Protect. Rehabilitate. Plan. These are the program’s key management thrusts. Protect what is there, rehabilitate what has been destroyed, and plan for the intelligent utilization of the city’s terrestrial and marine resources. This is the life cycle that the program envisions for the community to achieve sustainable development.
Sunday, August 13, 2006
Puerto Princesa City — Almost P2 billion worth of infrastructure projects funded by the Asian Development Bank in this city are boosting its US$100 million development plan which will make it ready for a massive tourism promotion that aims to bring in 600,000 tourists in just three years’ time.
Known as the Philippines’ last frontier because of its strong environmental program, Puerto Princesa wants to be the country’s no. 1 tourist destination for its eco-tourism. It is currently among the top or major tourist destinations in the country. At its height, tourism arrivals reached 170,000 but have since gone down drastically with the terrorism scare caused by 9-11 and the infamous kidnapping by the Abu Sayyaf at one of its popular island resorts in 2001. Starting on the 3rd quarter of 2002, tourist arrivals have increased with the City gaining popularity as a conference and sports destination.
The man behind the city’s ambitious development is Mayor Edward S. Hagedorn, a living legend in his own right due to his checkered past and close affinity to past and present national leaders. He was one of the local government officials who pledged crucial support to President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo at the height of the political crisis in July.
He says he is not in a hurry to promote his city as yet, as he implements his development plans which put a premium on sustainable development above all else. Among the beautification and improvements in infrastructure he is undertaking are the widening of Rizal Ave., reclamation of the wharf, and putting a promenade along the boulevard, just like Manila’s Baywalk. He is also purchasing additional police cars and hiring more police officers to beef up the current police force complement.
It is for this reason that he is grateful for the major infrastructure projects funded by the ADB that were recently completed or near completion which consist of an arterial road network, a sanitary landfill and fisheries project.
The P1.6 billion Palawan North Road is a 134-kilometer road which stretches from the city to Roxas, cutting travel time from four to five hours to just one and a half hours. The concrete road was made with a special concrete paver, making it much smoother than normal concrete roads. Engineers boast that it is a world-class road. It was completed in 2004. The road is part of the ADB’s Sixth Road Project which aims to improve infrastructure in the countryside to boost economic development. The project consists of the 80.34- kilometer Puerto Princesa-Langogan road and the 54.14-kilometer Langogan-Roxas road. It is located along the northeast coast of Palawan.
“These nice roads are a catalyst for development. Normally, investors, when they come, they first look at the road network, for the delivery of goods and products. Roads are a major aspect of development,” says Mayor Hagedorn. “We would like to thank the ADB for making us a part of their major programs, particularly in infrastructure.”
“Before, when you go to Roxas, you stop at San Rafael which is 75 kilometers from the city. All buses stop there to eat because the trip is long. After the uphill climb in Langogan, there’s another eatery, and they eat again because they are hungry again,” says Simeon Alarcon, Vice President of the Palawan Chamber of Commerce. “Now, the buses don’t stop anymore.”
The Palawan North Road boosts the tourism economy of the province, which is one of only two industries after agriculture. It leads to major tourism spots like Honda Bay, the Underground River, and its famed world-class resorts like El Nido, Club Noah-Isabelle, etc.
Another ADB-funded project is the P200-million sanitary landfill in barangay Sta. Lourdes, touted to be the first local government-controlled sanitary landfill in the country. It was one of the projects submitted for ADB funding in 1991 under the Philippine Regional Municipal Project. It is now operational and the Mayor is inculcating in his constituents to be conscious of solid waste management by having a proper waste disposal from the source.
“If you don’t have a comprehensive solid waste management program, if you get a huge influx of tourists, you won’t know how to address the garbage problem. So we’re lucky that before the influx of more tourists, we are now ready for a massive solid waste management program,” Mayor Hagedorn says.
The project will cover the entire urban population and more than half of the rural population. The required capacity is for 20 years waste generation. With the implementation of the zero waste management program under R.A. 2003, the City expects that the life span of the sanitary landfill will extend to 50 years or more.
