Monday, October 24, 2016

On our continuing search for new solutions: a discussion with a security consultant

LET’S HAVE a break from all this debate about extrajudicial killings and about death squads and move to more positive stuff, like community development inputs. Or, perhaps we could move to such positive topics as community development that may actually offer alternative answers to these very problems at the top of the news, both directly and indirectly. Is that possible, please?
    Okay. So who do we talk to, then? Uhm, a politician or appointed government official with a plan perhaps? Hmm. Oh, I know, why don’t we talk to a humble security consultant working on solutions, like many others, from the sidelines of the debate?
    Oh, I know, I know. Security consultant, did I say? I realize, of course, that our impression of security consultants whenever we hear that phrase is either of 1) people behaving like loyal knight warriors to kings and princes corrupt or otherwise and deeply knowledgeable about things to do with security and not much else, or 2) a bunch subcontracted by military agencies to implement operations that cannot, must not, be attached to the name of the military force of the land, especially when it involves securing private corporate interests or assassination. But a few years back, during a meeting about an action-genre comic book project that has yet to see the light of day, I had the opportunity to meet Hubert Posadas, a humble security consultant who debunked either of these popular impressions. His concerns definitely went beyond the usual action-genre defense and offense concerns of security science and art and explored social empowerment dreams we usually associate with social entrepreneurs.
    Recently, Hubert and I crossed paths again on Facebook in the light of current anxieties about the goings-on in the administration of Rodrigo Duterte. Though somewhat sympathetic to the direction the government is currently taking, he is far from being uncritical of its overall management of its operations while critical also of mere criticality. It is in that last, in the criticism of mere criticality, that our conversation led to an interesting zone, a zone where, it turned out, he was presently involved in something that economically empowered besieged niches of society.
    As in our comic book project conversation with painter Marcel Antonio (who was supposed to be the prime artist of the comic book and the one who introduced Hubert to yours truly), Hubert was now, again, not just talking about defense and offense concerns in the security sense but also in the cultural sense and even the economic sense. He was now speaking as a co-stockholder of a community security and permaculture-advocating social enterprise called Dagyaw.

Hubert Posadas of the community security and permaculture social enterprise Dagyaw
(Photo by Vanjoe Clemente)

Hubert with UN consultants
    The concept of Dagyaw as both a community security and permaculture-advocating program formally started in 2015 with the challenge of securing a Mindoro tribe as a client besieged by threats of losing parts of its ancestral domain to certain interest groups. This was all happening in the wake of the killings of Lumad chiefs in Mindanao who lost tracts of their ancestral domain to mining interests. As a security consultant who has been everywhere, however, Hubert has learned that not everything about security involves the use of force by a hired group to counter the force of another (hired) group. Sometimes the concept of security is better served by allowing both sides of a conflict or near-conflict to surrender the concept altogether in order to arrive at a win-win situation for all, without each side giving up a claim to anything. Or perhaps security as a concept is best served by the ultimate medium that should be way, way better than any hired security force: the idea of community security.
    Community security is probably familiar to those who've heard of the OSCE-organized Community Security Initiative (CSI) of Kyrgysztan. Or of the Community Security Trust (CST) of the UK. The first, CSI, emphasized bridge-creation between the police and the community, while the last, CST, was focused on community organizing for self-defense. Corollarily, we might remember that in the aftermath of Typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan, barangay governments and their tanods disintegrated into individuals looking after their own families, with other virtual leaders sprouting up to take the place of those original security organizations that momentarily disappeared (the Pareto principle at work); that would be an example of a natural organization of community personnel for community security.
    Now, talking about Typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan, earlier than his Mindoro project Hubert was party, along with several foreigners, to a permaculture training project in Antique—like we said, this was in the wake of the problems that arose from the Typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan catastrophe. This was perhaps where Hubert’s idea of securing communities or institutions started to expand, to include food security and economic security, for a program that may fit other types of besieged clients, for instance informal settlements.
    And so, currently, in an Antipolo informal settlement site, you would see Hubert’s group focused on introducing a type of community security that 1) augments the government’s anti-drug dealers program and other policing action against exploiters of the inhabitants of the informal settlement, and 2) bridges the gap between informal settlers and owners of idle lands. In the #2 part of this plan, the informal settlers enter into training with Hubert’s group to be empowered to enter into contract with the owners of the idle lands to permaculture-farm those lands with either monetary or produce rent. What results from this is an economic liberation of a percentage of the community’s unemployed, the provision of self-sustenance to a part of the settlement’s food needs, and the liberation from idleness of the idle lands themselves. We must also take into account the fact that the concept of permaculture is itself a form of security from food source annihilation by catastrophes, if only because it is agriculture that emulates the ecological patterns of nature instead of limiting produce to one source, thus providing a community with surviving food sources after a catastrophe like a strong typhoon has hit it.
    Here are parts of our threads of conversation (adapted for this blog):

