The Obu Manuvu Bantay Bukid with CENRO-Davao City staff and Forest Protection Officer Joshua Donato of EGIP Foundation pose during their regular monitoring and foot patrolling around their ancestral domain forest.
The Obu-Manuvu community through their 43 deputized Obu-Manuvu forest guards of DENR and City Government of Davao, continue their regular foot patrolling within their ancestral forest with more than 2000 hectares of tropical forest and reporting and taking action in case of violations like illegal logging, mining, poaching, etc. in coordination with the DENR and NCIP to protect their ancestral forest and known watersheds.
On August 21-23, 2018, ten (10) forest guards together with two (2) EGIPF staff were accompanied by two (2) representatives from CENRO-Davao in monitoring and patrolling their ancestral forest to personally visit the site after they received a news that there is a group of people that illegally cut the trees and establish a small village somewhere in Kalatong area.Indeed, the illegal activities were observed in the areas of Kalatong and Tabak- Carmen side, more or less 200 Has, such as forest clearing, illegal cutting of trees and timber harvesting and unauthorized building of structures. The area in AD where illegally cleared to make a ranch, was also visited. The forest guards were assisted by the CENRO staff in in gathering the needed data and information to investigate and file a case to the violators.
In addition, a substantial number of traps for fauna such as Philippine deer, Philippine warty pig and other small mammals was observed during the monitoring period. Illegal logging, timber harvesting, and kaingin/deforestation are other rampant threats that was observed during the same time frame. According to some forest guards, putting massive numbers of snare and goose traps is the traditional way of hunting forest animals as source of food or protein. However, since the actual monitoring and patrolling began, the forest guards informed the members of their community about the adverse effects of massive trapping, especially the effects on the existence of different wildlife, so trapping and hunting in the areas were eventually reduced. The magnitude of trapping described is not only wasteful but it is also poses a threat to the existence of different wildlife and a number of important species in their natural habitat. Records of several wildlife getting trapped and killed have increased during the past two decades.
As of now, report was submitted to the DENR Region Office through CENRO Davao City, NCIP, Office of the City Mayor and to the Unified Obu-Manuvu Tribal Council of Leaders and Elders. Unfortunately, those cases are still pending to be resolved and we still heard the news that another group went to the same area to do the same illegal activities.
Koontayan ‘To Obu-Manuvu Eco-Cultural Adventure expressing the unique and genuine culture and assets of the Obu-manuvu tribe.
The “Koontayan ‘To Obu-Manuvu Eco-Cultural Adventure” is a community-based initiative of the Obu-Manuvu community in Sitio Karilongan, Brgy. Carmen, Baguio District, Davao City. It is a proposed project of the Obu Manuvu ICC in Brgy. Carmen as an alternative livelihood and part of the Community Development Plan which was created last 2012 with the facilitation of the Philippine Eagle Foundation and support from EGIP Foundation in partnership with Obu-Manuvu Ancestral Domain Management Council, BLGU-Carmen, NCIP and the DENR. The main objective of the said initiative is to build a tourism destination in Davao City showcasing the Obu-Manuvu culture that will provide alternative livelihood to the community and able to sustain their forest protection and management project.In order to sustain the forest protection and management of their ancestral forest, other means need to be or should be put in place to compensate the environmental services that they do like the regular monthly monitoring and patrolling.
For the past two months,the Obu-Manuvu community assisted by EGIP Foundation presented their initiative to different concerned agencies and project partners to earn support and possibly help them in acquiring legal actions to register the proposed project.The proposed project includes the establishment of some simple but attractive eco-friendly Obu-Manuvu structures called “Obu-Manuvu Village” at the top end of the community farms in Sitio Karilongan that will accommodate eco-culture tourists or visitors who want to spend the night and stay in the community and experience traditional and eco-friendly activities that the Obu-Manuvu community can offer. Besides the earlier mentioned nature attractions and activities, cultural activities will also be performed and native and some exotic foods of the community will be served that will attract eco-culture tourists/visitors who want a new experience and adventure in a helpful way both to the Obu-Manuvu indigenous community and to the environment.