The sanitary landfill will be implemented in 6 phases on a 26.9 hectare lot. Phase 1 covered the construction of a leachate treatment plant and pumping stations; composting plant; and auxiliary facilities like access road, perimeter fence and gate, cut-off ditches and drainage system, monitoring wells, protection dikes, gas vents, waste recovery shed, equipment yard and wash bay, weighbridge, guardhouse, and administrative building. Dump trucks and a landfill vibratory compactor were also purchased.
The third ADB project in the city is the Fisheries Resources Management Project which supports the strong environment vision of Mayor Hagedorn. Under the P40 million project, 370 hectares have been declared fish sanctuaries, prohibiting fishing and any other human activity. “We are achieving our goal of sustainable development and reduction in poverty,” says the Mayor. The city also maintains nurseries with mangrove seedlings and the maintenance of the full-grown mangroves.
The project has an income diversification component, through community participation for the sustainable livelihood of fishermen who were once engaged in destructive and or unsustainable means of fishing, by providing microfinancing for such activities as crab fattening, fish drying, processing etc. It covers 56 coastal barangays. In Honda Bay alone, there are 18 coastal barangays benefiting from the project while in Puerto Princesa Bay, it covers 22 barangays.
Ironically, the Mayor has a strong environmental advocacy not because he has been an environmentalist all his life but because he was among the first loggers in Palawan. “The turning point was when I was elected mayor in 1992. It was a humbling experience that you are not from here and you were elected. That’s what changed my outlook. Because of the trust and confidence of Palaweños, I promised I am going to protect the resources that rightfully belong to the Palaweños.”
And this strong environmental advocacy has garnered for the mayor and his city numerous environmental awards not just locally but from international organizations as well.
(Source: adb.org - By Rita Festin, ADB National Officer )
Philippines' last frontier bets on tourism
PUERTO PRINCESA, PHILIPPINES -- The western Philippine province of Palawan prides itself on being the country's last natural frontier, with little pollution, beautiful seas and beaches, and untouched wildlife reserves.
But to support such an idyllic lifestyle, the province composed of the main island of Palawan and some 1,780 smaller islets is banking on tourism -- even if it means forfeiting an image of rustic isolation.
The 14,896 square-kilometre province has strict environmental regulations and the capital Puerto Princesa has an ordinance banning "destructive development."
Palawan concentrates on tourism, agriculture and fisheries for its income and the province has much to offer tourists, both foreign and local, from the richest to the lower-middle classes. The wealthy and powerful, including Hollywood stars like Mariah Carey, Robert De Niro and Naomi Campbell, stay at exclusive Palawan islands.
More modest tour groups visit the crocodile farm, a village of Vietnamese boat people and a park with a spectacular underground river.
Palawan has diverse flora and fauna, hot springs and waterfalls that have yet to be fully tapped for tourism. A marine sanctuary covering a reef and a reserve stocked with African animals are also underutilized, says Janice Espina of Palawan's 1700 Islands Travel and Tours.
But the province's isolation makes Palawan's best attractions difficult to reach. Many of the best beaches, resorts, dive spots and tourist sites can be visited only by lengthy road or boat trips. Nightlife is subdued and even the capital Puerto Princesa has the atmosphere of a sleepy town. There is a shortage of luxury hotel rooms and many parts of the island suffer from irregular electrical supply. But plans are afoot to improve airports and build new highways that will speed up travel to tourist sites. A convention centre has been built in Puerto Princesa for about $4.5-million in hopes of bringing in regional conferences and sporting events. Provincial tourism officer Maribel Buni says tourist arrivals should double in five to 10 years.
"Once the infrastructure is set up, we will get more tourists coming," Mayor Edgardo Hagedorn says.
Palawan Tourism Council: http://www.palawan.ws.
This turnover of management from national to local government is the first of its kind in the history of the country and was conceived through the effort and initiative of the mayor. Recently, the Park was declared a World Heritage Site ...
“Thank you, Mayor (Edward Hagedorn) for this beautiful and very good project and for the help that you give to the country,” the President said during the inauguration of the landfill facility this morning. ...
On 25 August 1993, Mayor Hagedorn received the Earth Day Award by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). ... Edward S. Hagedorn, City Mayor Mr. Antonio Romasanta, Program Coordinator New City Hall Brgy. Sta. Monica ...
