DISOP Philippines

Integrated Sustainable Livelihood Alternatives in Camiguin” (ISLA-Camiguin)


Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement (PRRM) 56 Mother Ignacia Ave. cor. Dr. Lazcano St., Brgy Paligsahan, Quezon City 1103 Philippines

PRRM is one of the oldest non-government organizations (NGOs) engaged in rural development work in the country. Founded in 1952, it traces its roots to China where, in the early 1900s, the rural reconstruction movement was born, inspired and led by Dr. Y.C. James Yen. Over the past 50 years, PRRM has made a number of major contributions to Philippine rural development. Its field programs span 13 provinces throughout the country, where its “sustainable area development” and “sustainable rural district development” models are being tested and refined, in partnership with organizations of farmers, fishers, women, and the youth.

In Camiguin, following field programs projects has been implemented over the years:

  • The Camiguin Sustainable Forestry Development Project (1994-1997). A three-year community forestry project implemented in three upland barangays of Camiguin. A CBFMA has been awarded to the three POs organized by the project.
  •  The Sustainable Island Development Program (1997-2001), combines small-island ecosystem approach and tourism development, with strong emphasis for community management as strategy to develop the island. With a time frame of three years, the program was proposed to complement the development initiatives of various actors, with the end view of accelerating community-based sustainable development through increased people’s access to and control over resources, as well as improved capabilities in decision-making processes.
  • In 1998, PRRM was contracted by the Provincial Government of Camiguin to formulate a Comprehensive Master Development Plan for the island. The project was aimed at helping the Provincial Government of Camiguin draw up its development blueprint for the province in the next ten years, thereby situating the strategic perspective of the Spanish development cooperation program.
  • PRRM also implemented two phases of a complementary project in Camiguin, the Ecological Development Tourism Pilot Program, funded by the Spanish Government, and in partnership with IPADE, for two years, 1999-2000. This program sought to locate tourism as a strategy within a sustainable and equitable development framework.

On-going projects:

  • Micro Finance Project. A spin-off project from the Sustainable Island Development Program (SIDP), this project provides working capital loans to small business owners and entrepreneurs since 2004.
  • Community-Based Coastal Resource Management (CB-CRM). Started in 2011 until 2013. The project is a three-year Community Organizing intervention  in the island with primary focus on building capacities of coastal communities to strengthen the institutionalization of Coastal Resource Managment System in the province, with funding support from DISOP Philippines.

Historic of the relationship with disop

DISOP’s engagement with PRRM started in the last quarter of 2009 when PRRM was asked to submit project proposal to complement existing Coastal Resource Management Project (CCRMP) funded by New Zealand Aid. The main idea behind the project being proposed to DISOP is for the fisherfolks to be part of the institutionalization of CRM system being funded by the New Zealand Aid through community organizing and capacity building. The project was approved in the last quarter of 2011.

Integration of lessons learned from the previous project

  • Community organizing is an important strategy in managing common property resources (CPR), in this case coastal resources. Management of CPR by the people residing or the one “nearest” to the resource base is in constant challenge both by the prívate and government sector. Criticism mainly focus on the slow gestation period of community organizing to deliver effective results to address rapid degradation of resource based of the area.
  • Develoment of social enterprises (SEs) is an important component of sustainable economic development for CRM. As shown in the first phase, SE’s established gave the POs the opportunity to develop their skills with the potential of increasing their income while conserving and protecting their coastal and marine resources’ environment. The challenge is to scale up its operations in order for its impact to be felt at the household level.
  • It is important to strengthen  PRRM’s linkages and advocacy work for CBCRM in order to effectively create mechanisms and systems for the sustainable management and conservation of coastal and marine resources. The initiatives undertaken through the LGU-PO-NGO partnership mechanism, hopes to strengthen initiatives for MPA Management, maintain and sustain Mangrove rehabilitation and nursery management, and enhance CRM plan for its full implementation and institutionalization. Engagement with LGUs to review certain policy on CRM for example gave POs the strength and the realization of importance of collective action of their role and responsibilities in strengthening CRM systems to protect and conserve the coastal and marine resources in the island province.


       Way how the context analysis was made

Context analysis is borne out of long years of PRRM working experience in Camiguin. Consultations at various levels were conducted to come up with context analysis. The first layer is done through PO meetings at the barangay level. The second layer is through PO leadership and mechanisms (i.e FARMC and MDCs). The third layer is within PRRM through consultations with project staff, PRRM officers and BOD.

