NINE IN 2009: Responding to the Year’s Challenges
Annual Report of the Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement (PRRM)
The implementation of PRRM’s operations plan for 2009 was set against the backdrop of complex and intensifying crises involving finance, food, feed, and fuels. The chain of consequences was equally complex. The poor, especially the women and children among them, were hit first on the line and oftentimes the hardest. Their food security, jobs, education, health and overall well-being often suffered.
The prospects are getting dimmer for the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015. These are aggravated even more by the severe impact of climate change, the effects of which, some say, were already felt in the onslaught of the successive typhoons and floods that most recently hit the country.
And underlying many of our difficulties is the festering problem of governance as shown in the decline of democratic institutions, principally in terms of transparency, accountability, and failure to deliver on outstanding commitments to social and environmental justice.
Overall, PRRM faced nine major challenges in 2009.
ONE: Promotion of Organic Farming and Sustainable Agriculture
PRRM’s efforts to strengthen the sustainable agriculture and organic farming movements were boosted tremendously by a major project partnership with the Department of Agriculture and its Bureau of Soils and Water Management beginning November 2008 up to April 2009. Called the Organic FIELDS Support Project or OFSP Phase 1, this project involved building partnerships (between national and local governments, NGOs and people’s organizations), training and organization of farmers, research and development, and public promotion of sustainable and organic agriculture.
The OPSF Phase 1 was implemented in seven (7) pilot sites in six (6) provinces. These were Alaminos City in Pangasinan, Guimba in Nueva Ecija, Samal and Dinalupihan in Bataan, Naujan in Oriental Mindoro, Baao in Camarines Sur, and Tabaco City in Albay. (Please refer to Annex 1 for details.)
TWO: Watershed Management and Provision of Potable Water
The project, “Promotion of Participatory Forest Management in the Critical Watersheds of Nueva Vizcaya Province” is on its second year of implementation. This is supported by the Japan-based Global Link Management Institute or GLMI.
PRRM also implemented potable water projects in partnership with the Philippine Economic and Cultural Endowment or PEACE-USA, installing eight (8) potable water units in various barangays of Alfonso Lista in Ifugao, and seven (7) units in several barangays of San Miguel Island off Tabaco City, Albay. (Please refer to Annex 2 for details.)
THREE: Protection and Rehabilitation of Coastal and Marine Resources
Although the advocacy for coastal resource management or CRM has been sustained by local, regional and national fisher folk organizations, a positive output during the first semester of the year was the approval of the CRM project proposal to Japan’s People-to-People Aid Movement or P2 entitled, “Demonstrating and Advocating for Community-Based Coastal Resource Management in Manila Bay”. The approved three-year project provides additional financial and technical assistance specifically for the project and advocacy initiatives of PRRM and partner POs such as KALMADA in Manila Bay. The bay-wide project includes the coastal municipalities of Cavite, Bataan, and Bulacan. This project also complements initiatives in tackling issues such as the delineation of municipal waters and the development of fisher folk settlements. (Please refer to Annex 3 for details.)
FOUR: Mainstreaming Reproductive Health, Population and Sustainable Development into Public Policy
The project “Good Governance for Population and Sustainable Development” or GG Pop SD, supported by the David and Lucille Packard Foundation, is on its last year of implementation with key networks of NGOs, POs, LGUs and LGAs in five sites: Quezon City, Pasig City and Caloocan City in Metro Manila; Nueva Ecija; and Camarines Sur. (Please refer to Annex 4 for details.)
FIVE: Preventing HIV/AIDS
The HIV/AIDS Prevention Project (HAPP) supported by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) was completed this year in the areas of Manila City, Quezon City, Pasay City, and Daet, Camarines Sur. The project staff and partners reached more than the target number of adults, youths and especially young girls in the provision of basic knowledge and awareness about sexually transmitted infections or STIs, particularly HIV/AIDS. The main strategies were the reproduction and distribution of IEC materials, the conduct of behaviour change communication sessions, the holding of community events and close networking with city and barangay government units. (Please refer to Annex 5 for details.)
SIX: Climate Change Action, Disaster Risk Reduction and Response
PRRM is involved in one of the three components of the Philippine Government’s report to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change or UNFCCC—the Vulnerability and Adaptation or V&A assessment. The V&A is a component of the Enabling Activity for the Preparation of the Philippines’ Second National Communication or SNC on Climate Change to the UNFCCC, and aims to assist the Department of Environment and Natural Resources–Environmental Management Bureau (DENR–EMB) on behalf of the Inter-Agency Committee on Climate Change (IACCC) in formulating adaptation strategies in selected economic sectors and areas that will demonstrate how policy for adaptation to climate change can be integrated into national sustainable development.
