ADB rates watershed management project in Bukidnon as “highly successful”

PRIMEX Inc.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) gave a satisfactory rating to PRIMEX for achieving the targets of all three outputs in the Capacity Development Technical Assistance for Decentralized Framework for Sustainable Natural Resources and Rural Infrastructure Management (TA 7716-PHI) in the province of Bukidnon. It also recognized that the PRIMEX consultant team exceeded the number of trainings provided and proposals prepared.

“Everybody did what could be done and we got the desired results,” said Dr. Manuel L. Bonita, Team Leader.

The Philippine Government requested for the technical assistance, which aimed to improve the capacity the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), local government units (LGUs), and communities in planning and investing in sustainable watershed management. It was conducted from June 2011 to June 2014.

About 1,261 participants (482 women and 779 men) took part in a series of 27 training programs in a span of three years. They represented LGUs, DENR–Provincial Environmental and Natural Resources Office (PENRO), Bukidnon Environment and Natural Resources Office (BENRO), people’s organizations (POs), and community representatives specifically women and indigenous peoples (IPs).

The Technical Assistance Completion Report (TCR) prepared by ADB rated the outputs as “highly successful” because it led to major gains in the development and enhancement of the knowledge and skills of key stakeholders in sustainable watershed ecosystem management.

Engr. Clovis Ike Payumo, Rural Infrastructure and Operation and Maintenance Specialist, said barangay officials found the trainings highly useful.

He quoted one Barangay Captain, who was among the project trainees, as saying, “We can now talk like engineers and be conversant in technical terms which were foreign to us. We are more knowledgeable about the practical concepts in operation and maintenance and basic engineering processes. Contractors will not be able to fool us anymore.”

Aside from the training activities, Municipal Technical Working Groups collaborated to prepare seven watershed management planning frameworks, and 22 triads engaged communities in preparing forest management unit management plans.

Other outputs of the project included seven ecological profiles, 20 watershed management plans, 20 rural infrastructure project proposals (like small-scale irrigation and water supply projects and farm to market roads), 12 proposals for livelihood/small and medium enterprises mostly for IP and women’s groups, as well as manuals and knowledge products that can be used during the implementation of the ADB loan-funded Integrated Natural Resources and Environmental Management Project (INREMP) of DENR.