Partner agencies from the government, the private sector and the Central Philippines State University (CPSU), through the College of Agriculture and Forestry (CAF), officially turned over two solar home systems and rainwater collectors to two residents of Sitio Cabugan, Brgy. Tagucon during the launching of the trade-off community-based natural resource management program of CAF on February 23, 2018.
The program is an extension service provided by the College of Agriculture and Forestry led by Dr. Aladino C. Moraca, Director for Enterprise Development of CPSU. Under the program, the recipients agreed to receive the goods in exchange of their effort to manage natural resources in their community. In particular, each recipient has to allot 1.5 hectares for organic farming, protect the forest and send their children or relative to study at CPSU.
"We want to introduce sustainable livelihood in order to cut the umbilical cord that ties people to poverty," Dr. Moraca said during the ceremony.
The program is supported by partners from RU Foundry and Machine Shop Corporation and EcoAgri Development Foundation, Multi-Sectoral Alliance for Development-Negros (MUAD-Negros), and Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA) of Negros Occidental. The partners are considering allotting P2 million in order to expand the project to include the remaining 24 families at Sitio Cabugan. Going forward, they will be receiving ram pumps for their water supply.
Recipients of the solar home systems and rainwater collectors are Mr. Nestor Obejero and Mr. Leonilo Pat. They indicated their commitment to deliver their part of the agreement by signing a memorandum of agreement with Mr. Ramon C. Uy, Sr., President of RU Foundry, and Mr. Reynic . Alo, Executive Director of MUAD-Negros. Mrs. Rosalinda C. Tondo, Auxilliary Director of Central Philippines State University, witnessed the signing of MOA.
The ceremony was attended by 95 participants, including the other residents of Sitio Cabugan, and faculty and students of CPSU. The students demonstrated two possible technologies that may be adopted by the community: muscovado sugar making and oil production from coconut.
During the program the partners also committed to provide technical knowledge to help the community engage in other livelihood projects such as flour and brick making, or cacao and banana production. The greater vision is to possibly make the community a tourism hub or an organic farming village.