At present, there are big gaps between the government and nongovernment sectors that inhibit better governance and advocacy. The two sectors do not see eye to eye; one accuses the other of misdeeds.
Bert Guevara, country coordinator of Earth Day Network Philippines Inc. (EDNPI), says there is now an ongoing paradigm shift in green advocacy. Realizing the counterproductive environment of war, Guevara says: “There is a better way.” EDNPI leads a host of nongovernment organizations shifting from war to cooperation, and achieving a more productive alliance between the government and nongovernment sectors in plans and projects.
As advocated by the late EDNPI founder Odette Alcantara, there are four key sectors for collaboration—Church/faith, business, government, and civil society, all serving the common tao. “The old way is mostly kanya-kanya (to each his own). They don’t even talk to each other. They regard each other with suspicion. Kalimutan muna yung tirahan (Forget criticisms for now). EDNPI’s mission is to fill the vacuum,” Guevara says.
Odette Alcantara pioneered the paradigm shift in EDNPI reforestation efforts by establishing cooperation with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, a former “archenemy” which provided the seeds, local government units which became “co-advocates,” harnessing free labor from communities and schools, and the military, which provided logistics such as transport vehicles, and even aircraft for aerial seeding. The power of cooperation meant a massive successful reforestation effort. The end result: more goals achieved by all four sectors.