PRESS RELEASE #1: ADB-JFPR-JODA-PCSD PROJECT # 9160 LAUNCHING ACTIVITIES
Japan’s Php 50M Livelihood Assistance Sealed for Balabac, Palawan
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It was in high spirits that the Local Government and community leaders of Balabac, Palawan welcomed a 30-month development assistance package from the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction (JFRPR) through the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Japan Official Development Assistance (JODA). To mark the beginning of this new partnership, the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD), the Project’s executing agency and Balabac Mayor Shuaib Astami recently signed a Memorandum of Agreement for the implementation of the Project dubbed as “JFPR 9160: Developing Sustainable Alternative Livelihoods in Coastal Fishing Communities in the Coral Triangle: Indonesia and Philippines.” PCSD Executive Director Nelson Devanadera was represented by PCSD District Manager for Southern Palawan, Ms. Rhoda Roque with the co-implementing Project Team, the Center for Environment and Sustainable Development (CESD) led by Ms. Josefina Ferriols-Pavico standing as witness. The Sangguniang Bayan also expressed support to the agreement by their issuance of an accompanying resolution.
The Project aims to raise incomes in the poor coastal communities in Balabac by pilot-testing sustainable and alternative livelihood schemes, which will later be developed into models for replication and scale-up. This is part of conservation and resource management efforts that are intended to help ease the pressure on the town’s unique and diverse but constantly threatened coastal and marine resources. JFPR 9160 will also prioritize the participation of women and the Molbog local indigenous people. Efforts will be targeted to respond to the needs of the 67% of the population living below the poverty threshold and to complement marine and coastal resource rehabilitation and law enforcement.
An inauguration of the Project office at the second floor of the Municipal Hall and a Multi-sectoral Stakeholders Consultation meeting were also held on the same day. Participants representing a majority of the twenty barangays and various government service units and civil society groups in Balabac actively provided inputs for the Project Team’s initial assessments and planning. A set of criteria will be employed to ensure that services and resources are delivered to those who are most in need. Lessons from previous conservation and development projects will also guide the Project.