Short Analysis of the Political, Economic and Social Context

Political Context:

  • Camiguin’s political context is similar with the other island-province in the Philippines-patriarchal and the mode of delivery of public services is by patronage politics, thus controlling almost all aspect of the lives of the people in the island by a few family.
  • Changes in governance however is happening in the barangays and municipal level as POs are being involved through particiaption development processes like Bottoms-Up-Budgeting and various mechanisms i.e Municipal Development Council planning and FARMCs as results of capacity building activities of the Project. This in turn resulted in the delivery of resources or projects needed by the PO and the communities.

Economic Context:

  • As the economy continue to benefit from the popularity of the Aquino Government, income gap between the rich and the poor continue to widen. This resulted still in significant number of poor families living below poverty line.
  • To address poverty, the government infuse significant portion of its budget on various anti-poverty programs (4P’s, Philhealth, NAPC for Fisherfolks, and livelihood assitance ton mention a few). It is safe to assume that around 40% of DISOP-PRRM Project beneficiaries in Camiguin has benefitted or has avail of these programs in Camiguin. For fisherfolks livelihood assistance, three municipalities (Mambajao, Catarman and Mahinog) where POs are active in has been provided with motorboats amounting to 500k. This has a potential to augment fisherfolks income.
  • To maximize ecotourism potential of the island, social enterprises pilotted under DISOP Phase1 will have to be scale-up to provide income and employment to PO members and local people.
  • Aside from adressing the problem on income, these social enterprises is necessary to environmental degration. Overall this will help consolidate the POs as members will be given the opportunity to implement or work in the enterprises being develop.
  • On the larger scale, social enterprises will democratize the market, since current market is controlled by few individual or families. In this way, local communities will benefit from the development of ecoutourism potential of the island.

Environment Context:

  • The government respond to the coastal problem is through the Camiguin Coastal Resource Mangement Project (CCRMP). Funded by New Zealand Aid, CCRMP’s aim is to institutionalize the whole CRM system in the province to address the problems in the coastal areas. The project was able to establish a CRM Office in every municipality, trained LGU personnnel involved in CRM, established MPA network, and formulated CRM code in every municipality.  In order for the the fisherfolks to take part in the whole instituionilization process of the CRM system,  DISOP and PRRM initiated a complementary project to organize and strengthen the capacity of fisherfolks. The project provided opportunity for fisherfolks to be involved and directly participate in CRM activities and processes. As a result, FARMCs at the municipal level- a mechanism to engage LGUs to formulate policies and access support for CRM- became functional.  At the community level, POs are actively involved in various CRM activities, i.e. MPA maintenance, coastal law enforcement, mangrove rehabilitation, and coastal clean-up activities.
  • The situation in the upland is no different downstream. It is also confronted with high poverty incidence due the current state of its natural resource based, an increasing population, occurrence of natural calamities affecting the watershed areas and the coastal and marine habitat downstream.
  • In response, the government implemented the National Greening Program which targetted to reforest the remaining denuded areas in the upland. And these included the 5 upland barangays being identified in the Phase 2 DISOP project. To increase bio-diversity and protected area management in the island, PAMB has been created to formulate Protect Area plans and policies. These gave opportunity to POs to increase their capacity in Protected Area management and Bio-diversity as they were part of the PAMB Board.

Social Context:

  • POs are already participating in various governance mechanism such as FARMCs, MDCs, Bottoms-Up-Budgeting, PAMB, and others, however, there still a need for POs to be consolidated and be integrated into higher level (federations and network) to have more voice (strength)  for negotiation and bargaining for reforms.

Relevance of the project

Description of the problem and reasons why it was chosen to work on this problematic

Like any other rural communities across the country, quality of life of families living in the island province specifically in the coastal and upland areas continue to decline as indicated in the latest Human Development Index (HDI) report. This is because the resource base is being depleted at the rate faster than it could regenerate significantly affecting their main source of livelihood. This in turn affect the ability to create employment opportunities in the area.

The increasing poverty incidence among communities in the island can be attributed from the continuing degradation of natural resources in both upland and coastal areas, coupled with low income of poor households resulting to poor economic conditions and weak participation of communities in ensuring effective and responsive governance in the island.

Continuing degradation of the island’s resource base both upland and coastal. Despite the on-going  programs undertaken by the government and NGOs,  degradation of strategic natural resources of the island is still a problem. Law enforcement both in upland and  coastal continue to be a problem mainly due to the limited resources and lack of personnel from the government to facilitate for such. Current efforts by the government will have to be strengthened.

Low income and lack of economic development opportunitiesA perennial problem in upland and coastal areas is  low income and the lack of economic development opportunities for families living in those areas has always been a major concern in any development interventions.  Social enterprises established in the phase 1 of DISOP-CBCRM project will have to be scaled-up to mitigate problems on employment and low level of income. This will be supported by financing assistance from PRRM-MFI to sustain its operations later on.

