Stakeholder Engagement and Management Plan (SEMP) of the Philippine Reclamation Authority
The absence of an institutionalized approach to stakeholder engagement has affected public perception of the PRA and its mandate, creating and propagating a widespread but mistaken belief that PRA exists primarily for profit and is not concerned about the impact of its projects to the environment, the affected communities and some sectors of the society (e.g. fisher folk and urban/rural poor). To a large extent, this was triggered by the negative publicity generated by the PEA-Amari controversy, the highly critical statements of certain political personalities and civil society organizations and certain groups that identify themselves as cause oriented but whose main agenda is in reality to block, oppose and publicly campaign against any reclamation project, regardless of its merits. A major contributor, however, to this negative public perception is the absence of a system for engaging, consulting and informing the PRAs stakeholders.
It is for this reason that this Stakeholder Engagement and Management Plan (SEMP) was developed. It is envisioned that the SEMP will enable the PRA to determine stakeholders’ concerns, issues and feedback and integrate them into PRA’s decision-making process – i.e. all throughout the project identification, implementation and post-reclamation stages. In addition, the adoption of this SEMP is in line with PRA's commitment under the Performance Agreement that it entered into with the Governance Commission for GOCCs (GCG). Part of said commitment is to integrate stakeholders’ concerns regarding reclamation projects, with the corresponding performance indicator and institutional mechanism to determine said concern.
In the implementation of the SEMP, the PRA will be guided by the principles of commitment, integrity, respect, transparency, inclusiveness and trust.
PRA SEMP Guiding Principles
- Commitment is demonstrated when the need to understand, engage and identify the community is recognized and acted upon early in the process.
- Integrity occurs when engagement is conducted in a manner that fosters mutual respect and trust;
- Respect is created when the rights, cultural beliefs, values and interests of stakeholders and neighboring communities are recognized;
- Transparency is demonstrated when community concerns are responded to in a timely, open and effective manner;
- Inclusiveness is achieved when broad participation is encouraged and supported by appropriate participation opportunities; and
- Trust is achieved through open and meaningful dialogue that respects and upholds a community’s beliefs, values and opinions.
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