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NEWS STORY

CHARMP2 celebrates 7th Project Anniversary: Hand over development legacy

 

Reaching its seventh year, the Second Cordillera Highland Agricultural Resource Management Project (CHARMP2) celebrated its 7th Anniversary in a weeklong activity.

 

With the theme “Sustaining Development: Handing over CHARMP2 legacy,” the Project aims to streamline its rural developments through the pillar components that will be turned over ensuring sustainability of such. Among its highlight activities are the Regional Business Launching and the 4th Knowledge and Learning Market (KLM).

 

Moreover, the Anniversary cake was unveiled underscoring the Project’s contributions to the Cordillera community over the seven years of its existence. As recalled, a diorama of what the Project aims for its beneficiaries was showcased to inspire everyone to continue moving forward in attaining the Project’s goals.  The cake then shows that this dream is gradually coming to reality. 

 

“In any special project, there is life, there is period. It will end. It is not forever to fund and assist but definitely what will remain will be the results. The beneficiaries will continue to develop and sustain what we have started,” expressed DA Reginal Executive Director Lorenzo M. Caranguian.

 7th Anniversary

Business Launching

Among the 29 LIG participants, 15 have been given the chance to do a business pitch of their featured products such as peanut butter, organic vegetables, processed meat, basket weaving, wood carving and many others. Their strategies ranged from doing a role play, delivering a speech to composing a jingle. Each farmer group added a unique flavor to their presentations featuring their different merchandise. 

 

According to Agriculture Agribusiness and Income Generating Activities (AAIGA) component coordinator Dr. Leonora K. Verzola, the event was meant to teach the farmer to sell and promote their products. For three years, the business launching event has been one of the project’s innovations for product promotion, interaction and customer feedback.

 

The AAIGA component plays a great role in promoting and  developing the potential of CAR  agricultural products. CHARM2 Project Manager Cameron P. Odsey stated that AAIGA signifies the great demand for Cordillera agricultural products.  The agricultural products were the result of trainings and assistances received by the 634 livelihood groups among the 170 beneficiary barangays. The community themselves chose their priority commodity products while the project formed support livelihood groups for the beneficiaries. It was assured that all of the products  are free from harmful chemicals and is safe for the consumers.

 

These developments are in line with the four pillars of agricultural development as discussed by Dr. Caranguian. According to him, agriculture should be science based, should have inclusive growth, must be resilient and needs to be business-oriented. Such activities give the farmer a chance to be involved in the whole chain from planting, processing and eventually in selling. Dr.  Caranguian also announced that  although the project is already ending, support and assistance will still continue through the regular programs of the Dept. of Agriculture and the new special program, Philippine Rural Development Project.

 

Knowledge & Learning Market

The program kicked off with the ribbon cutting ceremony of exhibits headed by IFAD Philippines country Programme officer Yolando Arban, Dr. Caranguian and Odsey. The booths highlighted a wide array of products made by the different CHARMP2 assisted Livelihood Interest Groups and IEC materials featuring the project.

 

This year’s KLM also featured a policy session with the theme: “Sustainable Development in the Cordillera: The CHARMP2 Lessons Learned and Way Forward”.  The papers presented were: Sustaining Ecological Security through Institutional Development and Empowerment in the Province of Abra by Mr. Villamor Gumanab from the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office; Inexorable Chronicles: The Case of the CHARM2 Project School-on-Air in Complementing Initiatives in Cordillera Rural Development  by Ms. Gretchen Shagami  C. Mangahas, Development Communication Specialist; Sustainability of RID Completed Sub-projects by RID consultant Engr. Allen Rilloraza, and Participatory Results Monitoring through BPMETs by Mr. Charles A. Picpican, Planning Monitoring and Evaluation coordinator . All the papers presented have delved into the good systems practiced as well as key recommendations and learning points.

 

It was followed by a talk show participated by representatives  from the Barangay Participatory Monitoring and Evaluation Team (BPMET); Reforestation and Agroforestry People’s Organization (PO), Livelihood Investment Group (LIG), Community Financial Institution (CFI), Irrigator’s Association (IA) and Barangay Water and 1Sanitation Association (BAWASA) hosted by SMPIP coordinator Dr. Aida Y. Pagtan. The discussion focused on the community situation, the intervention brought about by the project, immediate results and the possible outcomes. Good values for development have been highlighted during the discussions especially the community’s sense  of ownership (panangisakit). This  is through their participation from planning (PPIP), implementation (counterpart) and monitoring (BPMET) and also through self-help practices (free labor), indigenous values (free food) and sense of ili (for the good of everyone).

 

The Local Government Unit’s  (LGU) role was emphasized as well. The recognition of BPMETs by the LGU encouraged them to continue monitoring projects beyond CHARMP2. The  importance of financial institutions  especially cooperatives in the Project-covered areas were also discussed. Accordingly, they play a crucial role in assisting and teaching the LIGs how to manage their loans, keep a record book and therefore became valuable advisers to the beneficiaries.

 7th project anniversary

In his message, Dr. Caranguian highlighted the importance of KLM in the project. “One thing is for sure, CHARM is only a temporary project but the KLM serves as an avenue to document success stories of what happened during the past few years.

 

Definitely, whether we like it or not, not everyone is a recipient. What will we do to make them a part of CHARM? Here we will have the opportunity to show the good lessons, we will package it for the next generation and we will give them a story as a part of the history of agricultural development. CHARMP2 is the match that ignites and teaches us how to implement our programs,” he said.

 7th project anniversary

These CHARMP2 legacies continue to uphold the objectives of the Project. And these will only truly be sustained and serve as legacies with the sense of ownership and cooperation among the concerned local government units and the beneficiaries. As the Anniversary’s theme says “Sustaining Development: Handing over  CHARMP2 legacy.”// Arianne  Robea Nebrida & Janice Agrifino

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