The proposed PhP 601 Million Cordillera Highland Agricultural Resources Management Project2 (CHARMP2) Scale-Up Project of the Department of Agriculture- Cordillera Administrative Region (DA-CA) finally hurdled the Investment Coordinating Committee- Technical Board (ICC TB) after two presentations last August 19 and September 1, 2016. As such, it is now ready for presentation to the ICC Cabinet Committee come September 19. ICC clearance is needed for all major projects needing foreign funding support.

The project is expected to benefit about 2,665 households spread over 18 barangays in the six provinces of CAR. If approved by the ICC Cabinet Committee and the NEDA Board, it will be implemented starting January 2017 with a two-year implementation period. The 18 barangay beneficiaries which are among the poorest and hard-to-reach barangays in the region are as follows:

• Nalbuan in Licuan-Baay; Nagbuquel in Luba; Bayabas in Malibcong ( Abra)
• Ferdinand in Calanasan; Calafug in Conner; Lucab in Kabugao ( Apayao)
• Bagu in Bakun; Pongayan in Kapangan; Pappa in Sablan ( Benguet)
• Anao in Hingyon; Abatan in Hungduan; GumhanginTinoc ( Ifugao)
• TaloctocinTanudan; Bugnay in Tinglayan; Balinciagao Sur in Pasil ( Kalinga)
• BagnenOriente in Bauko; Balugan in Sagada; Dacudac in Tadian (Mountain Province)

The project has four main components, namely: (a) Social Mobilization and Participatory Investment Planning (b) Agro Forestry (c) Agriculture, Agri Business and Income Generating Activities and (d) Rural Infrastructure Development (RID).

Agroforestry and Watershed Management, and Project Management components account for 9 percent of the total project cost while the components on Social Mobilization, Participatory Investment Planning, and Agriculture, Agri-business and Income Generating Activities account for 8 percent each of the total project funds. The RID has the largest share to the total CHARMP2 Scale-Up Project Fund at 64% or about PhP 386 M.

The RID project outputs include the rehabilitation / improvement of about 86 kilometers of farm to market roads, 40,450 lineal meters of foot path, 625 lineal meters of foot bridge, 482 hectares of communal irrigation system plus the construction of 30 community infrastructures (domestic water supply system, tramlines, warehouse, solar dryer, greenhouse).

On the other hand, the agribusiness and income generating activities will provide seed fund to farmers to support various commodities of the farmers. Meanwhile, the watershed components will involve the establishment of agroforestry plots in the barangays.

During the ICC Technical Board deliberation, NEDA Deputy Director General Rolando Tungpalan emphasized the need for DA to show synergy/ complementation of the CHARMP2 Scale-Up Project with the Philippine Rural Development Project (a nationwide project of DA) and the Integrated Natural Resources Environmental Management Project (INREMP) being implemented by DENR in the Upper Chico River Basin of CAR. He likewise directed DA to show the impact of the previous CHARMP projects.

The first CHARMP project, implemented from 1997 to 2004, had 82 barangay beneficiaries, while CHARMP2 was implemented from 2009-2016 and had 170 barangay beneficiaries.  The proposed CHARMP2 Scaling- Up project, for implementation from 2017 – 2019 ,  is expected to replicate the good practices of the previous CHARMP projects, benefiting  18 of the region’s poorer and hard-to-reach barangays.

The Cordillera Regional Development Council endorsed the proposed project to the ICC through RDC-CAR Resolution No. 34, entitled “Approving the additional financing for upscaling the Second Cordillera Highland Agricultural Resource Management Project (CHARMP2).”  

(Sept. 13, 2016)