Rotary Club of Bacolod East 5-Year
Assistance Program to improve infrastructure, create
income generating programmes, improvement of essential
facilities, technical and managerial economic training
for credit and finance towards self-sustaining and
progressive cell communities.
To build the
necessary irrigation infrastructure required to
eliminated poverty and unemployment. Specifics of
this objective is found in Section
V. 9th Paragraph Table 1.
The Negros Business Forum spearheaded by Rotary Club of Bacolod East members namely: PP Miguel Asignacion as Chairman, PP Vilmo Limuaco, Rtn. Roberto Abello and incumbent Pres. Alfredo Bustamante III; has been on radio and TV since the first food crisis that caused the price of rice in the second half of 1995. Cereal prices, mainly rice and corn rose by 110% from P8-10 (P 26 /US$ then) to P18-25/ kilo. Inflation went on an uptick only to regain price stability at higher levels, by importations.
We are encouraged
that the newly elected, President Joseph E. Estrada has
The solutions that the Negros Business Forum has concluded on, for the different problems besetting our province is too costly for our local governments to initiate. It was felt that a dialogue was needed with our local leaders in government, specially our legislators to direct their funds or enact legislation for the purpose of appropriating funds towards irrigation infrastructures.
In that meeting, we invited the Provincial Governor, the Philippine National Bank Chairman, the City Mayor, 7 of our Congressmen, the Sugar Regulatory Agency head, and the Visayas Mindanao representative of the Office of the President.
We have pinpointed IRRIGATION as our primary advocacy thrust. We have argued with our local and national leaders about this concern.
With better management of government resources, there should be money to appropriate for these important infrastructures.
We are encouraged that the newly elected, President Joseph E. Estrada has announced that agricultural modernization and irrigation shall be his major concern during his term.
We hope to accomplish within twenty years, the harnessing of Negros Occidental six major water resources, to provide the water that is available, that our rice farmers badly need.
It is for this reason, that we have made this advocacy a Rotary Club of Bacolod East objective. The Club Board has passed two resolutions, Series of RY1998-99 last Thursday, August 20, 1998 that reads as follows: Resolution # 12 Moved by PP Eduardo Villanueva Seconded by Rtn. Ricardo Albayda
Resolved, as it is hereby resolved, to complete the RC Bacolod East Website history to include the initiative on the Back-up Foundation., the Citizens Health Foundation, the Induction and Current Club Activities into the RC Bacolod East internet website. The completion of the RC Bacolod East internet website is necessary for the fund-raising of the RC Bacolod East Irrigation Project, so that, the potential sponsors may know of the Rotary Club of Bacolod East and its community involvement record.
Resolved, further, that an appropriation of P4000.00 fee for the design, construction, composition and inclusion of additional materials, facts and figures into our internet website. Resolution # 13 Moved by PP Eduardo Villanueva Seconded by Rtn. Ricardo Albayda
Resolved, further, that an Irrigation Project Oversight Committee, to be headed by PP and Community Service Director Vilmo Limuaco be organized for the purpose and objectives of the Irrigation Project.
These two resolutions was ratified and approved unanimously by the members of the Rotary Club of Bacolod East in attendance during the business meeting held Friday, August 21, 1998
It is the hope of the Rotary Club of Bacolod East, through the Irrigation Project, that by helping sourcing of funds it shall be a catalyst to expedite the accomplishment and maximization of the provincial irrigation requirements. It can do this both as a non-government lobbyist with a proven track record of community involvement. It can also be a model of integrity and purpose, that will solicit the trust of the community, in view of the fact that local governments under the Local Government Code may not depend on the national government to raise funds. It can do so by having direct access to Official Development Aid, grants and the capital markets. To-date, the local government neither has the experience, the credibility nor the ability to do this.
Given the support of donors, therefore, the RC Bacolod East Irrigation initiative shall only serve to capture the imagination and fast-track the completion of the provincial irrigation objective of 100% utilization of irrigation potential.
Figure 1 Boom Bust Cycle
Table 1. Philippine Economic Growth
Numerous articles have been written in national and local newspaper over the past few months, emphasizing the need to act quickly.
Niño damage now P120M, 5 May, 1998, The Visayan
Read also more articles about hunger from the site of the Philippine Daily Inquirer
Negros island is prime agricultural land, which is mainly planted to sugarcane. It is located in central Philippines in the Visayas hemmed in by Cebu to the East and Panay to the west. Sugar is the main agricultural crop milled by eleven remaining sugar mills with seventy tons milling capacity during the harvest season. The profitability of the industry passed with the termination of the Laurel Langley agreement and the US Sugar Act, which gave duty free access to the US sugar market in July 4, 1974.