Me: . . . the Philippine problem with democracy is that "we the Filipino people" have a political culture of always wanting to fight not for our personal causes primarily but for politicians and such personalities, primarily. We would fight wars and die for these in the name of our politician or celebrity or sports team/athlete or favored TV channel. In that sense, "we the Filipino people" are still living in a monarchic system before the occurrence of the events that led to the French Revolution. . . . That is why I’m advocating for the urgent incorporation of direct democracy instruments into government as what could take us out of that state.

Hubert: Ah, but we are growing. All the institutions are being questioned, all crumbling, in the current government. Catharsis begins with these kinds of events, helped by the dawning of awareness given insight by (various people, like you). Frame the positive outcome and prescription and see that the change is already here with (such people as you). Know that it is hard to break old habits but easy to create new ones. That is why the revolution in psychology has been to steer away from talking about the past and more on reframing the positive outcome one wants to produce.
    Conditioned helplessness is the condition wherein one finds oneself constantly complaining without seeing a solution. The mind must work to find a proof of concept, not just to discuss logics.
    The ability to train the mind to see a problem as a situation is the first skill in training the mind to find the solution. That is why we keep changing our leaders without success, because we only know what we do not want without knowing what we need to do. Most Filipinos think that the rationale for a movement is in finding a fault and in asking others to join in agreeing to find fault or to a found fault and to rally behind that negative statement. They are actually talking about a reaction, not a revolution.
    A revolution is a dynamic of change from one state to another. Without a clear scalable proof of concept, it never really becomes a true movement. I think change begins with a small group with clearly defined action that proves a new reality. Often, everything else around is reaction.

Me: That’s true. But who make up that group and what kind of change they’re advocating is crucial. Historian Xiao Chua said, on a Net25 talk show, something like, "I don't blame the Americans for keeping to their interests. Ang problema is how well we fight for ours." Aside from the “how well,” mahalaga ro’n ang “fighting for our interests” part. And in relation to our common concern, sa tingin ko natumbok ni Xiao Chua rito sa sinabi niya ang anatomiya ng lumpenbourgeoisie-ness ng ating lumpenbourgeois politicians na hindi nawawala sa paghahanap ng ibang amo. Kung ang bagong mga amo ng pagka-lumpenbourgeois mo ay mga Chinese creditors and investors at hindi na American o European creditors and investors, yun lang ang nabago; lumpenbourgeois ka pa rin.

Hubert: Tama ka, bro. Ngayon, pa’no natin maooperationalize yung changes pregnant in the situation you exposed? Currently my group is starting a bottom-up approach with some communities, using an initial framework. Maybe you can help us with it. Kailangan ng proof of concept, pero kailangan din i-mekaniko yung conceptual framework derived from real conditions. Nag-umpisa kami sa baseline data gathering, papunta na kami sa community organizing.

