Cotabato City - The first ARMM H.E.L.P.S. Convergence Orientation/Feedbacking and Initial Assessment Workshop was conducted last April 29-30, 2013 at Apo View Hotel, Davao City.
No less than 200 participants from the provincial and regional implementing agencies of the ARMM attended the two-day activity conducted by the Office of the Regional Governor (ORG) in coordination with the Regional Planning and Development Office (RPDO) with assistance from the ARMM Social Fund Project (ASFP).
The activity was graced by no less than the Regional Governor Mujiv S. Hataman and some key officials of the ARMM. A veteran and former World Bank consultant, Ms. Ines Bagadion served as the over-all facilitator assisted by the technical staff of the RPDO.
This gathering was first of its kind since ARMM was established 23 years ago where the regional and provincial planners and implementers of different line agencies and the provincial government were gathered in one place to assess the status of the project implementation of the ARMM-H.E.L.P.S. Convergence.
The ARMM-H.E.L.P.S. Convergence as a project implementation strategy of the present ARMM Regional Government and as part of the ARMM Reform Agenda aims to improve the development status of barangays in the region.
The main objective of the ARMM H.E.L.P.S. Convergence is to pour-in various services to impoverished barangays for them to catch-up development. It is expected that by end of 2013, basic services and other development needs of priority areas shall be put in place like access road, health facilities, potable water, basic education, livelihood and other community needs provided by the government agencies.
This regional and provincial interface gathering is also aimed at strengthening mechanism of coordination and linkages of regional and provincial down the municipal levels of project implementation as well as monitoring and evaluation. This also provided venue for the presentation and discussion of selection criteria for the expansion areas for 2014 and beyond.
The two–day gathering was coped with socialization to strengthen camaraderie of regional and provincial planners and implementers alike where valuable items/prizes were given away to participants through raffles, games and contest.
It is hoped that the activity will be the beginning of a strengthened coordination and collaboration efforts of development stakeholders at the regional and sub-regional levels.