayas State University. Beverly Besmanos of BK-Mindanao joined the delegation during their immersion in South Cotabato.
Jonjon Sarmiento, Sustainability Officer of PAKISAMA, kicked off the series of learning sessions. He discussed people-centered development framework of community organising and also capacity-building through networking and alliance building. This was followed by a focus group discussion the following day with fisherfolk and farmers from Tacloban City who are also members of Unahan Laging ang Dios – Bito Lake Fisherfolks and Farmers Association (UNLAD-BLFF). Members of the organisation shared to the delegation their experience with extractives in their community particularly on stopping magnetite extraction.
A trip to the Visayas State University (VSU) was made towards the end of the day where the group talked about the Philippine experience in implementing the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative. The group discussed Bantay Kita’s subnational transparency and accountability framework the next day.
On December 10, the delegation arrived in T’boli, South Cotabato. The group met with members of the Kematu United Tribal Council of Elders and Leaders (KUTCEL) to learn about the community’s management of the small-scale mining industry with focus on royalty management and collection. They also met with provincial government officials including governor Daisy Avance-Fuentes and provincial management officer Siegfred Flaviano. Both officials discussed the Minahang Bayan Program in South Cotabato.
The delegation proceeded with debriefing and wrap up discussions in Koronadal City.