Br. Gabriel Connon Remembered in SDRC 26th Year Anniversary Forum

br. gabriel connon fscThe Social Development Research Center of the College of Liberal Arts paid homage to the late DLSU administrator Br. Gabriel H. Connon FSC on the occasion of its 26th anniversary in a forum entitled "People in Collectivities: A Vehicle for Social Transformation" at the Yuchengco Seminar Room on March 18. Quoting Br. Andrew Gonzalez FSC, SDRC Director Exaltacion Lamberte cited Br. Connon as "a major force in the development of De La Salle University; it was during his administration that the directions of the university were firmly established, as De La Salle transformed itself from a College to a University in 1975." In thanking Br. Connon for his contributions to research, Dr. Lamberte acknowledged that "he was the first administrato r to introduce research and service in addition to the focus on formation of competent professionals and leaders as major functions of the university. Br. Connon emphasized that education should not only be a key to the doors of employment and material gain, but rather to the door of unlimited service."

Starting 2005, SDRC celebrates its Annual Anniversary during the month of March, in honor of Br. Connon.

The forum was highlighted by the professorial chair lectures of Dr. Francisco Magno, holder of the Congressman Fausto Gonzalez Y. Sioco Distinguished Professorial Chair in Local Government Studies, on "Participatory Local Governance and the Protection of Vulnerable Sectors", (pdf/150kb) and of Dr. Ma. Elena Chiong-Javier, holder of the Chair of Community Development, on "The Role of Philippine Secondary Local Organizations in Negotiating Land Rights and Natural Resource Management" (pdf/164kb).

The lecture of Dr. Magno, Executive Director of the La Salle Institute of Governance (LSIG) and himself a former SDRC Director, was divided into two parts. The first part was a presentation of the key findings of a research project that evaluates the impact of the Barangay Training and Management (BATMAN) program on the quality of participatory governance and community development in selected project sites. It described current efforts to challenge old politics through capacity building efforts in participatory governance, principally through the participatory resource appraisal - barangay development planning (PRA-BDP) model, highlighting the positive outcomes emerging from the application of participatory barangay governance. The second part of the lecture explored how local governance mechanisms are being developed to enable the participation and development of vulnerable se ctors, especially women. In this regard, the case of the Bantay-Banay program, an initiative that links barangay services with city and municipal programs that protect women against domestic abuse, was presented.

Dr. Magno's discussant was Atty. Romeo C. Plata, senior Industrial Relations Development Officer of the National Housing Authority Human Resource Management Department, and Chief of the Administrative and Legal Office of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines.

Dr. Javier, meanwhile, expounded on her study on secondary organizations, which had the objectives of understanding the rationale and processes of primary local organizations involved in upland natural resource management (NRM) that developed into secondary organizations; identifying conditions and mechanisms under which primary and secondary organizations influence the formulation and implementation of NRM policies, rights and regulations in different policy environments; identifying conditions and methods that will enable or facilitate members of secondary organizations' implementation of better NRM practices; and assisting secondary organizations to identify their own strengths, weaknesses and opportunities to influence NRM policy and provide member services more effectively.

The forum was attended by representatives from the House of Representatives-Committee on Peoples' Participation, and Committee on Higher and Technical Education; the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Planning and Policy Service, and Research and Statistics Division; the Department of Labor and Employment; St. Scholastica's College Political Science Department; San Sebastian College, Manila; the University of Santo Tomas Social Research Center; the University of the Philippines at Los Baños College of Forestry; the University of Makati; Kilos Kababaihan; the Roxas-Gargollo Foundation, Inc; Barangay 754 Zone 81 of Singalong; the Social Action centers of DLSU and the College of St. Benilde; and DLSU graduate and undergraduate students.