Me: Pareho tayo ng paniniwala diyan sa necessity of proof of concept, to depart from the pure utopia level of such political concepts as left libertarianism. I was actually lobbying my mates in a group that was for a moment devoted to the concept of direct democracy, pero masyadong marami ang obsession ng grupo kaya naging kalat. I was lobbying for the formation of a direct democracy party of sorts, not necessarily with the aim of placing candidates in an election but perhaps of endorsing some. But, anyway, I was primarily lobbying for our group to start our rise at the bottom, by educating barangays on the availability of direct democracy options, starting with barangay officials who would want to cooperate or might even encourage their citizens to participate in this cultural thrust. I was thinking, one barangay people’s initiative alone succeeding would be worth covering, if I were a TV network, as it would be a first—as far as I know—and would have the potential of becoming a model for other barangays to emulate. A new culture of participatory democracy could be jumpstarted there, with the cooperation of the media.

Hubert: In our case naman, we have a good framework that is scalable. We introduce the concept of community security to address an immediate benefit and something to exercise direct democracy with. This framework enables what we call our clients to technically increase their property value and create sustainable food security, thereby creating place-based economics, integrate informal settlers into the mainstream economy, mobilize "tambays", and so on. (We even have an internet media program to cover and document their progress.)
    So, this setup enables what we call our clients to immediately address their basic human needs, prepare them to survive and thrive during disasters, and foster back old values and culture like bayanihan and pakikitungo, pakikiisa, etc. We are even incorporating gamifications in order to land social targets that the shareholders agree upon. The program was designed with a psychologist and an organization development consultant to maximize traction on the ground. We are interested in getting more experts on board in essentially a reality show to create a proof of concept.

Me: This is nice. But what I'm interested in is how this can expand to inhabit national space and national culture. The usual way for extending community-specific experiments into adoption by and for the national evolution is through a political ideological framework as vehicle, thus through empathies like those for social liberal structures, socialist structures, direct democracy or participatory democracy structures, even utopian anarchist structures. So, how a social experiment becomes part of a governmental ideological policy is what I’m interested in, to go beyond being a mere isolated project initiated by a social enterprise, to go beyond being the aid product of corporate social responsibility.
    Like, halimbawa, even in international relations between states, there's really no such thing as aid or donation na walang kapalit. And although corporate social responsibility projects may require no “payment” from its beneficiaries other than a sense of gratitude, it either sustains itself through government “recognition” of their actions or through profits from contributions coursed through foundations. So I’m looking for that kind of aid that doesn’t end as a charitable product that was also profitable for its donor, but an aid that evolves and becomes a part of the national culture.
    So, can a social enterprise-initiated culture at the bottom blossom into something that would not just end up being a CNN Hero thing that governments don’t absorb? Can it become part of national policy, in short a part of government culture?

    Now, I know that you have an answer to that query of mine. Pero, before you answer that, let’s talk first about this obsession ng government ngayon, the illegal drug trade, which some are happy to see finally addressed as a priority even while some are not happy to see it take the limelight of sole focus. :)

Hubert: Ah, meron ding magandang nangyayari dyan. Yung exposure ng malalim na sitwasyong-panlipunan na ito, kasama na ang iba pang sitwasyong-panlipunan na pinag-uusapan na ngayon, ay di dapat maliitin, kahit na medyo di pino ang nangyayaring pag-address sa mga ito.

Me: Yun. Yun din naman ang magandang kontribusyon ng pamahalaang Duterte. Kahit pa ito ay mapatumba, kung sakali, mananatili na sa ating memorya ang reyalidad na inungkat ng Pangulo para ito’y makita ng ating matagal nang tulog na mga mata. Kaya if, kung sakali, biglang may mangyari at kakailanganing pumalit ni Leni Robredo sa trono, it would be interesting to see kung ano ang gagawin nito sa war on drugs, along with the war on other manifestations of elitism by the ruling class which Duterte brought out into the forefront of the conversation (never mind if his was still partisan and personal in reality instead of truly ideological).
    Afer all, for as long as we are managed by this ruling class, we are never going to be united, simply because the elements in this niche (the lumpenbourgeoisie) are working for themselves and their factions and not for the nation, thus necessarily dividing us who are easily duped into siding with the factions the way TV viewers have been duped into joining either a kapamilya or kapuso or kapatid kind of brand loyalism.

