Ugnayan ng Barangay At Simbahan
The Ugnayan ng Barangay At Simbahan (UBAS) is a strategic partnership of Barangays, the Church and other faith-based organizations, and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) for good governance and for common good. The story of UBAS began in January 2011 when the late DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo invited the Bishops of the Philippines through a letter for the “network of parishes to actively involve in local governance processes”. The following month, Most Reverend Bishop Antonio Tobias from the Diocese of Novaliches responded positively to his letter. He was eager to tap this opportunity believing that “the last National Elections have made us realize how badly needed is the local church to be involved in Governance to help elected officials to deliver their election promises”.
Though the movement suffered a loss following the untimely demise of Sec. Jesse Robredo, the drive to promote Grassroots Governance did not waver. In early 2014, DILG Secretary Mar Roxas felt the need to reaffirm the UBAS vision, and expand the same to more Barangays. A parallel orientation occurred with the DILG Regional Directors during the 2014 Regional Directors Planning Conference at the DILG Central Office in July 8, 2014.
On July 22, 2014, UBAS had one of its most critical turning points when His Eminence Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, DILG Secretary Mar Roxas, and Liga ng mga Barangay (LnB) National President Atty. Edmund Abesamis came together as convenors to clarify the directions of UBAS and affirm its commitments. The formal UBAS launch and Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) Signing for the National Capital Region subsequently followed on September 14, 2014.
- Participate in and monitor the proper implementation of the projects under the Bottom-Up Budgeting (BUB) – formerly known as Grassroots Participatory Process (GPP);
- Create an enabling environment for a meaningful people’s participation in the implementation of DILG projects, especially those in scaling up the practice of good governance at the local level;
- Initiate and implement programs, projects, and activities to curb corruption and promote transparent, honest and effective governance in Local Government Units (LGUs); and
- Undertake other engagements or activities as may be deemed necessary or appropriate or as may be identified by the communities, such as but not limited to Community-Based Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (CBDRRM), environmental protection, children’s protection and development, and peace and order.
Elements of UBAS
- Grassroots-based: UBAS is grounded in making changes at the most basic political unit, the Barangay. Its aim is to make the Barangay the center of and for development. It brings us back to the values of collaborative neighborhoods, socially responsible and engaged lay people, and the emergence of homegrown leaders.
- Faith-impelled: For UBAS, faith is a powerful tool, a vehicle, a prized resource for community transformation. Faith serves as a catalyst in raising consciousness, building relationships, and making changes amidst differences and daunting concerns. It calls for “love in action” manifested in concrete participation for good governance.
- Interfaith: The plurality and synergy of faiths is honored in UBAS. It believes that the sum of core values and faith-based principles when combined synergistically can create an impact larger and more meaningful than religious affiliations. At best, it begins by fostering respect and appreciation of differences for a bigger cause.
UBAS as an organization works on multiple geographical levels— Regional, Provincial, City or Municipal, and Barangay . It is composed of the Board of Convenors, Technical Working Group, and Barangay Action Team wherein each structure has a unique purpose that shapes the whole and integrated system of UBAS operations.
At the Regional, Provincial, City and Municipal levels of organizing, the DILG Secretary or the Regional or Provincial Director, Bishop or Head of other faith-based organizations, and the LnB National, Regional, or Provincial President constitute the Board.
The main purpose of the Board is to facilitate the coming together of the local government, faith-based organizations, and Barangays for the promotion of the official purpose of UBAS. The Convenors also serve as a guide that directs, encourages and inspires the flow of the movement and the operations of the organization.
Technical Working Groups (TWGs)
Technical Working Groups are responsible for the research, documentation, information-dissemination, creation of guidelines, monitoring and improvement of the system. TWGs shall meet monthly or as often as necessary. Members shall be composed of DILG Regional, Provincial or City Directors, Municipal Local Government Operations Officers, field officers, LnB City or Municipal Presidents and staff, church or priest coordinators, lay leaders of faith-based organizations, professionals, and other volunteers .
In the national level, an Executive Committee (Execom) has been organized to take oversight function in the Regional and Provincial level and facilitate the proper and timely coordination of partners.
Barangay Action Team (BAT)
A BAT is composed of the actively engaged people in the Barangay. Here, we refer to grassroots leaders including the Punong Barangay, members of the Sanggunian barangay, parish or church coordinators, sectoral representatives, heads of other organizations in the barangay (e.g. non-government organizations, parents-teachers’ association, teachers’ organizations) and other volunteers. They meet regularly with the goal of helping their Barangay. BATs can help ensure that the Barangay has a proper Information Desk and Citizen’s Charter. They participate in the Barangay Development Planning and in the semi-annual Barangay Assembly. In upholding transparency, they can co-monitor compliance with the Full Disclosure Policy. BAT can also undertake collaborative programs. They can begin with a proper assessment of their situation, and then proceed to planning, resource-sharing and implementation of services. In the process of Bottom-up Budgeting (BUB), BAT joins the civil service organizations in co-monitoring budgeted projects and programs devoted to their Barangay.