With intensive use of its water resources, it can improve its productivity in rice, corn, coffee, vegetables and other high value crops. Experts say that we can improve on our sugar productivity and expand our agricultural plantings to upland areas by providing a network of water delivery systems and roads; improving peoples lives.
Most sugarcane estates belonging to the old order are now subject to agricultural land reform by a law passed in 1986 known as the Comprehensive Agricultural Reform Law. It called for the breakdown to large farms to worker/tenant beneficiaries with only a maximum retention allowed of 15 hectares. With land reform as the key thrust of the national government, water with improve technology; high yield varieties must be provided, so as not to frustrate the land beneficiaries, new owners, nascent entrepreneurs.
Water, the germinating agent of plant life, if available when needed, will propel present productivity three to four times.
In the last months of El Nino, Negros Occidental suffered a steep decline in production. Yet sad to say, there was water flowing in streams and rivers that could have been diverted to agricultural lands thirsty for water.
In 1972, then Pres. Ferdinand Marcos decreed a food sufficiency program called the "Palayan ng Bayan" or ricefields of the nation. Corporations and private farms were mandated to plant rice for their employees. It was also a rice program to bring up production to national demand. All was forgotten after the drought passed away.
1995 was the second time that the Philippines had a rice crisis, or a severe setback in production as a result of very low rainfall. This shortfall was solved only through importation. The escalation of rice prices was attributed to delayed importation because 1995 was an election year. The secretary of agriculture did not reveal the true nature of supplies so as not to embarrass the President.
The drought of 1997-1998 is the third time a rice shortage is experienced.
NIP: National Irrigation Project
Today, three years after, they remain proposals. Project estimate amounts represent 1995 period; FOREX Pesos 26:$
By drawing attention to this fact, we hope that the politicians will appropriate P5-P10 Billion (US$225M) over time towards the realization of this project for Negros Occidental requirements.
There are minor
projects of smaller scale and cost had been identified by
the Agricultural Engineering and Irrigation Systems
Development Division of the Office of the Provincial
The Rotary Club of Bacolod East shall coordinate closely with the Office of the Governor and the Provincial Agriculturist Offices Agricultural Engineering and Irrigation Development Group in the selection, evaluation, planning, construction and monitoring of these irrigation projects. (See section VIII)
1. Already, there are areas in Negros that have experienced hunger during the El Nino weather phenomena.
In the 1980s, there was recession caused by run-away inflation and flight of capital that lead to the ouster of the dictator, Ferdinand E. Marcos. Negros Occidental experienced hunger, that caught world attention.
This latest drought lasted from September 1997 to May 1998. Luckily, the rains came towards the end of May. Rainfall was back to normal during the rainy or wet season that started, following the timely first rains. The next problem being foreseen and observed by meteorologist and weather stations is whether a La Nina reversal pattern of heavy rains is going to cause floods to the already harvestable crops. The first cropping by farmers should come in September 1998.
2. Status and Proposed Measure for Irrigation Development.(as of 1995)
Total required (B) less Total Projects (C+D) = 11,611
E. Originally, possible source of funds was on the "pork barrel" or political largesse given to congressmen out of government revenues given as quid-pro-quo for political cooperation with the President. But, the government announcing itself bankrupt and judging from the track-record of the congressmen, drawing from this source is not anymore possible. The provincial government has to lobby for direct contact with ODA funds and learn to secure these amounts from the capital market.
3. A Selection of Project Sites: Bacolod City District and Fourth District
The province of Negros Occidental has several water resources covering its 792,590 hectares. It has a potential irrigable area of 100,000 hectares. Today only 35%, of these have been developed. There is a large area still to be tapped and developed, to provide water in order to maximize land use and productivity. Land tillers are still very much dependent on rain as a source of water, which limits their potential to maximize productivity, matching achievable harvest at todays existing agricultural technology and practices.
In the short term, the province is targeting 54,647 hectares at a cost of P5.3 billion pesos. Project costs available were for 1995 and foreign exchange was at P26.30 / US$. Inflation rates were below double digit, 7-9% for 1995-1997. With the Asian currency crisis of July 1997, the Philippines has now deteriorate to 12% as the foreign exchange worsened to P43 / US$. The Philippines imported 600,000 MT to mitigate the 1995 rice crisis. Today, the government, through its agency the National Food Administration, has already imported 1.2 million MT and plans to import 800,000 more to stave-off a serious crisis if the plantings of May 1998 are destroyed by the typhoons that come during the wet season. It is important to note that 30% of crop losses are due to poor post-harvest facilities.
The more common irrigation projects in the province are the communal types, such as diversion dams, water impounding dams, small farm reservoirs, and open surface pump irrigation. These are irrigation systems that are implemented and constructed by the farmer beneficiaries (of the governments land reform program; the Comprehensive Agricultural Reform Law of 1986) themselves.
