Balay Dabaw Sur, Inc. [BDSI] is non-stock, non-profit corporation duly registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission. As a developmental non-government organization [NGO], it serves the municipalities of Hagonoy, Kiblawan and Matanao, a development triangle also known as the HAKIMATA area.
BDSI traces its beginnings to Balay Mindanaw Foundation, Inc. [BMFI]’s Davao del Sur provincial operations. Three adjacent Agrarian Reform Communities spanning five barangays [villages] in HAGKIMATA area were first identified in 1997 as project site for Sustainable Integrated Area Development [SIAD] program. The SIAD program was a partnership of BMFI and the Philippine Development Assistance Program [PDAP] with the ultimate goal of helping reduce poverty through the increased participation of the rural poor in sustainable agriculture and sustainable enterprises. Five more barangays [villages] were included in 1999 to expand the delivery of services.
Two SIAD plans were developed: Integrated Area Development Plan was developed by the beneficiaries of the governments Agrarian Reform Program for the development of the 3 Agrarian Reform Communities, and Barangay Development Plans [BDP] crafted by the Barangay Development Councils for the 10 barangays [villages].
Vision, Mission and Goals
VISION – For equity, development and peace, we envision a self-reliant, gender sensitive and empowered communities and people’s organizations nurturing economically and environmentally sustainable agro-ecological and agro-industrial systems in the rural areas.
MISSION – A pro-active learning organization committed to develop critical consciousness among the tri-people of Davao del Sur, building and strengthening of POs, enhancing their understanding of their situation, and determination of their development options, promoting sustainable agriculture principles and practices, and assisting them in mobilizing and managing internal and external resources in the pursuit of self-initiated goals and objectives towards empowerment, gender sensitivity, poverty alleviation, democratic participation in governance, integrated and sustainable production and livelihood systems in the face of globalization.
GOALS – Improved quality of life among the tri-people in Davao del Sur through community organizing, sustainable agriculture, enterprise development and enhancing democratic participation in governance.
Issues BDSI is Working On
BDSI addresses the issue of rural peoples’ poverty, powerlessness, lack of access to resources and basic services, low farm productivity and low household income.
Strategies and Programs
BDSI employs the following strategies in order to help build empowered sustainable communities, ensure food security, equity, development and peace:
- Community Organizing and Organizational Development
- Sustainable Agriculture and Enterprise Development
- Democratic Participation in Governance
- Networking and advocacy
Provincial Situation and Recent Trend in Davao del Sur
The province of Davao del Sur is home to the population of 686,093 in 118,103 families/households. Fifty four percent (54%) are farming families cultivating 56% of the total land area of 393,401 hectares. Rice, corn, fruits, vegetables and export crops such as banana, sugar, mango, coffee and cacao grow in abundance. While the province abounds with food crops and plantation or commercial crops the people wallows hunger and poverty. Small land owners are plagued by lack of access to credit, high cost of production, low farm productivity and income. Landlessness continues to haunt households which barely survive on meagre income as farm hands and plantation workers. Basic social services are less accessible especially to the rural population.
The situation is aggravated by wanton disregard of the environment and the chemical-based farming practices promoted by green revolution that penetrated even the remotest of the rural villages of the province. The province suffers from natural calamities such as flooding, long dry spell or the El Nino. Man-made calamities and social problems come in the form of bush fires, fish kills, drugs and peace and order.
Despite the government’s effort at implementing the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law, thousands of hectares in banana, mango, coconut and sugar plantations remain unaffected.
A very recent trend observed in the province is the “land reconcentration”. This is a case where lands distributed to the farmers or the agrarian reform beneficiaries through the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program [CARP] fall into the hands of big plantation owners and multi-national corporations through leasehold or lease-back agreement. They are now the new type of landlords – the Agro-Industrial Landlords (AIL).