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PCUP and CCM Representative Attended the 5th ISEAN-HIVOS Program Regional Consultations with Regional CCMs in Bali, Indonesia          

Mr. Roderick V. Quibranza, PCUP Coordinator of the Special Concerns Unit from the Office of the Chairman, acted as the Philippines’ Country Coordinating Mechanisms (CCMs) representative to the 5th Regional Consultations Meeting in Sept. 9-10, 2016 in Bali, Indonesia.  This meeting is envisioned to provide a venue to update key partners from the countries where the Program is implemented on the status of the project, including its achievements and challenges and allow for consultations with the representatives from various CCMs on concerns related to local program implementation.

“As the ISEAN-Hivos Program (IHP) is going to close Phase II and enter into the extension period, the Insular Southeast Asian Network on MSM, TG and HIV (ISEAN), in partnership with Humanist Institute for Cooperation with Developing Countries (Hivos), the Principal Recipient of the grant invited representatives from the Country Coordinating Mechanisms (CCMs), Regional Partners and Secondary Recipients (SR) representatives to the said meeting.

The ISEAN-Hivos Program (IHP) is a five-year multi-country community system strengthening on HIV-AIDS funded by the Global Fund for AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM) Round 10.  It is implemented by the Insular Southeast Asian Network on MSM, TG and HIV (ISEAN) with the Humanist Institute for Cooperation with Developing Countries (Hivos) as Principal Recipient (PR).  The main goal of the program is to reduce the risks, vulnerability and impact of HIV and AIDS on the MSM and the Transgender Community in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Timor-Leste.

The National CCMs plays a key role in coordinating Global Fund supported responses to HIV at the national level.  They serve as important stakeholders and partners in the implementation of this ISEAN-Hivos Multi-Country global Fund Program on HIV among MSMs and Transgender Persons.  CCMs are in a unique position to identify and resolve local obstacles to effective HIV service delivery towards MSMs and Transgender Persons.  They can identify policy and program synergies between national and regional activities.  CCM representatives may also help in ensuring that data, reporting and learning from the IHP’s implementation are integrated into the national responses.”*

The Consultation was attended by ISEAN-HIVOS member Community Based Organizations (CBOs) from Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and Timor Leste as well as representatives of the Country Coordinating Mechanism of the four (4) aforementioned countries.

Timor Leste, which gained its independence from Indonesia only on 2002 has made a major stride in their response to their AIDS/HIV program having organized its Transgender community to the point that during the scheduled Consultation, Timor Leste held its Transgender National Forum.  This despite being a Catholic country.  Of the four (4) country under Global Fund grant, Malaysia is the only country that applied for AIDS grant while the rest including the Philippines are beneficiaries of all the three (3) diseases.

*Rationale. Invitation to the 5th IHP Regional Consultations with National CCMs

ISEAN-Hivos has focused its programs on Community Systems Strengthening (CSS) which gives emphasis on the Community Based Organizations (CBOs) development.  Among the activities undertaken were Transgender specific interventions, organizational development that is flexible to the specific needs of each organizations, fund sourcing and inter-regional exchanges of fellows (members of ISEAN-Hivos organizations) to observe and learn other countries successes and barriers. 

The Philippine NGO Committee (PNGOC), Secondary Recipient of ISEAN-Hivos Program (IHP) in the Philippines suggested, strongly, that it should sit as member in the Philippine Country Coordinating Mechanism (PCCM) and even urged the 2 representatives to endorse them to the PCCM.  This was an old story that has been decided upon by the PCCM en-banc.  As Mr. Raymond Chua, CCM Malaysia has stated, the CCMs acting for the Global Fund for AIDS, TB and Malaria oversee the implementation of the Global Fund approved program, as embodied in the PR proposal, of the Primary Recipient, in this case, the SAVE THE CHILDREN.  It is mainly concerned with Hospital Systems Strengthening (HSS) which focuses more on supply and management while IHP is more of CSS or grassroots development of Community Based Organizations.  This was explained by Mr. Quibranza, of the PCCM, further adding that the most viable option would be to create a working relationship with Save the Children as well as the National Program for AIDS chaired by Dr. Belimac of the DOH for the purpose of updating and possibly support the implementation of some of the successful activities of the IHP.  Another option that the PCCM floated would be membership in the PCCM Key Affected Population (KAP) Committee.     

The four (4) country covered by the IHP has also organized support groups for Transgenders in their regions.  Malaysia has an active organization that provides treatment, counselling and support services for Transgender AIDS patients.  The Ministry of Health is providing active support also to this organizations.  Indonesia has had its successes as well in organizing and providing trainings for its Transgender organizations.  Timor Leste, a newly independent nation and considered poor has taken a big leap when the Catholic Church, which used to be against the Transgender issue and AIDS, has taken an active role and support to the IHP and AIDS program.  The Philippines has always had a vibrant LGBT (Lesbians, Gays, Bi-Sexual and Transgenders) community.  Organized because of the dangers of AIDS, the Transgender community has been in the forefront in organizing activities related to AIDS. Quezon City could be said to be the most friendly of Cities, having enacted Laws for Gender Rights and providing Treatment Centers for AIDS victims. 

The IHP 2nd Phase grant will be ending.  They have been granted an extension grant for one (1) $2.25 Million with hopefully a new grant extended upon expiration of the extension grant.  

(Mr. RODERICK V. QUIBRANZA, OC, 23 September 2016
Philippine Country Coordinating Mechanism)