Most areas that need these irrigation systems are the agrarian reform areas where most Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries do not have access to irrigation canals or even irrigation pumps. Not only that, they also dont have enough capital and skills (for modern rice culture technology) to make their newly acquired land productive.
The Bago River originates in the mountain springs of Murcia municipality which traverses the Bacolod City District and flows into the Fourth District until it discharges into the Guimaras Strait between Bago City and the Municipality of Pulupandan. Bago River catchment area is about 759 square kilometers. It is located in the central part of Negros Occidental on Negros Island. It is located in the Hydro Map as Watershed no 25. It has annual rainfall of more than 2400 mm and a run-off of 1822 mm. Agro climactic criteria classifies 29100 hectares as wet and 46,800 hectares as moist. This allows a growing period of 270 to 320 days/year.
The RC Bacolod East Irrigation Project will be under a group of RC Bacolod East members to be known as the Irrigation Oversight Committee, supervised by the Community Service Director for the Rotary Year. The irrigation oversight committee shall be under the supervision of the RC Bacolod East board of directors. The oversight committee shall be headed by an executive member with two associates composing the executive committee for the Irrigation Project. The executive committee shall take charge of operational functions of the oversight committee. Any decision and action taken by the oversight committee shall be implemented by the executive member and his associates in the executive committee. All decisions of the Irrigation Project oversight committee shall have to pass the scrutiny of the club board and approved in a board resolution.
The club members of the irrigation oversight committee
are the following:
As soon as sponsor donations will come up to the amounts required for a Project to be initiated, The Irrigation Project Oversight Committee, through the executive committee shall inform the Project Partners in the Provincial Agricultural Office, the readiness of the RC Bacolod East to undertake a project. Either, the government will recommend an area or a farmers group recommend their area, the oversight committee shall study the feasibility of the proponents area, the economic benefits for the farmers group and their attitude in cooperating and meeting the guidelines of the RC Bacolod East Irrigation Project.
Upon, approval by the Club Board on the recommendation of the Oversight Committee, the RC Club Bacolod East shall enter into a memorandum of joint undertaking, whereby the RC Bacolod East will release Sponsors donation to fund the project according to its funding schedule. The other parties to the agreement shall be the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist, and the Farmers group cooperative represented by their President and officers. See Memorandum of Agreement for a Joint Undertaking.
It is the responsibility, from then on, of the Executive Committee of the Oversight Committee to monitor and control the construction of the infrastructure until its completion.
IX. A Sample Illustration - Upgrading of Alangilan Irrigation Project
The rice crisis in 1995 brought home a tough message: RICE SUFFICIENCY. Rice productions main requirement is water. Irrigation development is imperative to Negros Occidental for it to be self-sufficient in food.
Nationwide, the total irrigated area is 47% of the total potential irrigable area. Negros Occidental has accomplished only 32% of its potential. It seems that National Governments priority does not have irrigation development as a priority in spite of the fact that 65% of the population is in rural areas living on agriculture. Safety nets of the current National Medium Term Development Plan allocates a minimal amount for Irrigation, specially for Negros Occidental.
In order to fast-track irrigation development projects in the province, the Provincial Irrigation Task Force was created by the Provincial Government. The Office of the Provincial Agriculturist in turn created the Agricultural Engineering and Irrigation Development Group.
It is with this group that the Rotary Club of Bacolod East Irrigation Project will work and coordinate with. The Agricultural Engineering and Irrigation Development Group has the agricultural engineers, civil engineers, support facilities such as 2 new 4-wheel service vehicles, a dump truck, a cargo truck, two drilling rigs, several cement mixers and surveying equipment.
To-date* projects are on stream with P* funding from various sources such as the Provincial 20% Development Fund, Food-for-Work Program, the Provincial Governments own General Fund and Supplemental Budgets, and National Government line agencies such as the National Irrigation Administration, the National Food Authority, Local Government Unit (Province, City, Municipalities and Barangays have Revenue allotments from the National Revenue of the Department of Finance based on the Local Government Code) and the Department of Agriculture.
* veryfiying data to update to present status
The current family threshold income in the Philippines in the rural areas is P5000.00 or US$119.04 a month. This means that a family of 6, parents and four children may be able to meet basic needs, without housing.
Income from rice farming from one hectare at current levels of production depending on rainfed paddy farming grosses USD 285.00/ cropping (a cropping is a 120 day cycle) or P12,000, not counting usurious cost of money. Production cost ranges from P8,000 to P 15,000/hectare depending on availabilty of capital. (US$/Peso @P43.35) The farmer has no chance at all because they are dependent on rain: planning for planting cannot be efficient. The second crop usually is a failure and third cropping is impossible because it falls on the dry months.
With water at their command, plantings can be planned like process engineering. With the new rice varieties offering higher yield, land reform beneficiaries may farm with hope to release themselves from the shackles of subsistence farming.
