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Alalay at Gabay sa Pagunlad ng Pamayanan
A group of NPOs working for safe environment
AAGAPAY members work in partnership with a variety of organizations and institutions, including community based groups, government agencies, peoples organizations, cooperatives and other NGOs. These Guidelines focus on NPO partnerships. The purpose of the NPO Partnership Guidelines is to state explicitly the standard of partnership which AAGAPAY seeks to work towards with its NPO partners, so as to strengthen the NPO sector’s contribution to development of Philippine society.
As a people, Filipinos are bonded by fundamental values which have become the bedrock of Philippine society. Such values as deep religious faith, strong family ties, respect for authority, helpfulness and cooperation, smooth interpersonal relationships, and, flexibility and adaptability are positive traits passed on by our ancestors.
Our history - Accounts of how traits were mirrored in the lives of our ancestors include some ancient adherence to a Supreme Being which was featured in their belief to “Bathala” who created “Malakas” and “Maganda”. The smooth running of the primitive “balangays” was characterized by the special honor paid to the elder members of their family including anyone in a position of power. The tradition of “bayanihan” enabled olden communal settlements to develop kinship and camaraderie.
Our present – Today, these values remain omnipresent in our society. We Filipinos continue our spiritual adherence towards a one true God, in whatever religion He represents. Taking good care of our families and strengthening ties of kinship continue to be a primordial concern being the foundation of our society. The spirit of “bayanihan” remains kindled as various sectors try to work together and unify their efforts to achieve common goals. Even our good interpersonal character has earned us worldwide recognition as a warm and friendly people distinguished by a unique sort of “Filipino hospitality”.
Filipino Culture and Society – Our culture and society is not wanting in quality. But imprints of centuries of colonial rule are reminiscent and seemingly hampering national growth and prosperity. Freedom, justice and dignity remain to be our deepest social yearning as we struggle to achieve a society that is truly Filipino – progressive, peaceful and united.
The birth of AAGAPAY – The entirety of this advocacy took motivation in the nobility and valor displayed by our heroes like Jose Rizal, Andres Bonifacio, Lapulapu, and even ordinary Filipinos whose lives were offered to our country. Their fight for sovereignty and freedom has become the foundation of our continuing advocacy towards peaceful and meaningful societal changes. Ideology – The realization of such grand aspirations entails a catalyst that must spur all Filipinos to mobilize towards that dream. What could be more stirring than an ideology inspired by our indigenous cultural heritage, our fine societal values, and most of all, our deep belief and faith in the Almighty God.
AAGAPAY ideology - truly Filipino and proud to be Filipino. It is a fervent belief that we must find strength in our God, endeavor to cultivate national pride, socially and economically empower our citizens, and aggressively protect our environment. As a people, we must celebrate our national legacy and continue to live by the fundamental values of our forefathers. These will serve to be the collective aspiration of AAGAPAY in recreating a new Philippines that is peaceful, progressive, and a respected member of the League of Nations.
AAGAPAY members appreciate that the relatively nascent NGO sector in the Philippines needs active support to grow and mature, and that many NGO partners have some way to go before they achieve either the AAGAPAY standard put forward here, or standard of the Code of Ethics to be promulgated in the partnership.
We understand that these AAGAPAY-NPO Partnership Guidelines aim to set higher, more transparent and more democratic standards of governance and performance. The AAGAPAY, as well as their NPO partners, are both working towards these principles and requirements - hence the Guidelines refer to “our” organizations, meaning that they apply to both AAGAPAY and the NGOs equally. Each AAGAPAY-NPO partnership will set out the steps and speed with which the partners can move towards achieving the standards set out in the Guidelines.
Belief in the Supreme Being, Respect for Humanity, Patriotism and Love for the Environment: These universal accepted principles should reign in the hearts of all members of the organization to which we belong.
