ZEP2030 Bohol Convergence

Inspiration and power can spark out of the tiniest wick. With only less than a decade towards its vision, ZEP2030 continuously expands and builds bridges with allies and partners across the country. The inception of the Bohol Local Convergence arose from this.

The Philippine Partnership for Development of Human Resources in Rural Areas (PhilDHRRA), lead organization of the ZEP2030 Agriculture and Fisheries cluster, spearheaded the effort to bring the ZEP2030 Movement to Bohol, one of its identified target areas. PhilDHRRA tapped into its network of partner government agencies, peoples organizations, and non-government organizations, among them the Bohol Integrated Development Foundation, Inc. (BIDEF).

In October 2019, ZEP2030 was introduced in Bohol in collaboration with BIDEF and the Provincial Government. Facilitated by PhilDHRRA, local CSOs were invited to participate in the first Bohol Convergence meeting. All of those who attended were receptive to the movement. The participants began mapping their programs and areas of operation, and initially identified Dagohoy, Tagbilaran, and Corella as pilot areas for the ZEP2030 PPI survey and the FCV workshop.

BIDEF, which focuses on facilitating capacity building for local communities to drive self-sustainable development, agreed to take on the local convenor role in the province. This was a strategic decision, given the organization’s well-established connections with other local organizations and government institutions that could help leverage ZEP2030 in Bohol.

Unfortunately, as experienced by the other ZEP2030 local convergences, one of the biggest impediments to the Bohol Convergence’s progress was the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Because of the government-mandated community lockdowns, and like many other organizations, members of the Bohol Convergence needed to prioritize the implementation of individual programs that could immediately assist families heavily affected by the lockdown. This essentially meant postponing the initial plans of integrating and consolidating ZEP2030 initiatives, including the conduct of the PPI survey and the FCV workshop.

Two years after the first convergence meeting, what’s next for the Bohol Convergence? BIDEF hopes to reactivate the convergence despite the prolonged pause in their collective effort.

BIDEF was eager to participate in the COVID Pulse PH Survey. The chatbot-based survey helped to assess the impacts of the pandemic on local households as well as to determine their aspirations for recovery. Armed with the survey results, BIDEF aims to strengthen its partnership not only with civil society actors but also with the local government units and the local chief executives, particularly in policy-making and programming. Additionally, in 2022, BIDEF hopes to push through with the conduct of the PPI survey, beginning with the areas covered by the COVID Pulse PH Survey.