We still had a running tour of the city and passed by Puerto Prinsesa's cathedral, sports arena, the residence of Mayor Edward Hagedorn and a past governor (who's name I don't remember) that died in a plane crash. ...
This is what the City Government under Mayor Edward S. Hagedorn did to ... That is why when Mayor Edward S. Hagedorn first assumed the mayoralty post in ... Through the City Housing Office that the Mayor Hagedorn formally created on 23 ...
Mayor Hagedorn was there, too. He was on his way to Underground River we found out with the crew of Living Asia. After the boat ride to the river, we waited for around an hour. We watched the Mayor being interviewed when we got to talk ...
The third ADB project in the city is the Fisheries Resources Management Project which supports the strong environment vision of Mayor Hagedorn. Under the P40 million project, 370 hectares have been declared fish sanctuaries, ...
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo commended on Friday the city government of Puerto Princesa for its state-of-the-art engineered sanitary landfill facility, the first of its kind in the country and the first to fully comply with Republic Act 9003 or the Solid Waste Management Act of 2003.
The P230-million pioneering landfill project is situated in a 35-hectare, environmentally controlled area, an abandoned mercury mining site in Barangay Sta. Lourdes, some 11 kilometers away from the city proper.
“Thank you, Mayor (Edward Hagedorn) for this beautiful and very good project and for the help that you give to the country,” the President said during the inauguration of the landfill facility this morning.
The Puerto Princesa City mayor chairs Task Force Jueteng, which was created by the President to stop jueteng operations in the country.
The President said this is the first time that she has seen an odorless landfill facility.
She expressed her appreciation to Hagedorn for his support and role in the government’s campaign against jueteng and commended him for the good condition of the infrastructure facilities in his province.
The President arrived here this morning to inaugurate and inspect various government projects, including the P1.5 billion, 134.5-kilometer Palawan Road Project connecting Puerto Princesa City to Roxas town and other municipalities in the northern part of the province.
The project was undertaken jointly by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) with funding assistance from the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
Among the benefits of the project is the systematized sanitary disposal of solid waste, reduction of air and waterborne diseases associated with open dumping, and reduction of pollution of the Tagburos River and the famous Honda Bay.
From Antonio Bautista Air Base (ABAB), she motored to Barangay San Pedro where she unveiled the marker and cut the ribbon marking the official opening of the Puerto Princesa-Langogan-Roxas Road project.
The project was funded by ADB under its Sixth Road Project.
The completion of the project is expected to address the major constraints to Palawan’s economic and social development, particularly in the northern portion of Palawan.
The President also inspected the Puerto Princesa City government center and nature park, the new city hall, and sports complex.
The sports complex served as temporary shelter for the 2,000 families of victims of the fire that hit Barangay San Pedro.
The President also inspected the Coastal Development (Bay Walk) Project at Barangay Sea Side and the road widening project at Rizal Avenue leading to Palawan Airport.
She also made brief visit to the headquarters of the 10th Marine Battalion Landing Team (MBLT) and informed them of her administration’s housing projects for members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
Accompanying the Chief Executive were Presidential Chief of Staff Mike Defensor, Public Works Secretary Hermogenes Ebdane Jr., Tourism Secretary Ace Durano, and Transportation and Communications Secretary Leandro Mendoza. (Source: bayanihan.org Friday, March 31 2006 @ 05:55 PM BST)
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is briefed by Puerto Princesa City Mayor Edward Hagedorn on the Palawan North Road Project in the locator map before she unveiled the road project's marker Friday (March 31) in Barangay Isidro, Puerto Princesa. The Palawan North Road Project stretches 134.5 kilometers from Puerto Princesa City to the town of Roxas, Palawan. (Rey Baniquet -OPS-NIB Photo)
Development Takes on a Face and an Address in the Philippines
In Reports magazine: Giving the Poor a Voice
In Reports magazine: In Conversation: Celia Reyes on the Importance of Timely Economic Information
Links to explore…
IDRC Program Initiative: Micro Impacts of Macroeconomic and Adjustment Policies (MIMAP)
MIMAP’s Community-based [poverty] Monitoring Systems (CBMS) Network
Municipality of Coron, Busuanga Island, Palawan (IDRC Photo: Michelle Hibler)
2005-02-01 Michelle Hibler
“Waiting for something,” reads the sign above the small waiting shed on the side of the dusty road that cuts through a baranguay (village) in the municipality of Coron on Busuanga Island, in the Philippine province of Palawan. “Waiting for nothing,” reads another a kilometre or so down the road.