However after some office presentations and scheduled site visits, several recommendations and suggestions from different partners and concerned agencies that are deem necessary in all aspects before the actual operation came-up . One recommendation that usually come up is to conduct a consultation meeting with all stakeholders concerned. The objective of the said meeting is to ask consent and construct a general development plan for the whole project.
Last August 28, 2018, a stakeholder’s consultation meeting was held in Barangay Hall of Barangay Carmen, Baguio District, Davao City. The said meeting was spearheaded by the Obu-Manuvu community of Barangay Carmen and EGIP Foundation and participated by the representative from Public Safety and Security Command Center (PSSCC) of Davao City, Department of Tourism (DOT) XI, City Tourism Operation’s Office (CTOO), Environment Management Bureau- DENR XI, National Commission of Indigenous People (NCIP), the Barangay Council of Brgy. Carmen, the Obu-Manuvu Tribal Council of Elders and Leaders and the Sunrise Bridge Travel, a possible travel and tour agency partner of the community.
After the Obu-Manuvu community and the EGIP Foundation presented the project description, components and plans to the partners, the Sunrise Bridge Travel (SBT) presented the trends of tourism industry. Open forum and interactive discussions on the relevant issues concerned was then followed. Issues discussed was the barangay policies and existing laws on tourism; peace and order situation of the whole area and the location of the project, environmental and management issues and lastly, the tourism and management issues. Participants was given time to give suggestions and recommendations based on their office requirements and policies that will be included in the general management plan.
Transcript of the meeting were made and best practices and lessons learned was also summarized to make a general management plan of the project. The greatest concerned of most of the participants centered on the security angle and its immediate and long-term impact on the proposed project and the tourism potential of Carmen as the center of a tourism circuit for the area.
In the end, all participants was very supportive on the proposed community-based project.
In connection with several meetings and presentation of the proposed community-based tourism project for Obu-Manuvu community in Barangay Carmen, Baguio District, Davao City, project site visits with partner agencies were conducted to have them an up-close view of the entire structures and activities of the project and to give suggestions on how to improve the site while the construction of the structures is still on progress. In addition, site visit for the validation of the Farm to Market Access Trail Project was also conducted.
Last June 29, 2018, Mr. Max Guenter of GIZ and NCIP visited the site with EGIP Foundation Incorporators Mr. Alec van Dierendonck, Mrs. Bing van Dierendonck and Mr. Wiebe van Dierendonck. Mr. Guenter is also a representative of the Schmitz Foundation, the funding partner of EGIP Foundation for Farm to Market Access Trail Project of the Obu-Manuvu community. Mainly, the objective of the visit is to actual site view and present to Mr. Guenter the output and outcomes of the project. In addittion, to introduce him the proposed Eco-cultural tourism initiative of the Obu-Manuvu by which would be a part of the proposal of EGIPF to seek funding support from Schmitz Foundation.
On the other hand, the Obu-Manuvu community welcomed their visitors from BLGU-Carmen headed by Hon. Alfredo Austral Sr. and his council, 3rd Infantry Battalion of Malagos District and Baguio District Police in their propose tribal village at the peak of Karilongan area last July 6, 2018. At the peak, a short program was prepared. Mr. Alec van Dierendonck, President and Mr. Wiebe van Rij, Vice President of EGIP foundation, gave a short message to briefly introduce the EGIP Foundation and its activities/project to Obu-Manuvu community. Also, in behalf of the Obu-Manuvu community, Bae Nilda Landim expresses her thoughts on the relevance of the project as well as appreciations for the active participations of the visitors. Furthermore, the community welcomed their visitors with their traditional welcome dance while giving traditional beads. Finally, the short program ended with a small feast out of traditional and local foods prepared by the tribe.