Hubert: Tama. Tumbok at tumpak.
    Duterte is a reaction to the historical inadequacy of our ruling class. Now, he may not have the right solution, but his reaction should bring about a coherent response from the citizenry. It is about time we disengage from being purely pro or against in our respective stance with regards to this leader, but sift through the destruction of sacred cows and old boxes to propose and act on the changes we want. That is why I for one do not complain but act.
    Extrajudicial killings, for instance, are a reaction to a corrupt judicial system, so in order to correct it I started to promote and train communities on the concept of community security to both address the drug problem and negate extrajudicial killings. Also, I do not cry over dead drug dealers but advocate engaging the PLEB to strengthen the cases against cops killing the innocent. One of my groups has adopted two community test sites and will start training other village security forces to adopt a framework that uses involving all community shareholders to address the problem in cooperation with traditional service providers. This is a highly technical program that is mission-driven to address the problem. We do not complain. We act on the ground.

Me: Right. So, mabalik tayo do’n sa tanong ko in relation to your other social enterprise that combines community security and permaculture training: again, what I'm interested in is how this can expand to inhabit national space and national culture. Like I said, and to repeat it here, the usual vehicle for expanding community-specific experiments into adoption by and for the national evolution is a political ideological framework, thus through empathies like those for social liberal structures, socialist structures, direct democracy or participatory democracy structures, even utopian anarchist structures, and so on.

Hubert: Mas maganda magtagpo, dahil—on the one hand—kadalasan yung political parties and their programs ay nauunsyame sa IRR. Puro theory, walang binti sa lupa. Most current social changes happen on the outlying, grassroots level; kaya nga lumabas yung community security framework, permaculture aid, at iba pa, dahil nauna yung grappling ng proof of concept, tapos napauso pa. Pati sa libro ni Maxwell Gladwell napatunayan na change comes in the form of a virus. The initial cell is important, mapa-Arab Spring man, Orange Movement man, o internet revolution. Proven na rin yun sa experience ko sa community work. Di mo kailangan i-convince ang lahat. Magsisimula ka lang with a small tribe, tapos kunin mo yung parehong group mo. Pano magpakilos ng isang toneladang kalabaw? Kunin mo yung ilong. :-) Anyway, lahat naman ng pagbabago nagsisimula sa maliit, hindi ito putok sa malaki.
    On the other hand naman, yung experience naman ng community security and permaculture aid ay bottom-up, eventually leading to a national level. Three-tier milestone. From one local proof of concept, the cell expands to the municipal/regional level, then national.
    Sa second tier, meron din kasing opening sa local government level. Polity at the bottom is allowed to create policy. Wala lang naggawa ng technical framework to do it. Yung direct democracy din kasi merong inherent weakness in that it is inefficient without an educated and informed electorate, it could lead to the destruction of national resources at an increased rate unless a universal framework is first established based on a national resource management goal, with a proviso that you lock the policy on a sustainable asset management framework for the greatest good of all.

Me: Well, I would like to see how direct democratic votation on initiatives may have a weakness leading to the kind of risks you mention, Hubert, considering that votes on initiatives usually go through six months to three years of debates among all sectors of society affected by the initiatives. An initiative therefore that allows a provincial government to sell public black sand and corals to foreign governments would be debated on by fishermen and their leaders, and I don't see how such an initiative can win among such a directly affected people. In contrast, a representative democracy legislature can easily pass such a bill without the people knowing anything about it.
    Tsaka it is a chicken and egg thing. The people can never be educated about issues unless you involve them in those issues. The alternative is to stick to status quo, where the few representatives of the people decide for the millions.
Hubert: I guess tama ka. Chicken and egg. Kailangan lang i-mechaniko. Let’s keep in touch as we start documenting our pilot program and share it on the Net.
    Pwede ka ba namin mainterview?
    Or guest host kaya sa show?

Me: May show kayo? :) Saan?

