“LGUs can work with the implementers to guarantee the sustainability of the project.”

Benguet Governor Nestor Fongwan suggested this to the Regional Inter-Agency Steering Committee (RISC) of the Second Cordillera Highland Agricultural Resource Management (CHARM 2) Project in their meeting on August 20 in Baguio City.

Governor Fongwan underscored the importance of the continuity of the project on reforestation and agro-forestry, especially since all the projects under CHARM 2 must be physically done on December this year.

“Kung papasok ang autonomy dito, mas maganda siguro ang sustainability ng project na ‘to,” DILG Regional Director John Castañeda added.

CHARM 2 is now on its 69th month of implementation. As of July 31, 79.30% of the project has already been done, which is 13.81% short of the 93.81% target. A catch-up plan was presented during the meeting, however the Committee agreed that the plan must be further specified to ensure that the targets are attained.

CHARM 2 covers the six provinces, 37 municipalities and 170 barangays of the region, and intends to directly benefit 51,165 individuals, which is equivalent to 11,300 households. It seeks to attain three Millenium Development Goals, namely: eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, promote gender equality and empower women, and ensure environmental sustainability.

OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) funds the CHARM 2 Project with an amount of $10 million. The loan should have ended last July 31 but it was extended to July 2015. The expansion was done through the NEDA-ICC (Investment Coordination Committee)—a Cabinet-level inter-agency committee.

The RISC members agreed that projects must be physically done by December 2014 to fully utilize the $10 million loan. From June to July next year, the projects must already be properly liquidated and necessary documents must be submitted.

CHARM 2 Project Chairperson Atty. Emerson Palad was also introduced during the meeting. He is the Undersecretary for operations of the Department of Agriculture.

NEDA-CAR serves as an oversight committee member in the CHARM2 Project.



by: Christine Mamuyac, SPCAR