PRRM’s disaster risk reduction initiatives had to be complemented by disaster response in the aftermath of ‘Ondoy’ and ‘Pepeng’. Task forces were set up to assist in the organization of relief and rehabilitation efforts for flood victims in Tumana, Marikina and Aringay, La Union. (Please refer to Annex 6 for details.)
SEVEN: Exacting accountability from government
During this period of global financial and economic crises, PRRM continues to participate actively in national coalitions that deal with economic issues such as the Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC) and the Alternative Budget Initiative (ABI), where PRRM serves as co-convenor of the Environment Cluster. PRRM lobbied for augmentations in the 2009 budget for the environment and natural resources or ENR sector, resulting to an increase in the allocation for the Community Based Forest Management Program of PhP115 million. PRRM’s advocacy staff wrote the documentation report for the Environment Cluster’s three-year experience in the ABI, which will form part of a book to be published by Social Watch-Philippines (SWP).
PRRM participated in the activities of the Consortium for Electoral Reform or CER (where PRRM is a member of the Executive Committee and PRRM’s advocacy director serves as Secretary General), such as the round table discussions, campaigns, and lobby work on electoral reforms including election automation, the Political Party Development bill, Party List Law, and voter registration. As part of its advocacy for electoral reforms and good governance, PRRM is a member of the Task Force 2010, a group of NGOs, bishops and individuals which, in partnership with the COMELEC, sought to drum up the voter registration and cleansing of the voters’ list for the 2010 elections. It is also active in the monitoring of all the phases of the 2010 elections through Bantay Eleksyon; campaign finance and expenditures through the Pera’t Pulitika; and election violence through the Vote Peace project of the CER.
In the area of congressional lobby and advocacy work, PRRM was active in opposing the proposed reopening of the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant; while it supported the bills on Reproductive Health, Disaster Risk Reduction and Management, Right to Information, Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program extension with reforms (CARPER), and creation of the Department of Fisheries. (Please refer to Annex 7 for details.)
EIGHT: Raising Revenues
Project development, networking, and maintenance of relations with existing donors were able to yield a total of PhP17,729,851.62 in externally funded projects as of end-October 2009, which is expected to reach PhP20 million by year end. This exceeded the 2009 target of PhP14,949,250. These include Phase 1 of the Organic FIELDS Support Project or OFSP with the DA-BSWM; Promotion of Participatory Forest Management in the Critical Watersheds of Nueva Vizcaya with the Japan-based GLMI; Demonstrating and Advocating for Community-Based Coastal Resource Management in Manila Bay with Japan’s P2; GG Pop SD with the Packard Foundation; HAPP with UNICEF; SNC V&A with the UNDP-DENR; Health-PRO Project in Albay with the USAID; and Enhancing Civil Society Participation in Electoral and other Political and Democratic Processes in five provinces with the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights or EIDHR.
The last two started only in the last quarter of 2009. In the pipeline are the projects, “Piloting Provincial Gender-Responsive Laws as a Mechanism for Local Progress and Development”, submitted to the United Nations Fund for Gender Equality (UNIFEM), and “Promotion of Participatory Forest Management” in seven provinces, submitted to the European Union’s Strategic Projects Facility or EU-SPF2 (concept note approved; full application submitted 09 November 2009).
The 2009 plan also sought the expansion of micro-finance (MF) operations in five (5) areas (Camiguin, North Cotabato, Nueva Ecija, Nueva Vizcaya and Quezon), with an initial capitalization of PhP1,000,000 per area, as well as expansion or strengthening of the RR Trade as market consolidator with an initial capitalization of PhP1.5 million. At the recommendation of the Asset Management Committee (AMC), the Board of Trustees approved the allocation of funds from the FIAT for these investments last July 2009; the actual funds were released in November 2009. (Please refer to Annex 8 for details.)
NINE: Improving Efficiency
As of 15 November 2009, PRRM has a total staff complement of 65, of which 28 or 43% are assigned to externally funded projects, while 37 or 57 % are assigned to institutionally funded programs and projects. During the year, a number of regular staff and on-board consultants were assigned to externally funded projects. (Please refer to Annex 9 for details.)
March 8, 2014, Cocoon Boutique Hotel
Quezon City, Philippines