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Well-being of communities

Phase I : Social Results

At the very beginning of the project, Ecotone Resilience (ER) signed a cooperation agreement with the University of the Philippines (UP) providing scientific and human resources support over the course of Phase I. As part of this agreement, a team of students from UP - Los Baños completed a social baseline with multi-sector indicators.

True to its bottom-up approach and its desire to be an integral part of the communities, ER built a first scientific base in the village of Sigman mostly populated by indigenous people. This allowed ER to identify quickly that the village water supply was running dry and a new well was built.

The establishment of the base was made possible thanks to the Yap family, owner of the land in Sigman who is allowing ER to use the land. Helen Yap is one of the leading marine biology experts on the ER team.

A team of five students from UPLB performed a Social Development baseline study for the Barangay Udalo, Abra de Ilog, Occidental Mindoro, for the benefit of Ecotone Resilience and the community. The aim of the study was to build a comprehensive picture of the socio-economic and demographic indicators of Barangay Udalo which will in turn constitute Ecotone Resilience's baseline so future progress can be measured .

The results of the study are based on a survey which lasted for six weeks with 278 respondents as the total number of interviewees. It should be noted that the sample used represented around one third of the population, which is very large and implies good representation from a statistical angle. The researchers conducted house-to-house surveys as well as key informant interviews to obtain primary data.

The main findings from the survey which should lead to future interventions by the stakeholders in the community (LGU, Ecotone Resilience and other local partners) are as follow:

  • On education, a majority of the household members are with low formal education, 34 having no education at all and 38% having only reached elementary level.
  • On the livelihood and income front, it is a grim picture with 71% out of employment. It should noted though that reasons for not working include age (too young or too old to work) and because of studies.The income of 47 of the total number of household members who work ranges from 0-1,000 pesos monthly. The top problem identified by 48% of the respondents is the lack of livelihood opportunities and income.
  • On sanitation, it has been found out that only 63% of the respondents have access to a toilet facility mostly the pit latrine type of toilets.
  • On health, many respondents lack access to a nearby medical facility with a high number (77%) using self-medication, which is a risky practice.
  • On food and nutrition, for 76 % of respondents, their food budget was below 200 pesos per day to feed their family. Additionally, consumption of vegetables and fruits is irregular for most households. This finding is consistent with the Barangay Udalo having been identified as one of the main area of the Philippines suffering from mild malnutrition especially among children of indigenous populations.

In conclusion, the survey has allowed us to build a comprehensive baseline of the whole Brangay Udalo, which serves two central objectives :

  • to identify future interventions by the community stakeholders to improve the overall well being of the communities.
  • to measure ongoing progress by conducting future surveys and conducting comparative studies versus the baseline.

Finally, Marine and Ryan, conservation ecologists, conducted a successful waste management initiative mainly around the residual waste and plastic issues that affect both the sea and the land. The first pilot project took place at Camurong Elementary School, which is the main elementary school in Barangay Udalo, to educate children on waste through an “ecobricks” program. With the active support of Emer, the Local Government Unit (LGU) fully embraced the program and has decided to replicate it throughout the barangay before expanding it to the whole municipality (and the nine other barangays).

Below is a brief picture of the timeline for the waste initiative at school.

Phase II : Social Goals

In full coordination of the LGU, ER will help to replicate the waste management initiative throughout the whole network of schools in the barangay. Furthermore, the social baseline which was completed with the help of the team of students from UP-Los Baños calls for action on several fronts, including health & nutrition, education, sanitation and livelihood (to fight a very high local unemployment rate).

Mam' Faye (Camurong Principal), Marine, Elsa, Ryan (Ecotone Resilience), Emer (LGU)

Making and gathering Ecobricks

Mixing the cob is a team work !

A new wall made of Ecobricks thanks to the kids' awareness to creatively use residual waste !

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