These two signs may well describe the feelings of many Palawanos, indeed of many Filipinos. Optimism, because of the national government’s commitment since the late 1980s to reduce poverty. Pessimism because, as Celia Reyes of the Angelo King Institute for Economic and Business Studies (AKI) at De La Salle University says, “the performance of the Philippines with respect to poverty reduction has been very modest. While the incidence of poverty has declined over the past 15 years, the number of poor has actually increased.”
Celia Reyes is the project leader of the Community-based [poverty] Monitoring System (CBMS) network, supported by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC).
The Philippines’ lackluster performance in reducing poverty is partly due to the boom-bust cycle of the country’s economy. It is also due to the country’s poverty reduction strategies and policies, says Celia Reyes. While poverty reduction targets were set for the first time in the country’s 1987–1992 development plan and successive governments made poverty reduction a central part of their platforms, “the practice of discontinuing programs associated with previous administrations has been disadvantageous to the poor.”
The need for timely data
Programs have also suffered from a lack of timely, accurate information on the nature and extent of poverty and a lack of means to monitor the effectiveness of poverty reduction programs. “We would know the impact of policies and programs only after three or four years,” Ponciano Intal, Executive Director of AKI, explained at the first National Conference on CBMS, held in Manila on September 23 and 24, 2004. In fact, data on poverty was irregular, infrequent, and unmatched from survey to survey. No comprehensive profile could be drawn at any time. Data was also too aggregated to be of much use to local planners.
The CBMS was born out of that frustration. One of the tools developed in the early 1990s under IDRC’s Micro Impacts of Macroeconomic and Adjustment Policies (MIMAP)-Philippines project, it aims to provide policymakers and program staff with a good information base for tracking the impacts of macroeconomic reforms and various policy shocks. Tested in two initial sites, CBMS is now being implemented in dozens of municipalities, including province-wide in Palawan and, more recently, Bulacan. In April 2003, the Philippine Department of the Interior and Local Government directed all local government units — at the baranguay, municipal, city, and provincial levels — to adopt the system’s 13 core indicators for measuring poverty. Moreover, from its first home in the Philippines, CBMS has now spread, with IDRC support, to 12 countries. [See related sidebar: A local government primer.]
The National Conference brought together 120 local, regional, and national government officials, researchers, and development workers to share their experiences in implementing CBMS and discuss its impact. “The many local government unit representatives at the conference is significant,” conference moderator Ricardo Puno Jr told participants, “because if anyone should be concerned about local populations, it’s you. And if the country is to be developed it will be because of local people and communities.”
A tool for local governance
Indeed, if the original audience for CBMS data was intended to be national policymakers, it has proven to be an extremely useful tool for local governance, particularly as decentralization has shifted responsibilities to local government units. “CBMS gives you information about where you are now, where you should be, and how you’re going to get there,” said Joel T. Reyes, Governor of Palawan and a staunch CBMS supporter. “It provides reliable, relevant, and comprehensive data on the welfare conditions and development status across the province.”
The uses of that data for evidence-based decision-making emerged clearly in the conference presentations. For instance, in Palawan’s capital, Puerto Princesa, three areas were found to lack access to health centres. These will be constructed in the coming year, said Mayor Edward Hagedorn. Proof of inadequate access to safe water supplies and electricity has led to programs to extend these services in many baranguays. In Oring-Oring in Southern Palawan, for example, CBMS data identified a number of problems, among them poverty, poor sanitation, lack of access to electricity, low school participation, and low participation in community organizations. As a result, said Baranguay Captain Ibrahim Palampisi, a feeder road is being built to enable farmers to get their produce to markets and 50 homes now have electricity. Increased water supplies, public toilets, new classrooms, and a day care centre have also been provided. In another baranguay, the CBMS survey carried out two years ago has resulted in emphasis being shifted from infrastructure projects to social services such as a child feeding program.
