By the Barangay Development Council of Lawaan, Gingoog City
This paper was presented during the 1st Mindanao CAPP-SIAD Partners and Implementors’ Conference, 16-17 January 2002, Cagayan de Oro City. Barangay Lawaan is one of the focus areas of BMFI in Gingoog City since 2000.
Barangay Lawaan is one of the fifty (50) rural farming barangays in the City of Gingoog. It is sixteen kilometers away from the city and is accessible by any type of land transportation. The barangay has five sitios or puroks and has a total household number of 197 with a population of 1,004.
The barangay has an estimated land area of eight hundred hectares. The overall topography can be described as flat to rolling and most areas are steep. Presently, the barangay has around 38% or 302 has. of land considered “released” and privately owned by residents. About 62% or 500 has. are still classified as forest land.
Farming is the number one source of livelihood in the barangay. Main crops include coconut, corn, rice, tiger grass, coffee and banana, which provide income for the majority. However, while 100% of the population are into farming, about 22% have other sources of income other than farming.
II. BMFI’s Intervention
It was in the 3rd quarter of 1999 when BMFI extended its mission of helping build empowered sustainable communities to other upland barangays of Gingoog City. As an entry point, the idea of the democratic formulation of Barangay Development Plan through Participatory Rural Appraisal- PRA was introduced and explained to the various barangay and local leaders. Among the 11 upland barangays identified and selected, Barangay Lawaan was one of barangays that expressed their interest and willingness to embark on a partnership with BMFI.
The first formal activity of the partnership was conducted last November 10-12, 1999 – the Local Governance Seminar (LGS). Barangay officials and sectoral leaders actively participated. Among the salient topics discussed were the political and legal system, Sustainable Integrated Area Development program, the power and functions of the barangay and the important provisions and principles in the Local Government Code. After the LGS, the barangay spent nine (9) days to formulate the Barangay Development Plan. For the first time, Barangay Lawaan was able to collectively draw up their comprehensive barangay profile, their clearly stated vision, mission, goals, and their 5 year development plan through consultative and democratic processes. With these outputs, prioritization of projects that will be included in their annual operation and investment plans became more focused, need-based and relevant.
a. Organizational Development
Community organizing towards greater and effective community participation was the first concern of the BMFI-SIADOs (sustainable integrated area development organizers, or BMFI’s version of COs). It is based on the belief that capable and cohesive civil society organizations (particularly the cooperatives and peoples’ organizations) in barangay would help ensure that the BDCs become real and effective venues for democratic participation in barangay governance. Thus, PO strengthening and cooperative development were considered as very critical key result areas.
BMFI’s community organizing evolved within the context of the Barangay Development Council, where community representation takes place. The BDC was another focus of organizational development interventions since it is the key body tasked to plan, implement, monitor and evaluate projects. The BDC should be functional and should guarantee the broad participation of the basic sectors particularly in planning, decision-making, monitoring and evaluation of the programs and other aspects of the community. Various capability building activities and training were conducted to help the BDC carry out its programs and strategies.
Cooperative Development was given attention as one of the priority endeavors of the economic sector of BDC in order to consolidate and unite all sectors in one vision, mission, goals and plan in uplifting the economic condition of the constituents. It is also envisioned that the cooperative would serve to fuel and accelerate the undertakings of the barangay particularly in agri-livelihood project. Cooperative as partner in development is considered as vehicle in resource mobilization and generation and training ground for more effective future leaders in the barangay.
Existing People’s Organizations such as women, CARP-ARBs and CBFM associations are still part of the continuing strengthening process of the program so that they can perform their roles in barangay development particularly in addressing specific sectoral issues such as resource tenure improvement, women and development, farm technology development and dissemination and others.
The BMFI-SIADOs do not intend to stay forever in the barangays. The formation and development of Local Community Workers such as local community organizers, paralegals and farmer technicians, and the BDC-PMC development and formation are part of the sustaining mechanisms of the program. With this, the barangay is expected to develop a pool of local workers who are capable and knowledgeable in pursuing the processes and facilitating the democratic journey of the community in achieving its vision.
b. Resource Mobilization and Generation
Resource mobilization and generation as a strategy plays a crucial role for the realization of the BDP. There are many forms and styles in resource mobilization and generation but the more realistic and effective approaches adopted by Barangay Lawaan are those that give priority to community-based resource and external resource mobilization.
Community based resource mobilization is a self-help and community-led resource mobilization. Community resource counterpart system is one of the most easily accepted practices in community resource mobilization. In Barangay Lawaan, small funds from IRA, labor (pahina), and local materials are usually used as local counterparts. On the other hand LAMPCO (cooperative) serves as one of the venues for community-based resources mobilization and generation, where members or non-members voluntarily contribute cash counterpart in a form of share capital for agri-livelihood and future projects.
