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Saturday, April 10, 2010

ILO and FAO joint project brings new hope forpoor Bondoc Peninsula folks

MANILA, PHILIPPINES - The International Labour Organization (ILO) and the
and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations have jointly
designed a
new project to improve the lives of poor residents of Bondoc Peninsula.

The project, officially dubbed as *Inter-agency Programme to Nurture Peace,
Security and Decent Work through Local Development in Conflict Areas of the
Philippines (Bondoc Peninsula),* will cover the four municipalities of
Mulanay, San Narciso, Unisan and Catanauan. It aims to directly address
poverty and inequality identified as root causes of social unrest and armed
conflict in Bondoc Peninsula.

Protection and empowerment of the Bondoc Peninsula people who are in severe
pervasive poverty situations is the main goal of the project. The central
strategy of the project is local economic development and peace-building
processes that puts a premium on directly addressing human security
Capacity-based approach aims to expand their livelihood assets and increase
productivity through participatory dialogue and institutional strengthening
activities both at the community and local government levels.

Ms Linda Wirth, Director of the ILO Subregional Office based in Manila,
explains *Decent work is what is needed for poor people to escape the
of poverty, especially when they are living in conflict-affected areas with
scarce opportunities and services.* She stressed that *in order to break
the vicious cycle of poverty, people must work together to develop their own
place.* She elaborated, *It is important to bring together all efforts of
all stakeholders in a certain locality so there will be less poor people and
residents will learn to cope with climate change and to resolve conflict.*

Meanwhile, FAO Representative to the Philippines Mr Kazuyuki Tsurumi
*The project is just right considering that Quezon is essentially an
agricultural economy.* He said, *Restoring, rehabilitating and improving
farming and fishing activities in the affected communities are prerequisites
a lasting peace and long-term economic development in the province.* He
that FAO is strongly committed to support the peace process in the area.

A total of at least 3,500 women and men are expected to benefit from
for agricultural and fisheries production improvement and management. This
includes proper seed production and storage; integrated farming systems;
farming; integrated pests management; improved poultry and livestock
proper harvest and post-harvest practices and support to sustainable fishing
methodologies. Another 2,500 individuals will be given complementary
livelihood assistance, market linkage support and entrepreneurial and
vocational skills training. Furthermore, the project also targets 2,000
and children from the four municipalities to benefit from better health
through improved maternal and child care programmes. Community-based
risk management and social protection schemes, as an added feature, will be
weaved into the project to enhance the adaptive and coping capacities of the
beneficiaries vis-a-vis climate change and foreseen day to day
shocks at the household level.

Mulanay Municipal Mayor Prudencio Maxino expressed his gratitude to ILO and
for choosing Bondoc Peninsula. He says, *I am elated over the project.
It*s a welcome development because it reinforces my administration*s
efforts to reduce poverty and uphold peace in our locality. The project is
promising because it is very well-planned and takes-off from the resource
capacity of our constituents, and we are determined to do our part to get it
implemented. *

The Japanese government provides the amount of US$2
5M for the project via the
UN Trust Fund for Human Security. The Office of the Presidential Adviser on
Peace Process (OPAPP) is also a major partner since the project complements
national government*s peace building agenda and agrarian reform efforts in
Bondoc Peninsula. OPAPP will extend its expertise in promoting
activities and policy support to replicate project experiences in other
conflict-affected areas in the Philippines.

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