The profiles of municipalities that emerge from the analysis of CBMS data also enable programs to be targeted to individual households — which will receive agricultural inputs such as seeds and fertilizers, sanitary toilets, or even subsidized health care or educational aid. As Serafin Blanco, Administrator of Mandaue City, Cebu Province, put it, CBMS is a means for “development to assume a face and an address.”
Using a geographic information system (GIS), maps can be produced that clearly show households and facilities. For instance, in the municipality of Labo — the first municipality in the province of Camarines Norte to implement CBMS — the maps showing the distance between the students’ homes and the city’s 10 schools provided one clue to low school attendance. And, said Mayor Winifredo Balce Oco, when the results were presented to the community for validation, other reasons emerged. “A number of these children are expected to be economically productive to help their families,” he said. “Some households […] do not have enough money to pay the tuition and moreover, provide for the day-to-day expenses of the children.” To address this problem financial assistance and school supplies are now being provided to indigent households, he said.
For and by the community
Community participation is key to the success of CBMS. Informed from the outset about the objectives and uses of CBMS surveys, the community provides enumerators — baranguay workers, health workers, students, etc., — and data processors. Information is collected from every household and the data is tallied and consolidated manually at the village level. Municipal aggregates are submitted to the province for further consolidation.
The processed data is returned to the community for validation and discussion. This empowers communities by providing them with information and a process through which they can actively participate in planning, said Celia Reyes. Baranguay residents thus develop a keen sense of their priorities and are better able to articulate their needs to city planning officers. Armed with hard information on the condition of their community, they are able to play a direct role in allocating budgetary resources. And they can demand accountability and transparency on the part of government officials. Sometimes, community members discover that the solution lies in their own hands. In baranguay Oring-Oring, for instance, a local organization and a businessman each donated public toilets to help solve the sanitation problem in two of the most seriously deprived communities. The households that share the toilets also maintain them.
If CBMS is spreading rapidly in the Philippines, the challenges of ensuring continuity and institutionalizing the system remain. But the commitment of conference participants to pursuing and promoting the system is encouraging. “In my term, I will make it law in the province of Palawan,” said Governor Reyes. His pledge was echoed by Mayor Gerardo Calderon of Angono in Rizal province, Mayor Peewee Trinidad of Pasay City, and many others who are determined to implement and support CBMS in their municipalities and baranguays.
The next steps are to scale up and ensure that national statistical agencies coordinate the generation of data. This would enable CBMS to go nationwide, said Celia Reyes. Also needed is technical assistance for local government units and a central repository for the data. And as Carmelita Ericta, Administrator of the National Statistical Office, pointed out, what government units need most is to recognize that information gathering is not a cost — rather, it’s an investment.
Michelle Hibler is a senior writer in IDRC’s Communications Division.
Bohol Chronicle, Philippines -
... League of Cities chairman and Puerto Princesa City Mayor Edward Hagedorn said the bishop’s pastoral letter was also a call for Filipinos to stop from waging ...