Hubert: Yes. Here's a glimpse of "Dagyaw" on YouTube. :)

Me: Baka naman makasira lang ako sa videos ninyo pag may masabi akong parang devil's advocate ang labas. :D

Hubert: Hindi naman. . . . Yung attitude namin accepts that. Asset-based thinking and De Bono's Six Thinking Hats accept that attitude and incorporate it. Maganda rin para ma-juxtapose sa pag-ba-Bagani na prinopromote naming [no relation to the “baganis” accused of killing Lumad chiefs in 2015]. It is important because you have to start with hard facts, then you turn the problem on its head to see the solution. We just pass it through the process, which is to 1) get the "Problem", 2) turn it into a "Situation", then 3) pass it into a gap analysis, milestones and measurable results. Ang dagdag lang namin dito sa lahat ng ito ay yung pag-apply ng ilang theraputic tools and use of normative culture and practice.
    After the introductory episodes, we set into the laboratory site and use gamification to land social targets, like I said. Yung paggamit naman ng mga science ng mass marketing and propaganda ay gagamitin din naman, as in using the tools used against us to redirect them for social change.
    Mas enjoy kasi sa amin ang operators at hands-on ang approach, e. :-) Pati yung problema masarap!

Me: Pero di mo pa ako nasasagot. How could this evolve into a political system that creates its own laws instead of just adapting into the existing system of laws that could in the end swallow it (you know, property laws, for instance, that would conflict with an attitude towards the commons).

Hubert: Hahahaha! Our goals are closer than you think!
    The difference is in the method, something we would rather show in the series than discuss, to create the correct brand and psychological magic that we intend to create. The key words are: the commons, place-based economics, community well-being, etc. Show and tell and approach.
    This includes, on my part as Security Consultant, taking the bull by the horn and signing a contract of service to former rebels, their communities, as well as indigenous peoples with ancestral domain. Sila ang kliyente ng mga consultants, yung marketing vehicle yung show.

    The resultant political system will follow from the organized network of stakeholders in the place-based economics.
    Ngayon pa lang, yung mga exclusive villages are de-facto states and are a polity themselves. I researched legally if I may treat client communities, informal and marginalized, as well as IP (indigenous peoples) communities as . . . if legal ba to serve them itong mga usual service providers. Sabi ng mga lawyers, NICA, and the Left, pwede raw. Wala pa lang nag-isip gawin yun.

Me: It's good that you mentioned the word legal. Kasi, from what I'm reading, everything you're talking about and describing looks good. That's well and good, for as long as we're aware that there are existing political setups that can intervene and contradict your progress. The movie Avatar is a good example. :) But, seriously and realistically, the laws of the land can creep in anytime and stop you.

Hubert: Yup. Pero ang advantage kasi natin as consultants, e galing tayo dun sa dating system na yan. ika nga, na naging enlightened Intelligentsia doing social enterprise. Galing ako sa isang military contractor kaya alam ko lahat ng ins and outs. Mga kasama naman natin, mga galing corporations; pero yung mga dati nilang methodologies e mamimitigate. In fact, when they see the rationale, ma-aaikido mo pa sila. Biro mo, low start-up, high production and increase in property value that benefit all? Using their language, ika nga, pero addressing social needs, empowering the masses as Clients, and not perpetuating a mendicant's mind. (Yes, hindi mendicants or mere recipients of aid, kasi, siyempre), as Client, kasama dun sa package para sa kanila ang education, training, certification, marketing, etc. All kinds of services that will create a place-based economy and professional citizenry.
    Ang dami ng sundalo at rebelde na sawa na sa gera, farming na ang gusto.
    Yung gamit ng “law of the land”, likewise, pwede rin natin gamitin. Tayo rin naman ay pwedeng gumamit ng lawyer at gumapang. Lahat ng skills ng corporations kaya natin, yung internal wealth distribution lang natin ang iba sa kanila.

Me: Ang primary concern ko ay yung property laws, especially those governing land titles. Pero okay yan kung sa ancestral domain na collective na kaagad ang ownership. Pero paano pag lumabas na roon at ibang kliyente na?