Aside from community based resource mobilization, the barangay adopted stakeholders’ forum as a mechanism of fund raising for project funding. It is a forum where prospective stakeholders – Community or Barangay, representatives from LGU, NGA/GOs, national and international resource partners and other NGOs are gathered. The barangay presents its priority projects and a pledging or commitment session takes place where each representative is given the opportunity to express their commitment to the support the barangay’s initiatives.
The first Gingoog Stakeholders’ Forum was organized in September 2000. Brgy. Lawaan was one of the 11 participating barangays. It presented 10 priority projects based on its BDP during that occasion. This activity opened many windows of opportunities for the barangays as many of the agencies that were invited came and pledged their support. After the forum, a project proposal was then prepared by AMPCO and BMFI in cooperation with the BDC and submitted to Lutheran World Relief, one of the participants in the stakeholders’ forum that pledged to support an agri-livelihood project for the cooperative. In July 2001, LWR eventually approved the project worth P1.6M for 2 years with August 1, 2001 as the start up date.
In the year 2001, BMFI through the CAPP-SIAD program was able to provide a financial assistance to LAMPCO amounting to P 50,000.00 – fifty thousand pesos for their micro-lending project as a form of support to the coop’s internal capital of 25,000.00 pesos.
For physical infrastructures, the limited fund from IRA was also used as counterpart in order to implement basic infrastructure projects from LGUs and national government agencies. BMFI, with the support of CAPP-SIAD, also extended counterpart funds for the barangay agri-related small infrastructure such as Solar Drier, Rice & Corn Warehouse and Community Center amounting P 155,000.00 (pls refer to infra implemented matrix).
External Resource mobilization is already practiced by the barangay, not only in a center-based gathering like stakeholders’ forum, but even in the various barangay gatherings or activities. One of which was the Project Launching of DIFS project funded by LWR last August 30, 2001, wherein the barangay invited Congressperson Oscar Moreno, Mayor Rodriguez, the heads various government agencies and other NGOs. The occasion became an opportunity for the people to hear the programs of the various agencies and their specific commitment for barangay development.
Indeed, the barangay is now on the process of learning and honing their skills and knowledge in resource mobilization and generation using their limited funds or resources as counterparts.
The willingness and commitment of all stakeholders in the barangay to give their share to the realization of the projects and undertakings also strengthen the relationships among the partners and implementors.
III. Factors Affecting the Intervention
Strong and open-minded barangay leaders facilitated a lot in the implementation of the program. Likewise, the positive response and active involvement of the residents have given more encouragement to the leaders and the community in pursuing and protecting the gains of the partnership. The willingness and commitment of all stakeholders in the barangay to give their share to the realization of the projects and undertakings also strengthen the relationships among the partners and implementors.
The sustained appropriate support of the city government, the Office of the Congressman, different line agencies and NGOs/ Funding Agencies indeed helped the people of Lawaan attain small but meaningful victories that inspire them to continue their quest for sustainable development of their barangay.
The following are some of the observed hindering factors for barangay development
a. legal system of the Philippines – the barangay has an on going case in the Court of Appeals in their need of acquiring a school site but until now (almost 2 years) no decision has been made. The barangay cannot expand its school site development because of land tenurial security issues.
b. Some government agencies are inefficient in the processing of CLOA and Certificate of Stewardship Contract- CSC – CBFM .
c. Limited funds (Internal Revenue Allotment and Barangay income) – to cater to the basic services of the barangay.
d. Official Barangay Land Area is not yet determined – city government has not yet conducted the barangay boundary survey. The barangay does not have the exact political boundaries.
IV. Gains and Learnings
Under the organizational developmen and resource mobilization interventions the following are considered as small victories:
a. The Barangay Development Council is now organized, strengthened and working with a clear direction. Regular quarterly meetings are initiated, to assess and make recommendation for the effective and efficient implementation. PIMC- project implementing and monitoring team is also functional.
b. In Cooperative Development and Strengthening, LAMPCO is growing. The membership increases to sixty (60) individuals from the original member of 26. As of now the coop operates a micro-credit project amounting to P 85,000.00 and recently a co-implementers of an ongoing P 1.6 million DIFS projects funded by LWR. The coop in cooperation with barangay government is also involved in agricultural development such as MASIPAG Program Implementation, MASIPAG Rice and Corn Trial Farm Establishment, Monitoring and Evaluation, and Community Seed-Banking. At the city level, LAMPCO is a member of CCDC – City Cooperative Development Council.
c. Local Development Workers or Community Advocates Formation – As of now the barangay has total active community advocates of 11 (3-Local Farm Technicians, 5- Paralegals and 3- Local Community Organizers)
d. Resource Tenure Improvement – CBFM application has been approved and the CLOA processing is beginning to move in DAR through the efforts of the paralegals and concerned POs.
e. Physical Infrastructure – the following are Barangay Projects for year 2001
V. Learnings and Insights
VI. Prospects and Plans