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RNIP Trust Fund Projects of CSOs Report

RNIP approved the support from the RNIP Trust Fund nine project proposals from partner CSOs. The first three recipients recently filed their mid-term reports as required. What follows is a synopsis of each report.

1. Ancestral Land Development through Vegetable Production (implemented by Philippine Association for Intercultural Development-Davao  (PAFID-Davao)

Through regular farm visits, PAFID assessed farmer-cooperators that were given support. The community decided that they should be engaged by batches and that the support be in the form of loans. The good yield of the first harvests encouraged more community-members to engage in vegetable production utilizing idle lands. 

The second batch acted as the monitoring team of the first batch. This arrangement makes them do better and be able to contribute funds to the organization to be "borrowed" by the second batch, by March 2006.  With the second batch starting in March, the process will continue as a cycle until all the interested members of the community are into vegetable production. They expect that after the support of the RNIP has lapsed each recipient shall be into vegetable production. The result of the first batch is very encouraging as farmer-cooperators have started to contribute to the tribal organization in preparation for the second batch.
The responsibility for the management and supervision of the project is shared with the local women's organization. They say that this resulted to better monitoring and administration.  The women understood deeply the necessity of bringing food to the table and worked hard to make the economic enterprise successful.

The support provided by the RNIP also provided a new vista of opportunities for the community with additional assistance cascading from the UNDP-SGP/RNE, Senator Pimentel and CongressmanNereus Acosta. In November 2005, Representative Acosta, UP Professor Prospero de Vera - a staff of Senator Nene Pimentel - and two farmers from Malabing Valley Multi-Purpose Cooperative (MVMPC) of Nueva Vizcaya visited the area to see for themselves the initiatives of the Talaandigs on ancestral domain development, vegetable production, reforestation and the potential of the community's engagement in citrus planting. The MVMPC representatives, producers of the famous Malabing oranges, vouched for the big potential of the area as a citrus producer as the climate and soil characteristics are similar to that of Malabing.

Only the irrigation system is left to be completed.  This will become operational in March 2006.  Since the PTA adopted the repayment strategy, the number of cooperators will increase threefold.   The second batch started March while the third batch will have their turn in August 2006.  This translates to a bigger number of residents sustaining their vegetable production activities.

2. Indigenous Peoples Welfare and Forest Resource Management Project (implemented by the CagayanValley Partners for People Development, CAVAPPED)

Project briefing and orientation were given to loca;l government officials in the towns of Gonzaga particularly in Baggang, Masacsac, Airdowen and Mammit. They gave their commitment to support the project of the Agta community. Meetings were facilitated with the core group of Igorots and Agta in Bagsang and agreements for the conduct of successive activities were drawn.
 Leadership building and reorganization was conducted for the Bagsang group. Other activities were: Temporary reelection of chieftain for the Agta group; organizational building training conducted for Bagsang and Masacsac groups; Situation analysis of the tribes and core group meeting once a month.

Nurseries were constructed and seedbeds were prepared; one nursery each for Bagsang and Masacsac, one for the Agta, one for the Igorot (communal nursery). In Aridowen and Mammit clearing and cleaning of an uma farm was made. Also seeds and seed propagation.
Sites for the establishment of agro forestry were identified and the project distributed at least 10 different seedling species and root crops. Also, farm implements like harrow, bolo, axe, carborandum (whetstone) and plow for Bagsang and Masacsac group were distributed. More than thirty people attended the tree planting from different core groups of Masacsac and Bagsang. Planning and coordination for the conduct of training on the use of organic fertilizer was done. The water spring development project in Bagsang was completed and two (2) water systems for irrigation and domestic use were also finished.

3. Elaborating Santaban Community Village Plan for Livelihood Improvement and Possible Assistance and Future Recognition of Sambas District Government (implemented by Yayasan Madanika)

Through initial project discussions held in September 2005, the following situations were established:

(1) An oil palm plantation company is approaching the area as indicated by some people in neighboring villages selling lands and others planting boundary markers which are signs of land encroachment.
(2)
The villagers felt threatened with the incoming oil palm plantation with most of them not wanting their rubber gardens to be converted to oil palm plantations. Some of them were also aware of ecological and social consequences of converting gardens and forests to oil palm plantations.

The villages were worried of land claims. They decided:

(a)
to conduct GPS surveys on the boundaries, renew the boundary map and discuss the boundary matters with neighboring village heads (of Sagu and SijangVillages);
(b) plant landmarks on the boundary. Landmark planting should be strengthened with ritual and ceremony and should be witnessed by three village heads and the Camat (sub-district head) since the village boundaries are also subdistrict boundaries.

In an October meeting with the villagers it was:

(1) agreed to put details on GPS survey job over the boundary into their agenda
(2)
agreed that the newly elected LPM (Lembaga Pemberdayaan Masyarakat - People Empowerment Institution) chairman to do function of approaching those in a political party top structures (because he is himself belongs to a political party) and top decision makers of district (Kabupaten) government to access funds or development aids;
(3) One of the village priority for agricultural development was building canals; any aid that the LPM seeks is to be used to build the canal since it basic for agricultural activities.

By December, GPS points survey on the boundaries were identified. The village head coordinated some of his staff to help prepare the canal excavation since the excavator was ready. In another meeting, the villagers discussed and decided the following:

(1) Because almost all the land parcels planned as rubber garden expansion in 2004 are already planted with rubber trees, villagers planned to add another 171.7 ha as addition to the 2004 rubber garden expansion.
(2) Since the agricultural canal was already operational since January 2006, and it is enough to stabilize water table of a quite large area of rice field, the villagers planned to add 61.9 hectares of land as rice field expansion.
(3) With the main road connecting the town of Sambas and the border town that crossed Sajingan Besar sub-district already functional, it was time for Santaban to have their own market. The village allocated a land of 53.7 ha for this village market.
(4) To anticipate population growth and to keep up with the use of the main road, the village allocated 80.9 ha of land for future settlement expansion.


 

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