As we plan through the second half of 2019, our leadership team at PeaceBuilders Community, Inc. (PBCI) continues to explore the possibility of partnership with Energy Development Corporation (EDC). I believe that EDC’s mission — “to provide present and future generations a better life with clean and renewable energy” — is in line with our economic-ecological transformation principles at PBCI.
We, at PBCI, are interested to engage, compare notes, and work with a corporation that claims and envisions to contribute to the economic and ecological transformation of our country. EDC is the Philippines’ “largest vertically-integrated geothermal developer, delivering 1,457.8MW of clean and renewable energy to the country.” This is a company under FirstGen Corporation “which has the largest portfolio of power plants using clean and renewable technology in the Philippines.”
Through EDC’s Corporate Social Responsibility Division, PBCI seeks to find points of convergence towards inclusive development projects among various communities where EDC operates.
On 09 October 2017, FirstGen Corporation, through its Corporate Social Responsibility Division, invited me and Ina (Joji Pantoja) to their offices in Makati to explore possible partnerships in inclusive community development in Mindanao. During the meeting, it was mentioned that the partnership may be possible in Kidapawan City to serve the Indigenous Peoples around Mount Apo.
On 29 May 2018, another meeting was held in the office of the Board of Investments in Makati City. PBCI then learned that FirstGen Corporation is “committed to lead the country’s transformation towards a cleaner decarbonized world by meeting the needs of the growing energy market with competitive, efficient and highly profitable energy and power generation assets with the least impact to the environment.”
A field visit in Brgy. Ilomavis, Kidapawan was arranged in June 26 when PBCI gave a brief coffee orientation seminar to the farmers. After the field visit, a meeting with an EDC officer was held at the Coffee for Peace shop in Davao City on 15 July to discuss further the possible partnership between our two organizations.
Proposed Objectives for Partnership
Our discussion led us to the following proposed objectives:
- To develop one Peace and Reconciliation (PAR) Community in the Madadma ancestral domain composed of Ilomavis, Balabag and Magpet communities;
- To train 30 coffee farmers in Madadma and five workers of EDC in quality coffee production and processing;
- To select at least ten coffee farmers who are ready for further mentoring in sustainable, inclusive agricultural enterprise by engaging them in the fair trade coffee value chain;
- To identify the indigenous leadership system and values that will be the basis of the PAR Community and other programs the community would like to implement; and,
- To help market the coffee of the farmers in Madadma, starting with the purchase of at least four tons of coffee cherries this coming harvest season.
This project is a one-year program composed of a series of PAR training seminars, financial management, mentorship on sustainable agricultural enterprise, quality coffee technical training, and coffee marketing.
The central focus is relationship-building through listening and socio-cultural engagement. Peace and Reconciliation (PAR) will be its core value. PAR is understood here as:
- Harmony with the Creator (Spiritual-Ethical Transformation)
- Harmony with the being (Psycho-Social Transformation)
- Harmony with others (Socio-Political Transformation)
- Harmony with the creation (Economic-Ecological Transformation).
To ensure maximum socio-cultural engagement, two full-time workers shall be deployed in Kidapawan City. They shall be the main people from PBCI in-charge of building relationships with the communities in Ilomavis, Balabag and Magpet. They shall also handle coordination with all the stakeholders — the community, PBCI main office, and Energy Development Corporation. They shall also be responsible for the follow-up of participants after each training event.
The full-time workers shall be closely supported by the PBCI’s Inclusive Development Consulting Team.