Common purpose: Each of our partnerships is formed around an agreed common purpose and common values which ensure the partnerships are aligned. Our overall purpose is poverty reduction, sustainable development and safe environment for the Filipino people and the purpose of individual partnerships will vary within this wider purpose according to the specific situation and need. Our common values are expressed in the Guiding Principles.
Commitment to equity and diversity: We promote diversity in our organizations, in terms of age, class, ethnicity, gender and religion which reflect the composition of the communities we work with. And we provide equal opportunities and strive for equity. Similarly we aim for inclusion and equity in our programs to ensure marginalized and disadvantaged people find the opportunities to improve their lives.
Grounded in civil society: We honestly seek to represent the vital interests of those members of civil society to whom we are providing support. We are committed to practicing mutual respect, and we ensure that those we assist actively participate in the development, planning, implementation and evaluation of our programs.
Accountability: We are accountable to our stakeholders, including rights-holders, for the effectiveness and efficiency with which we use the resources we have been entrusted. We respect the rights and choices of our stakeholders, and listen to and act on their concerns.
Transparency: We are transparent about who we are, how we use our resources, and how we form partnerships. We make available public reports on our work and the utilization of resources.
Performance oriented: We set performance targets with those organizations with whom we work and those from whom we mobilize resources. We monitor our progress towards those targets, and adjust our programs accordingly to reach them in a time-bound period.
Mutual learning and sharing: We create the time and space to learn and share together, both among ourselves and with our stakeholders, so as to ensure benefits are maximized and sustained.
Longer term partnerships: We know from experience that longer term partnerships are often more effective at building the capabilities of partners, and this results in the improved implementation and sustainability of programs.
Coordination between donors, projects, and local implementers: Resources can be more efficiently used when donors, projects, and local implementers coordinate their support for common partners, and ensure there is not a duplication of support and activities
Legal: We are not-for-profit organizations. We comply with the legal framework of the Philippines, including the appropriate taxation, labor and audit laws. We register our organizations with the government, especially where there are financial transactions. Each NGO must be legally registered and encouraged to obtain their tax exemption certificate. We do not accept staff in our partnerships who have been convicted of criminal act such as theft, embezzlement, etc.
Partner Selection: Transparent mechanisms and criteria exist for the selection and funding of partners, including procedure to address conflict of interests, for example selection of existing partners, funding organisations formed by ex-employees, decision maker at the funding agency being a board member of the receiving agency etc.
Written contractual agreement: All partnerships are formalized in a contractual agreement which clarifies the rights and obligations of each partner. The agreement is drawn up together by the partners in a language understood by all, which specifies the minimum standards agreed including the objectives of the partnership, the agreed indicators and targets of performance, and the resources to be mobilized.
Active independent board (executive committee): In our organizations, the board (executive committee) is independent of the management. The board exercises oversight according to the letter and spirit of each organization’s constitution, including holding regular general assemblies and elections. The members of our boards are not staff members, though only one staff may be an ex-officio non-voting participant. The board is representative of our general membership. The board members are unrelated to each other by blood (parents, children, brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts) or in laws. And no staff of an AAGAPAY affiliated organization, which is funding an NGO, may be a member of the Executive Committee of that NGO. A board rotation policy exists and is practiced. Board members are not salaried, and any payments they receive must be disclosed. Board meetings are minuted and circulated. The board approves programs, budgets, annual activity reports and audited financial statements. The board ensures the organization’s compliance with laws and regulations.
Vision, goal and objectives are set by our organizations and we are able to show performance through clearly defined indicators and targets which are monitored on a regular basis. Activities are in line with the vision, goal and objectives, and appropriate systems are in place for periodic program planning, monitoring and reviewing.
Representation of community diversity: We promote the representation of diversity in our boards and staff. Diversity in terms of the age, class, gender and religion which reflect the diversity of the communities we work with in the Philippines. Nepotism, or the management of a partner organization by close relatives, is not permitted in our organizations.
Non-partisan: As organisations we do not advocate and support party politics, religious ideologies, nor violence.
