The Zero Extreme Poverty 2030 (ZEP2030) Movement, in partnership with BDO Foundation and Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP) ACCESS TB Project, convened its 8th General Assembly with the theme “Local Convergences: Unblocking the Constraints towards ZEP2030 Goals”. The hybrid gathering held on November 24, 2023 was hosted by UNILAB at the Bayanihan Center in Pasig City, with Mr. Senen Bacani, ZEP2030 Co-Chair, giving the welcome remarks.
This year’s keynote speaker is South Cotabato Governor Reynaldo Tamayo, Jr., who concurrently serves as Chairman of the Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines (ULAP) and Vice Chair for Government Sector of the National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC). He underscored in his message that poverty reduction and sustainable development can only be achieved if the government, private sector, and civil society coordinate and collaborate from the national to the local levels. He further stressed the value of sectoral representation to give voice to the fourteen (14) basic sectors, such as farmers and landless rural workers.
Panelists from the various sectors likewise engaged in a conversation on “Collective Impact for Reducing Extreme Poverty”. Mayor Edreluisa Caloñge shared her insights and aspirations as the Local Chief Executive of the coastal Municipality of Mabuhay in Zamboanga Sibugay, one of the newest ZEP2030 convergence areas; while Ms. Maricel Genzola, Executive Director of Foundation for the Development of the Urban Poor, talked about her experiences from leading the ZEP2030 Quezon City Convergence. Ms. Felisa Castro, President of Kusog han Kababayen-an han Salcedo (KAKASA) in Eastern Samar, reiterated the vital role of people’s organizations and women empowerment.
One of the highlights in the GA was the awarding of certificates of appreciation to the ZEP2030 Local Convenors and partner LGUs from the ten (10) local convergence areas. The following organizations were recognized for their leadership and commitment to the collective goals of ZEP2030: Banaybanay CSO Network; Bohol Integrated Development Foundation; Caritas Borongan; Central Visayas Network of NGOs (CENVISNET); Del Monte Foundation, Inc.; Ecosystems Work for Essential Benefits (ECOWEB); Foundation for the Development of the Urban Poor; Institute of Social Order; J. Amado Araneta Foundation; National Commission on Muslim Filipinos Regional Office – Lanao Area; Sarangani Province Empowerment and Community Transformation Forum, Inc. (SPECTRUM); Xavier Agricultural Extension Service Foundation, Inc.; and the Municipal Governments of Arteche, Eastern Samar and Mabuhay, Zamboanga Sibugay.
In his closing message, Br. Armin Luistro FSC, ZEP2030 Co-Chair, acknowledged the essential contribution of organizations deeply rooted in the communities where ZEP2030 hopes to make a lasting impact. Moreover, he called on the ZEP2030 coalition to pursue a stronger collaboration with the national and local government to complement efforts to combat extreme poverty in the country.