MANKAYAN, BENGUET – The municipality of Mankayan in Benguet is the second location for the implementation of livelihood projects for the former Cordillera People’s Liberation Army (CPLA) in Benguet, according to former CPLA-Benguet zone commander Thomas Tanacio.
Benguet Saguday Livelihood Association (BSLAI), the People’s Organization composed of former CPLA members in Benguet has started the first phase of organic poultry farming in Brgy. Cabiten in Mankayan using Community-Driven Enterprise Development (CDED) approaches. The first location in Tuba, Benguet is also on its first phase.
CDED has been adopted as a framework for the implementation of livelihood projects for socio-economic reintegration under the 2011 Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the government and the Cordillera Bodong Administration (CBA)-CPLA. Using participatory processes, CDED helps in the preparation and execution of business plans and helps integrate chosen enterprises with existing value chains.
BSLAI’s livelihood projects for the 2011 MOA are implemented with the help of Department of Social Welfare and Development’s Sustainable Livelihood Program and are funded by Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan or PAMANA, the government’s program for peace and development. For the P2.7 million allocated to BSLAI, Benguet governor Nestor Fongwan for the provincial government stands as fund administrator.
The MOA includes the economic reintegration of former CPLA members through employment as bantay-gubat (forest guard) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, integration into the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and support for livelihood projects.
In preparation for the farm project, BSLAI members had a hands-on training on organic feeds processing and organic free-range chicken raising under farmer-scientist Eric Tinoyan at his farm in Klondykes, Camp 1, in Tuba, Benguet. The training with Tinoyan includes processing of organic feeds using ingredients like camote tops, toyo (rice husk), gabi, and tricantera, among others.
“Adu ti naadal mi (we learned a lot),” says Nestor Guindayan, the operations officer of BSLAI.
“The process of organic farming is more difficult than the usual. But at least all the materials are around,” commented Ms. Gloria Ngasao, also a former CPLA but is now serving as Bantay-Gubat.
The BSLAI farm workers for the poultry project have finished building a 10x5 sq. meters of chick cage. They are scheduled to build fences around an area of 1,000 sq. meters for the free-range sasso chickens.
“Sala-salamat ti commitment ti gobyerno (We are thankful for the commitment of the government) because even though Cabiten is not covered by the MOA, we are doing this project here now,” Tanacio concludes.