Weak Community Participation of Communities and POs for effective Governance. As participatory mechanisms has already been in place through different national and local laws for effective resource management, the challenge is still how these mechanisms will function and work effectively to include POs and NGOs in the process.

Various interventions in both coastal and upland communities, will have to be consolidated, by linking past initiatives with the current initiatives in order to create a more integrated and sustainable management systems for livelihood and environment.

With the propsed phase 2 project – ISLA-Camiguin Project, is designed to continue the institutionalization process of the CRM system to include upland resource management, while scaling up social enterprises established in the phase1. The fulcrum in the whole intervention is the Family Rural school which shall serve as center for education and formation of families and out-of-school youth through alternative system. Eventually, this will increase the knowledge and skills of participating households and out-of-school youth in undertaking alternative livelihood opportunities towards increase employability.

Geographical location of the project

The project is located in the small island province of Camiguin located in the northern part of mainland Mindanao. It is approximately 10 kilometers and 90 kilometers North of nearest point of Misamis Oriental and Cagayan de Oro City, respectively and fifty four (54) kilometers southeast of Bohol Island. It is only accessible by means of sea and air transportation. The 64-kilometer circumferential road provides access around the island linking all the municipalities. Being a small island, it has only five (5) municipalities and 58 barangays, comprising of 41 coastal and 17 upland barangays.

Of the 41 coastal barangays, only 25 coastal barangays are proposed to be covered by the phase 2 project including 6 upland barangays, respectively. These 31 barangays are spread in all 5 municipalities. Kindly refer below for the names and number of barangays covered by the Project.

Description of the Target Communities and Final Beneficiaries  

The direct beneficiaries of the Project are the small fishers and their families organized in the phase 1 of the project and farmers and forest dwellers in upland and forest areas previously organized by PRRM in the various projects implemented in the island. Below are the barangays proposed to be covered by the Project per municipality.


Municipality Coastal Barangays Upland Barangays Total
Catarman Tangaro, PoblacionCompol, Panghiawan

Lawigan, Catibac

Alga, Sto. NinoMainit, Bura


10 Barangays
Sagay Manuyog, AlangilanBonbon, Poblacion 4 Barangays
Guinsiliban Liong, Maac, Cabuan 3 Barangays
Mahinog Tupsan Pequeno, Catuhogan, Hubangon,Binaliwan, San Roque,


San Isidro 7 Barangays
Mambajao Yumbing, Agoho, KuguitaPoblacion, Magting, Tupsan Sitio Itum, Baylao 7 Barangays
25 Coastal Barangays 6 Upland Barangays 31 Barangays

Scaling up of social enterprises (particularly eco-devt tours and RR trade) established in the first phase and the completion of the institutionalization of CRM system will be main focus of intervention in the coastal areas. It will be then link to organizing in the upland areas (“ridge to reef”) to further increase the sustainable use and management of the natural resource base in the island. Indirect beneficiaries of the project are the rest of the community residents in the island province who will also reap the benefits from a rehabilitated upland and coastal marine environment.

Capacity building on organizational development and technical skills in upland and coastal resource management will be undertaken to strengthen existing resource management programs. Social enterprises established in the first phase will be scaled-up to complement and support the whole intervention.


  • Local actors: Local civil society and public authorities, including decentralised

The project will be working closely with the Local Government Units in 5 municipalities and concerned line agencies to include DENR, BFAR, DA, DTI, TESDA, Business sector, and local development councils at the municipal and provincial level for smooth and easy implementation of the project.

  • Description

Support form local goverement units, government agencies and the private sectors is essential for any CRM/URM programs to succeed. PRRM shall be working closely with these institututions to carry our projects activities and outputs. The project will seek various ways to strengthen mechanisms for consultation dialogues for the organized POs, the government and the private sector..

  • Analysis of the ways used to strengthen their capacities

Programs and projects from the government will be tapped to strengthen PO capacity in various aspect of CRM/URM. Accessing of poverty alleviation programs (4Ps, Philhealth and National Greening) and strengthening of the informal education system (in this case the ALS) for the Farmily Farm will be done as part of project strategies.

  • Foreign or international actors

If possisble,foreign or international actors will also be tapped either to fund project or aspect/portion of CRM/URM project that still needs funding or asistance. RR Trade and Ecodevt Tours for example could tap expertise of foreign countries for fair trade activities wherein PO products and services (ecodevt tours) can be undertaken.

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