Hubert: Several models ang nakikita namin. Yung sa PPP ang pasok natin, to be recognized by DENR. Yung sa normal community naman ay kukunin natin sa "Community Development Plan" na nakapasok sa Development Plan na pinapasa ng isang developer. Meron na tayong partner diyan. Pag nakita ng mga may-ari ng nakatiwangwang na lupa, nung mga informal settlers, at maging ng mga developers na 1) tataas ang property value at the lowest possible cost, 2) meron silang tax break in terms of environmental incentives under the Environmental Act, 3) pwede pala sila immediately kumita with the informal settlers as Clients and Partners at the production base, e di gagawa ka na ng trend. Yung mga middle-income din makakabili ng Farm Lifestyle plots and/or partner with the community.
    So, Communal Corporation? Socialist Corporation? Kahit ano pa itawag mo, yung operation achieves the stated goals.

Me: Interested din ako dun sa variants ng internal wealth distribution.

Hubert: Merit-based, to address the weakness of Communism, with its own privatized health care, housing, education, etc., to address the weakness of the Capitalist System.

Me: Saan kayo nagsisimula, sa public lands or private?

Hubert: Private na merong informal settlers. Napapayag ko yung developer, yung association at yung mga informal settlers na mag-partner imbes na mag-away.
    Pagtakbo nung model, larga ako sa communities on the edges at sa mga IP. Kailangan ipakita na nagwowork. Percentage ng increase in value ang usapan. Yung mga gap sa framework from the baseline data, i-sinub-contract ko sa mga proven organizations, community development experts, at research and academic orgs, para merong template that will be scaleable. Education naman is community-based, para walang perang maipit sa buildings and stockholders—mas magmura sa mga magulang, experiential, and based sa work for the community and the environment, tapos may kita yung mga teacher at module developers.
    Ang kailangan kasi, e . . . engineering stage pa kasi tayo. Yung general principles ay gagawing policy na pasok sa agreed vision, pero without proof of concept and an entrepreneurial spirit, hanggang vision lang yan. Ika nga, Pinoy tayo e. Kung sa kanila hindi pwede pagsamahin ang Socialism and Capitalism, sa atin pwede. Ism lang naman yan e.

Me: Ang old -isms naman ay nag-eevolve. Ang communism ng China ay ibang-iba na ang mukha ngayon, just as the American Dream is in need of a reengineering to keep it from turning into a nightmare.

Hubert: Good. Now, we can look at what is good about both experiences and come up with our own, based on our own ground conditions. That is pure lateral thinking!
    Ang point kasi nito, parang tubig ang kilos natin. Dun tayo sa merong objective conditions to succeed. Pag umabot sa point na uso na, e di labanan sa market of ideas; pero at least meron nang produktong madaling bilhin, which is yung samahan. Yung economic engine at yung political party iisa.
    Meron pang sweat equity na pang-bayad ng community shares, so ang labas ng tao hindi mendicant. Binayaran niya yung services ng training, certification, benefits. Hinde siya lalabas na kawawang tupa.

Me: One additional question, pre. How do you avoid conflicts between your chosen community leaders and the barangay leaders as well as between your community security force and the barangay tanod? Or is the barangay always involved in the organization of the community security forces? Tsaka what's your concept of community security outside of besieged client communities---is it to build rapport between the police/tanod and the community, thus lessening police abuse, as with the OSCE’s Community Security Initiative in Kyrgysztan?