Not content with being the “cleanest and greenest” city in the country, an enviable image that has made it the inspiration among many local government units, Puerto Princesa has adopted of late the “Zero Waste” Management System to address solid waste disposal in a manner that is more ecological and sustainable, all in the spirit of R.A.No. 9003, otherwise known as the “National Solid Waste Management Act.” For the past many years, Puerto Princesa City’s cleaning and greening effort consisted of the following three components: the Oplan Linis Program, efficient solid waste collection and hauling, and the final destination - Sanitary Landfill operation. Oplan Linis Program - Cleanliness is the next to Godliness, so the saying goes. And while all LGUs are concerned with it and launched the programs to achieve it, only a few seem to have succeeded. The Oplan Linis Program of Puerto Princesa City is undoubtedly the best among the few that succeeded. It has brought instant honor and prestige to a place only previously known as the haven of prisoners and malaria-causing mosquitoes. Through it, the city’s ignominious past has been radically transformed to what it is know today – the country’s model in cleanliness. The Oplan Linis Program aims to clean up not only the body of Puerto Princesa but the soul as well, the latter being its people. And central to this concept is value formation through massive information and education campaigns to instill in the minds of the people, especially the children who are the inheritors of the future, the importance of a clean environment. Puerto Princesa City before the program was not unlike many other cities of the country. Its streets were dirty, the public market stunk, its solitary pier in no better condition, and its coastal lines littered with flotsam and jetsam. The local government seemed to have been inured by the dirt everywhere, the people resigned to the “normality” of the city’s pathetic condition. The leadership did initiate cleanliness drives, but very much like those of the other LGUs, the campaign sputtered. Only four months into the program, Puerto Princesa was already hailed as the cleanest city in the country. Considering the area of the city being the largest in the country with 253,982 hectares of land and traversed by 143 kilometers of road from north to south, what the Oplan Linis Program accomplished in so short a time is no ordinary feat. Behind the astounding success of the program are the people themselves. Once aroused from their lethargy and challenged to be better than themselves as a result of the massive information and education drives among schools, offices, business establishments, and the barangays, they acted as one in initially sweeping and gathering tons of accumulated garbage, and then in seeing to it that no one throws litter anywhere in the city. The rest is, of course, history. Collection and Hauling - To encourage the people to throw their waste in proper receptacles, the City Government put in its streets more than 8,500 waste bins. Even the dirt and litter swept by the Oplan Linis workers are deposited in these waste bins. Moreover, four brand-new compaction trucks equipped with mechanical lifting arms were added to the existing fleet of garbage trucks, ensuring daily collection and hauling of garbage. Sanitary Landfill - Financed by the Asian Development Bank under the DILG’s Philippine Regional Municipal Development Project (PRMDP), Puerto Princesa is the first city in the country to construct a thoroughgoing sanitary landfill to replace its open dumpsite. A firm believer in the saying that “nothing is ever being done so well that it cannot be done better,” Puerto Princesa City Mayor Edward S. Hagedorn rallied the Puerto Princesans into adopting the “Zero Waste” Management System. Helped in no small measure by the Mother Earth Foundation headed by Commissioner Sonia Mendoza of the National Solid Waste Management Commission as Chairman, actress and Time Magazine Asian Hero Chin-chin Gutierrez as Vice-Chairman, and actor-environmentalist Roy Alvarez as President, the new thrust involves: Waste Segregation at Source – through house-to-house campaigns conducted by the barangay and purok officials, households are taught to segregate the compostable (biodegrable) from the recyclable (non-biodegrable). The biodegrable (kitchen and “green” wastes) are backyard-composted, while the recyclables, most of them, are bought by itinerant junk-buyers for recycling. The non-biodegrable materials that have no economic value become the residual waste, which are the only ones that will be collected by the barangay eco-aide. Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) – every barangay is mandated to put up its own MRF where the segregation of the mixed recyclables collected from the households by the eco-aide is to be done. Those with economic value are sold to junk-buyers; those that don’t (styrofoams used by fast food chains, plastic bags and the like) are kept inside the MRF and collected once a month by the City Government and brought to the Sanitary Landfill area. Residual Waste – using a pulverizing machine, the residual waste are ground into tiny pieces and used as an additive to making concrete hollow-blocks, tiles, etc. This is already being done in Teresa, Rizal. Eco-Aide – as collector of garbage from every household, the eco-aide inspects the garbage being disposed to see if proper segregation was done by the concerned household. If not, he does not collect it and returns it to the owner explaining the reason why. He takes note of the infraction and reports it to the barangay chairman. The eco-aide, therefore, has three functions: garbage collector, enforcer, and monitoring. Livelihood – women and out-of-school youth were trained to teach them how to transform various solid wastes into more gainful uses. Whereas before solid waste management was entirely a City Government concern and was centrally done, the new system devolves most of the functions and responsibilities to the barangay and purok levels, with the end in view of ensuring that the solid waste generated by a barangay stays in that barangay. This way, solid waste management becomes everybody’s concern. Aside from the real possibility of achieving a zero-waste environment, considering that even the residual waste is put to better use, the system enjoined by Mayor Hagedorn for the “clean and green” people of Puerto Princesa City is “local, low-tech, and low-cost,” and therefore easily implementable anywhere else in the country and in the world.