Participation of community: We ensure that the communities we work with, especially those sections which are marginalized and disadvantaged, are directly and actively involved in the planning, implementation and evaluation of programs.
Stakeholder consultations and evaluations: We regularly consult with key stakeholders to improve the effectiveness and impact of our programs, and we involve relevant stakeholders in evaluations of our programs.
Accurate financial accounting: All our financial transactions are accurately accounted for by effective financial systems with proper signatories. Annual external audits with an explicit summary management letter are mandatory.
Transparent reporting and policies: The annual report is disseminated and communicated to the stakeholders and made available on request every year. There are clear and adequate written financial policies in place, including for purchases, and the sale of assets.
Human resource management: Clear roles and responsibilities for personnel, including volunteers, exist, and all personnel are issued a letter of contract/appointment.
AAGAPAY Code of Conduct
The code of conduct is a voluntary code which is self-enforced by each member and binds himself to Aagapay to build and sustain his character with the main Filipino values of faith, love, and dignity as foundation, otherwise he shall have no place in the organization. This will serve as the guide to achieve a forward moving society where true love, freedom, and justice exist.
1.1. We shall at all times be faithful to God. Regardless of religion, all members of Aagapay will commit all actions for and abide by the laws of God. Likewise, we shall respect all other religions different from our own because the importance is in believing in a Higher Being that will commit members to uphold goodness and morality in all that we do.
We believe that we cannot go wrong so long as what we are doing is apt to God’s purpose as all religious doctrines will not harm others. Living up to God’s expectations will lead to goodness and give us courage as we face difficulties in our tasks. We can call upon Him to give us power and strength to renew our determination to improve the lives of our brothers and guide them to the light in redeveloping Filipino character and values.
1.2. We shall dedicate ourselves to love our fellow men and initiate acts that would promote bayanihan efforts in our own society. Every member should dedicate his skills, talents, resources, and knowledge as a social responsibility to benefit his neighbors and improve humanity.
We shall always make an effort to be productive and effective in nation building and that the ideology alone will not produce results, rather hard work and real commitment are still essential to move society forward. If we truly develop love for man then the dedication to help will come naturally for all members and will benefit more people. Tangible results will encourage ordinary citizens to embrace the ideology and keep the system forward and moving.
1.3. We shall respect mother nature and observe environmental practices that would preserve and nurture our lands, water systems, flora, wildlife, and air for future generations to come. Every member should learn by heart that we live in a borrowed earth and that every person deserves a right to be able to enjoy the same earth as clean and as uncontaminated as what was bestowed to man.
We believe that it is our responsibility to ensure that our natural resources are replenished and never depleted. We shall ensure that all endangered species are protected and nurtured and that all flora will thrive if not naturally then with the aid of man. Members should always plant more trees to ensure that natural disasters are kept at bay with natural flora. Our atmosphere and water systems shall be kept pure and clean and all efforts should be done to reverse the effects of previous contaminations. Eco-friendly products should be patronized and commercialized to ensure that all members and ordinary citizens will contribute to saving the earth.
1.4. We shall take pride in everything Filipino and promote our culture first and foremost above all other cultures. We shall patronize the products and trades of our own countrymen and ensure that these same products will be recognized by all. True Filipino values shall be rekindled and bring glory and honor to all Filipinos, here and abroad.
We believe that in order for the Philippines to move forward, each Filipino should learn to truly love the country and all that it stands for – including producing competitive quality products and subsequently buying and using the same. We should be proud of our own countrymen and their talents as this will eliminate envy from those moving forward because we know the success of one is the success of all.
1.5. We shall endeavor not to be used by any political party or politician to further their political career. We shall endeavor not to associate ourselves with any particular political group or personality; however, they are welcome to become members of Aagapay and adapt the ideology to their personal lives for the further improvement of society.
1.6. We shall always be a good role model at all times and uphold our dignity, honor, and humility. We do not compromise what is just and right in exchange of wealth and favors. This is our duty and obligation to society as we serve others in the pursuit of love to man and God.