Hubert: Excellent question.
    The first priority is to establish rapport and gather information about who the community leaders are, to include the informal leaders, NGO heads, and/or, in some instances, the gated community Association Board members, etc. Of course it is easier to work with a gated community or with a subdivision Association, because they already are an organized polity given recognition by the HULRB/Magna Carta for Homeowners' Associations.
    Following the prescribed formula of Saferworld, the community development approach, and from practical experience, the survey proper and needs analysis come first. This part includes interviewing members of the community and stakeholder representatives what "insecurities" they have. Now, the common opening is usually on addressing common pains such as disaster preparation, water, sanitation or even crime issues.
    The dialogue then leads to a workshop to empower these communities. I have yet to come across a community or barangay that did not appreciate and accept the initial workshop, as it constitutes free technology for them to effectively address issues. Usually, bringing a third party technical expert is enough to open the door. The approach is critical in that one has to establish what the relationship is and what it is not. This is also critical in that it is the first reframe.
    Back in Barbaza, Antique, after the Yolanda disaster hit the municipality, I assisted a permaculture aid specialist team that did not bring any relief supply. In fact, the mayor told us the first time he met us to "Please do not give any more relief goods to my constituents as they are becoming like mendicant rats," to which we replied, "Good, we did not come here to give relief goods, but to give knowledge." So we immediately went to Sitio Cadiao and had a dialogue with the Kapitan and the Elders. This was Day 1. After assessing from them their situation, we made a deal to stay and help them if they would meet us as a community early in the morning to do "dagyaw," which is Visayan for bayanihan. In the beginning the men hemmed and hawed, saying they had to work on their respective houses; but Steve Cran, the head of the team, convinced them by asking them how much work they can accomplish as individuals in one day. We then asked them to try us out for one day. By day two, within only 4 hours of work, we were able to clean the mountainside of debris, sort and segregate usable materials, teach them permaculture principles, and, more importantly, taught them with their participation how to plan and execute a structured and prioritized plan of action in an achievable timeframe. We were able to organize them according to their skill sets and turned what was once a feeling of hopelessness into an excited and focused energy that started them on to address their situation. By day 3, two more sitios asked for our help. By the end of the 5th day, we had a project going with the barangay and the school in the area. So, the above example leads us to three crucial principles, 1) the community knows what it needs, 2) the assets are already in place, and, more importantly, 3) the approach: authority by demonstration. This goes both ways, in gaining trust, and then in pinpointing your Pareto principle concerning people on the ground. The immediate hands-on work will bring these out.
    Going further on this, the important initial group to work with is your basic community, along with the Association head if it is a gated community, the Kapitan if it is a sitio, or the Barangay Captain if it is a barangay without a gated community. Get the basic unit of community first. From there, once an agreement is made and signed after a workshop, strengthen this basic unit by experiential education, meaning to say help them by giving them best practices, a workshop, and consultation on what their vision for the community is, how it is related to policy, how policy is related to rules and regulations, and how plans are related to the whole. Basic knowledge on how to conduct a meeting, how to document a meeting and a project, how to form committees, etc. are given.
    Now, here is an important point: walang libre. I learned this from Steve Cran who has proven, as one who has worked on UN-sponsored programs in conflict zones, that it’s better to work with the basic unit of a community as partners, or, better, as clients. Kahit seedlings or sweat equity for workshops ang pambayad, dapat meron silang bayad—because you want to cultivate a mindset of both ownership and non-mendicancy. They take the meetings seriously because they "paid" for it.
    Now, this process, one that organizes them according to their skills set (from a capacity inventory survey), immediately seeing them turn out a group who has the skills and a group that has the planning capability, etc., both working for the low hanging fruit that will give the maximum impact, creates the community esprit de corps, so to speak. You make them aware that, 90% of the time, most communities will argue about the 10% of the things they do not agree on. So the trick is to immediately make them realize that it is better to work for the 100% immediately, on the things they agree on, whatever the percentage, and to empower them further by documentation and recognition of accomplishments as a community and as individuals qua community champions. After the basic community is thus empowered, then and only then do we teach them how to liaison with the next tier of the wider community and what is called the "Traditional Security Providers," the barangay government and the PNP.


