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FGDs seek citizens’ aspirations for good governance in Bukidnon

MALAYBALAY CITY, Bukidnon (PIA)--Representatives from at least 40 organizations representing different sectors in the cities of Malaybalay and Valencia have been invited to attend a set of focused group discussions on good governance.
 
Organized by BukidnonNews.Net and community partners, the FGDs dubbed as “Aspirations for Good Governance: Bukidnon Focused Group Discussions”, will be held on March 19, 2022 via Zoom applications.

About 24 participants each from the two cities have been invited to attend a total of four FGDs, which have been included in the media group’s 2022 election documentation and reporting project dubbed Piniyalan Reporting Governance Community Project 2022.

Organizers described the project as a research-based and a voter-focused community documentation and reporting project for the 2022 local elections in Bukidnon.   

The FGDs will be done with representatives from the women, students, community-based youth, senior citizens, laborers, farmers, informal sectors, indigenous peoples, LGBTQ, church/faith groups, business, and professional sectors.  

“The project will document the aspirations of the voters for good governance in the province and what are the responses of the candidates on these aspirations,” Mr. Walter Balane, project lead researcher, said during the virtual launch on February 26 streamed live via the BukidnonNews.Net – Piniyalan Reporting Governance Project Facebook page.

The FGDs will push discussions on core issues and concerns from the different sectors and corresponding proposed programs to address such issues in the city, provincial, and national levels. FGD facilitators will also ask what problems the voters foresee to affect the voting process in the run up and on election day on May 9, 2022 and what should be done and what can voters do to help address those election-related concerns.    

BukidnonNews.Net, initiated in 2011, is a community media entity recently focused on conducting community documentation and reporting. Its movers are volunteers who are professionals in community media, public information, development communication, literature, public administration, basic and higher education, among others. 

The team intends to explore the governance issues in the city and provincial levels, including the national lens that matter to sectoral representatives in the focused group discussions (FGDs). it will hold in Malaybalay and Valencia cities.

Why should sectors take part and send representatives to participate in the focus group discussions?

“This is an opportunity for the different sectors, especially those representing people on the ground, to express and articulate the issues and programs they are pushing bottom up,” organizers said in a statement. BukidnonNews.Net will present the FGD results to candidates and inquire about their responses. 

BukidnonNews.Net volunteer documenters and reporters will develop the results of the FGDs as part of the guide questions for its key informant interviews with a total of 22 candidates based on the project’s coverage.

The KIIs will be conducted with the candidates for Bukidnon Governor and Vice Governor, Mayor and Vice Mayor of Malaybalay and Valencia Cities, and for congress representatives for the Second and Fourth Districts.

Piniyalan organizers said they are short of funds, volunteers, and time to pursue a wider project coverage,

Why should candidates take part?

“Candidates have the responsibility to let the people hear of their platforms. But the first responsibility is for them to listen to the agenda of the voters,” Mr. Balane said.

He said this is an opportunity for candidates to show they know how to listen, take time to sit down as the project offers the candidates an opportunity to hear the issues raised from different sectors in one platform.

“Both voters and candidates needed opportunities for dialogue to counter the noise propagated during the election period,” he added. 

The FGDs and KIIs will be done virtually in observance with minimum health protocols, organizers said.

The results of the FGDs and the KIIs will be presented for public scrutiny via local newspapers and radio stations and social media channels. The team will also employ mediated crowdsourcing to augment data generated from the FGDs.

BukidnonNews.Net first conducted the FGDs and KIIs in Piliay 2013 midterm elections, the forerunner of Piniyalan project, which became a partnership between the initiating group, DXDB Radyo Bandilyo, and DXBU 104.5 FM with the support from then Malaybalay bishop Jose A. Cabantan from 2013 to 2020. (PINIYALAN Reporting Governance Community Project/PIA-10/Bukidnon)

Bukidnon State University Associate Professor Loreta Sol L. Dinlayan, one of the BukidnonNews.Net volunteers, facilitate one of the FGDs in Maramag, Bukidnon in February 2013, (PINIYALAN, BukidnonNews.Net file photo)

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Ruby Leonora Balistoy

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