The multiplier effect resulting from increased capacities will create other employment opportunities; as post harvest facilities, construction of warehouses, increased credit facilities, among many obvious spin-offs. Health and educational infrastructures should follow heightened incomes.
The RC Bacolod East Irrigation oversight committee Project Committee will write through its Executive Director a letter appealing for donations toward this project.
Donors may give a pledge of $5000.00 over a five-year period at $1000.00 per year to be remitted at the start of every Rotary Year on July 1. For the project to start this RY 1998-99, donors may give the initial installment of $1000.00 to start the project for this Rotary year. This will be remitted to the account of the Rotary Club of Bacolod East Irrigation Project at the Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation, Libertad Street Branch, Bacolod City. The idea of installments provides the donors the time evaluate the performance of the RC Bacolod East Irrigation Oversight Committee in its management of the project as well as whether, the project phase when complete has actually brought about the desired objective of a higher productivity, a three time planting cycle/year, and bringing about the cooperation of the individuals, families, cooperatives and the community towards the human and community development values which the RC Bacolod East wishes to instill in undertaking this activity.
3% of the amount received will be used for acknowledging and giving publicity to the project and the sustaining donors. Expenses shall be for information materials, brochures, reports, full-page ad with sponsors logos (press release when a phase of the project is completed). A phase is completed upon completion of the infrastructure. It is at this time when, target families, communities, or land reform beneficiaries, may use of the facilities towards harvesting their crops. We can therefore measure the change in income effect due to the availability of the resources.
10% shall be spent to give recognition to the donors of the project, in print, radio and on TV, 5% of donations towards this endeavor shall be earmarked for administrative work and organizing the families, communities, or land reform beneficiaries into cooperatives and human development. They shall be also formed into a Rotary Village Corps. RVC are formed by Rotary Clubs to improve community living and enhance enjoyment of life by encouraging community members to contribute to these goals by acting in the spirit of service to the community and their fellow human beings. Please refer to the official Rotary International Web site for more information on the RVC.
2% shall be budgeted for site inspections and visits by the Irrigation oversight committee of the project, to evaluate and control that plans and budgets are closely conformed to.
80% of donations shall go to direct cost of the project; materials and labor after reviewing cost studies and standards and components have undergone proper bidding from contractors.
It is our hope that, we can get a matching grant from Rotary International that we intend to use for use as working capital of these families, land reform beneficiaries or communities. This will be disbursed using microlending concepts similar to the Grameen bank technique which has a proven a track record of 97% repayment. Borrowers all shall be co-guarantors for all. Borrowers shall be educated to manage their credit and enterprise cooperatives.
Should we get the attention of government, we also hope their counterpart shall go toward building shelters, along the guidelines of Habitat International which has a project here in Bacolod City. Within their community, they shall build decent homes for themselves and their families.
In this way, the RC Bacolod East hopes to initiate and fulfill the dreams, goals and objectives of this years RI Theme, "Follow your Rotary Dreams".
We hope to this in an all encompassing effort to lift impoverished people out of poverty, by giving that them hope that Rotary Cares, via a technology and livelihood culture that they know through human and spiritual formation.
The Rotary Club of Bacolod East shall provide measures either to incorporate this project management into our Rotary Club of Bacolod East Foundation Inc. or initiate an adhoc foundation specifically for the purpose.
Audit and financial reports shall be made by Joaquin Cunanan & Co. Philippine partners of the international accounting firm of Price Waterhouse Inc.
If the Club can gain credibility as a project coordinator with this agencies, we hope to gain confidence of all government agencies and politicians, thereby hastening the project. The Club shall manage this project with maximum transparency in the conduct of management, specially the financial aspect. By lobbying for direct contact with official government assistance of the developed countries, we hope to be a guardian of these funds for its efficient and economic use. At present, it is the national government that distributes this aid to the local government based on the availability of funds. The Club only hopes that there is an equitable distribution of these infrastructure allocation.
The Club proposes to allocate interest income earned from deposits of the donor to the Rotary Club of Bacolod East Foundation to finance allied undertakings.
1. What is the objective of the project?
Next, they shall have to form themselves into a Rotary Village Corp under the supervision of the Rotary Club of Bacolod East. They shall also have to attend workshops in business and credit management, personal and spiritual development to be arranged and provided by the Rotary Club of Bacolod East. Possessing how a proper frame of mind of the development available for themselves and their families, they have to sign a memorandum of cooperation with the RC of Bacolod East to undertake a self-help program in the spirit of solidarity and service above self. They shall have to provide part of the labor requirements of the project.
Meanwhile, the RC of Bacolod East shall make sure that all legal guarantees that the project shall endow only to the cooperatives concerned. Security of tenure and property rights shall be forged between the local government, the cooperative and RC Bacolod East.