Hubert: Now, as for your other last question, . . . the community, agreeing to adopt a community security policy, is thus empowered legally, as by law any community may do this provided they do proper coordination in matters of apprehension, crime reporting, etc. Also, a community may also want to enter into a valid contract with a third-party service provider to be thus empowered, especially if the service provider and community know the law relating to this.
    To tell you a story, nung executive director ako sa FORA SECNET, I handled the security problems that ordinary security agencies could not handle for 40 exclusive villages. Dahil naka-lock kami sa valid policy, rules, regulations and contract, hindi basta makapasok ang PNP, dahil empowered by awareness yung mga communities and backed up by documentation process. Yung mga Security Commanders, Security Committeee Chairmen, maski ako, parang mga hepe inside the community. Hinde basta makapasok yung PNP! But because we pro-actively worked with the PNP, we were able to select and work with the police personnel assigned to our area and they became part of the community and looked after the community’s interest. They became friends with the community and dared not do anything to destroy their good name, and the community took care of them.
    When I realized that the principle may apply to the communities of the less fortunate, I asked around first if the principle applies, and I found out that it does but has not been fully explored. That moment of realization was when I set out developing the technical skills to do it, providing this kind of service to the communities of the masses. There is a provision in the Magna Carta for Communities to federate. And once I get a number of gated communities to adopt communities peripheral to their area, to include informal settlers, then we may expand to gated farming communities. Our ultimate goal? IP communities.
    Now, conversely, the setup also aids the PNP and the barangay government. We "help" the PNP and the barangay government by making them do their job efficiently and effectively with the community, by reminding them that the Community ultimately is the Client. We give them recognition of accomplishment, and address their problems, professionally or personally, as part of the Community, which they are also a part of, after all. This acts like a magnet on iron filings!
    So, you see, positive conditioning is the key! [S /-I]


  1. Nicasio Perez Lim AquinoOctober 25, 2016 at 1:09 PM

    Nakadalawang tasa naman ako ng kape dito sa blog mo Ka Jojo he he he he. Gusto ko iyan, Pareto principle at lateral thinking.... Maganda itong konsepto ng "dagyaw." Ginamit namin ito noong bata pa ako at bago mag martial law sa aming komunidad laban sa mga cattle rustlers, at naging matagumpay naman at kahit papaano ay nabawasan ng marami ang mga magnanakaw ng kalabaw sa aming bayan. Pero ang "cattle rustling" kasi tulad ng drug pushing ay may economic basis. Kailangan tuloy-tuloy ang pag sasakatuparan ng modelong gumapi sa mga ito. Pagkatapos ng ilang panahon ay muling nagkaroon ng mga nakawan ng kalabaw sa aming bayan dahil na rin sa kahirapan ng buhay ng mga tao, syempre marami din ang tamad. Sa konseptong ito, yung permaculture ay malaking bagay upang masolusyunan ang pang ekonomikong aspeto ng pamumuhay ng mga tao.Mas maganda na ito ay naipasa mo rito sa social media at mapag-aralan ng mga tao through crowd sourcing....

    Ito palang "dagyaw" ayon sa aking pagkakaintindi ay ibabanga mo sa LGU at barangay law at sa konsepto ng kapitalismo sa ating bansa. Siguro mas maganda kung ito ay ma-institutionalize at maging batas. Habang ginagawa yung mga model community using bottoms up system ay puede sigurong mapag aralan ito ng ating mga mambabatas tulad halimbawa ni senator Bam Aquino.

    Maganda ang konsepto ng permaculture ni ginoong Hubert Posadas, mga ilang dekada na ang nakaraan, meron akong nabasa na librong akda ni former senator Kit Tatad, at sabi nia, kung lahat lang ng mga bakanteng lupa dito sa Pilipinas ay matatamnan ng mga gulay, punong kahoy at iba pang pananim, tayo ay magiging self-sufficient sa mga gulay at prutas na ating inaangkat pa sa ibang bansa at iba pang lugar. Tama siya. Pag-aralan nating mabuti ito at icrowdsource natin.

  2. Salamat sa dagdag data Nicasio Perez Lim Aquino. Huli mo. Sobrang paghanap lang ng paraan i-explain sa western mind natin yung programang likas naman talaga sa atin. t least yan ang "Theory of Change" na tiataya namin ang propesyon at buhay namin.