MANILA – The International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations have jointly designed a new project to improve the lives of poor residents of Bondoc Peninsula.
The project, officially dubbed as “Inter-agency Programme to Nurture Peace, Security and Decent Work through Local Development in Conflict Areas of the Philippines (Bondoc Peninsula),” will cover the four municipalities of Mulanay, San Narciso, Unisan and Catanauan. It aims to directly address extreme poverty and inequality identified as root causes of social unrest and armed conflict in Bondoc Peninsula.
Protection and empowerment of the Bondoc Peninsula people who are in severe and pervasive poverty situations is the main goal of the project. The central strategy of the project is local economic development and peace-building processes that puts a premium on directly addressing human security deficits. Capacity-based approach aims to expand their livelihood assets and increase productivity through participatory dialogue and institutional strengthening activities both at the community and local government levels.
Ms Linda Wirth, Director of the ILO Office based in Manila, explains “Decent work is what is needed for poor people to escape the clutches of poverty, especially when they are living in conflict-affected areas with scarce opportunities and services.” She stressed that “in order to break the vicious cycle of poverty, people must work together to develop their own place.” She elaborated, “It is important to bring together all efforts of all stakeholders in a certain locality so there will be less poor people and residents will learn to cope with climate change and to resolve conflict.”
Meanwhile, FAO Representative to the Philippines Mr Kazuyuki Tsurumi declares, “The project is just right considering that Quezon is essentially an agricultural economy.” He said, “Restoring, rehabilitating and improving farming and fishing activities in the affected communities are prerequisites for a lasting peace and long-term economic development in the province.” He added that FAO is strongly committed to support the peace process in the area.
A total of at least 3,500 women and men are expected to benefit from assistance for agricultural and fisheries production improvement and management. This includes proper seed production and storage; integrated farming systems; organic farming; integrated pests management; improved poultry and livestock production; proper harvest and post-harvest practices and support to sustainable fishing methodologies. Another 2,500 individuals will be given complementary off-farm livelihood assistance, market linkage support and entrepreneurial and technical vocational skills training. Furthermore, the project also targets 2,000 mothers and children from the four municipalities to benefit from better health services through improved maternal and child care programmes. Community-based disaster risk management and social protection schemes, as an added feature, will be weaved into the project to enhance the adaptive and coping capacities of the beneficiaries vis-a-vis climate change and foreseen day to day socio-economic shocks at the household level.
Mulanay Municipal Mayor Prudencio Maxino expressed his gratitude to ILO and FAO for choosing Bondoc Peninsula. He says, “I am elated over the project. It’s a welcome development because it reinforces my administration’s efforts to reduce poverty and uphold peace in our locality. The project is promising because it is very well-planned and takes-off from the resource capacity of our constituents, and we are determined to do our part to get it implemented. “
The Japanese government provides the amount of US$2.5M for the project via the UN Trust Fund for Human Security. The Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) is also a major partner since the project complements the national government’s peace building agenda and agrarian reform efforts in Bondoc Peninsula. OPAPP will extend its expertise in promoting peace-building activities and policy support to replicate project experiences in other conflict-affected areas in the Philippines.
For further information please contact:
Mr Reinero Flores
ILO and FAO Inter-agency Programme (Bondoc Peninsula)
Tel: +63 2 580 9909 / 580 9900
Ms Minette Rimando
ILO Country Office for the Philippines
Tel: +63 2 580 9905 / 580 9900