ICC board okays CHARM scale up project

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BAGUIO CITY  – The proposed P 601 million  Cordillera Highland Agricultural Resources Management Project2 (CHARMP2) Scale-Up Project of the Department of Agriculture- Cordillera Administrative Region (DA-CA) finally hurdled the  Investment Coordinating Committee- Technical Board (ICC TB) after two presentations last August 19 and September 1,  2016.

As such, it is now ready for presentation to the ICC Cabinet Committee on September 19.   ICC clearance is needed for all major projects needing foreign funding support.

The project is expected to benefit about 2,665 households spread over 18 barangays in the six provinces of CAR. If approved by the ICC Cabinet Committee and the NEDA Board, it will be implemented starting January 2017 with a two-year implementation period.

The 18 barangay beneficiaries which are among the poorest and hard-to-reach barangays in the region  are as follows:  Nalbuan in Licuan-Baay; Nagbuquel in LUba; Bayabas in Malibcong in the province of Abra; Ferdinand in Calanasan, Calafug in Conner and  Lucab in Kabugao in Apayao; Bagu in Bakun. Pongayan in Kapangan and Pappa in Sablan in Benguet; Anao in Hingyon, Abatan in Hungduan and Gumhang in Tinoc in Ifugao; Taloctoc in Tanudan, Bugnay in Tinglayan,  and Balinciagao Sur in Pasil  in Kalinga; and Bagnen Oriente in Bauko, Balugan in Sagada, and  Dacudac in Tadian  in Mountain Province.

The project has  four main components  namely Social Mobilization and Participatory Investment Planning; Agro Forestry; Agriculture, Agri Business and Income Generating Activities, and Rural Infrastructure Development (RID).

Agroforestry and Watershed Management, and Project Management components account for 9 percent of the total project cost while the components on Social Mobilization, Participatory Investment Planning, and Agriculture, Agri-business and Income Generating Activities account for 8% each of the total project funds. The RID has the largest share at 64% or about P 386 M.

The RID project outputs include the rehabilitation / improvement of about 86 kilometers of farm to market roads, 40,450 lineal meters of foot path, 625 lineal meters of foot bridge, 482 hectares of communal irrigation system plus the construction of 30 community infrastructures (domestic water supply system, tramlines, warehouse, solar dryer, greenhouse).

On the other hand, the agribusiness and income generating activities will provide seed fund to farmers to support various commodities of the farmers.

The watershed components will involve the establishment of agroforestry plots in the barangays.

During the ICC Technical Board deliberation, NEDA Deputy Director General Rolando Tungpalan emphasized the need for DA to show synergy/ complementation of the CHARMP2 Scale-Up Project with the Philippine Rural Development Project, a nationwide project of DA  and the Integrated Natural Resources Environmental Management Project (INREMP) being implemented by DENR in the Upper Chico River Basin of CAR. He likewise directed DA to show the impact of the previous CHARMP projects.

The first CHARMP project had 82 barangay beneficiaries implemented from 1997 to 2004, while CHARMP2, which had 170 barangay beneficiaries, was implemented from 2009-2016.

With 18 barangay  beneficiaries, the proposed CHARMP2 Scaling- Up project is expected to replicate  the good practices of  the previous CHARMP  projects, but this time spreading the benefits to other poorer, hard-to-reach areas in CAR.

The Cordillera Regional Development Council endorsed the proposed scaling-up project to the ICC.

By Dexter A. See

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