November 30, 2022

Farmers in Sitio Wakal, Nawal, Bokod, Benguet expressed gratitude to the Department of Agriculture’s Philippine Rural Development Project (DA-PRDP) for the benefits brought by a tramline subproject to the community after it was turned over to them last October 2019.

To determine the impact of the Wakal tramline subproject, data gathering procedures were undertaken for the Rapid Appraisal of Emerging Benefits (RAEB) on March 29 and 30, 2021 as   part of the monitoring and evaluation activities of the PRDP.

Twelve direct farmer beneficiaries, three barangay officials, and four from the municipal government of Bokod were interviewed through a household survey, focus group discussion, and key informant interview.

Initial findings show the tramline subproject has positive impact to its beneficiaries.

Dakel a ti naitulong na daytoy nga tramline kadakami ditoy Wakal ta nalaklakan ti mangisang-at iti natnateng mi karkaro nu panagtutudo,” said Marcelyn Pistola, who together with her husband, is now farming an estimated area of 2,500 square meters planted with various   vegetables and fruit-bearing trees, such as lemon and avocado.

Insardeng mi ti ag-sayote idi ta narigat ti agbagkat ngem gapu ta ada daytoy tramline, plano mi nga agmula manen ken nayunan mi pay diay dadduma nga nateng ta isu pay nga pangalaan,” Pistola added.

Emerson Pitas, a farmer in his mid-20s, said he became more motivated to help out in the family’s farm because he no longer have to carry heavy loads up to the nearest road for several times in a day. He was also employed as a laborer during the construction of the tramline.

In a focal group discussion, beneficiaries said people bonded with each other because of the tramline and some of them are now motivated to work in the farms.

Nawal Punong Barangay Danny Yabnes said farmers usually charge P20 to P100 per kilo or   sack for the kumboy (manual hauling) of vegetables and fertilizers but with the tramline, the Wakal Gardener’s Association now collects P1/kilo of vegetables and P20 for every sack.

He added the association was strengthened because of the tramline subproject.

Jose Catao, tramline operator, said the income gained from the tramline is used for repair and maintenance, fuel, and stipend.

Kasla lugan met lang daytoy nga tram ket kasapulan ti maintenance tapnu mausar nga nabay-bayag,” he added.

The municipal government said the completed subproject is a big support system to agriculture and has many benefits to the farmers.

“Benguet is a mountainous area and the construction of tramlines will really support the production and delivery of agricultural products,” said Municipal Agriculturist Gerardo Beray.

He also appreciated the involvement of line agencies in the implementation of PRDP subprojects from the planning stage to implementation.

Nellie Chian, Bokod project development officer I and PRDP Social and Environmental Safeguards focal person, also appreciated how the PRDP comes back to monitor and evaluate subprojects even after completion.

“With the limited manpower and logistic support, the LGU cannot afford to involve several   personnel to regularly monitor subprojects and we appreciate that with the PRDP,” she said.

RAEB is an evaluation tool that determines the impact and success of individual subprojects implemented under the PRDP and how these are aligned to the project development objectives. It   also aims to assess the sustainability of subprojects and help determine sustainability measures. 

“The   actual   scenarios   and   lessons   emerging   from   the   completed   subprojects   are captured through the RAEB which may aid the PRDP management in making decisions and developing sustainability measures for succeeding subprojects,” said Jason Budas, PRDP Regional Project Coordination Office-CAR Monitoring and Evaluation Unit head. – Elvy T. Estacio