Another visit for the proposed community based tourism project was done last July 20-21, 2018 with the Sunrise Bridge Travel Agency owned by Mr. and Ms. Quiogue. Sunrise Bridge Travel Agency is the partner travel and tour agency of the Obu-Manuvu community. The couple experienced an overnight stay in the tribal village where native foods and drinks were served. They also experienced the birdwatching and forest walk activity early in the morning (two of the highlight activities of the Obu-Manuvu Eco-Cultural Adventure), witnessed the sunrise view in Bollad ‘To Manama and visited the farms of the tribe. Photo shooting were also done to be used in marketing and promoting tours. Moreover, last July 23, 2018, the Department of Tourism XI headed by RED Antonio Blanco also visited the site.
The area of the Obu-Manuvu community is characterized by an abundance of natural endowments; pristine forests with a huge diversity of flora and fauna, fast flowing streams, creeks and meandering rivers, cascading waterfalls, etc. The newly improved farm-to-market trail passes some excellent bird watching spots and outstanding viewpoints; an iron-made hanging bridge across the clear water Panigan River and a fascinating scenery on top of community farm area in Karilongan overlooking the whole of Barangay Carmen and some part of the Davao metropolis and the Davao Gulf. One can experience the breath of fresh air and the smell of nature as well as the unique and genuine culture of Obu-Manuvu community. The existence of all these “wonders” and the potential benefits for the Obu-Manuvu community and the natural environment they protect, are the reasons why this Eco-Cultural tourism plan was made.
The plan is to establish some simple but attractive eco-friendly Obu-Manuvu structures called “Obu Manuvu Village” at the top end of the community farms in Karilongan, where besides the earlier mentioned nature attractions, cultural activities will be performed that will attract eco-tourist/visitors who want a new experience and adventure in a helpful way both to the Obu Manuvu indigenous community and to the environment.The proposed Eco-Cultural tourism project is an initiative of Obu Manuvu community in Carmen in partnership with the Obu Manuvu Ancestral Domain Management Council, BLGU-Carmen, NCIP and the DENR as part of the 10-years Memorandum of Agreement and with support of the EGIP Foundation and some other project partners.
Series of meetings and presentations were made for the whole month of June in order to acquire suggestions and recommendations and to get consent to partner agencies. Firstly, the project was presented to the Obu-Manuvu Tribal Council headed by Datu Luis Lambac and his council, Datu Joel Unad and datu George Mandahay as part of the Project Implementation Team ( PIT) Meeting. The objective of the meeting was to give an update of the on-going and future project/plans for the community. The proposed community based tourism was also introduced to the tribal council. The three (3) Datus were very thankful for the financial support of EGIP Foundation about initiative of the Obu-Manuvu community and as usual, they also gave their full support and positive thoughts on the project.
The proposed project was then presented to Department of Tourism Regional Office and City Tourism Operation’s Office last June 4 &5, 2018. These two offices hold a major role to the project with regards to giving assistance in promotion and marketing. They will also facilitate the capacity development of Tourism stakeholders and key players through the provision of appropriate capability training. They will also assist in setting-up of systems for the efficient implementation of the Management and Operational Plan. Also, they will be part of the monitoring and evaluation team who will assess the project, quarterly and annually. Aside from the natural, unique and genuine culture of the Obu-manuvu tribe as well as the eco-structures established in the Obu-Manuvu village, the proposed project was identified as great potential to invite both local and international tourists. But aside from availability of infrastructure and other facilities needed by tourists, safety is a major concern of both offices.
To address the concern about security matters, meeting was held at Barangay hall of Carmen last June 8, 2018. It was participated by the BLGU-Carmen headed by Hon. Alfredo Austral Sr. and his council, Public Safety and Security Command Center (PSSCC), Baguio District Police and Philippine Army of the 3rd Infantry Battalion of Malagos District, Davao City. They are part of the monitoring and evaluation team of the project and primarily their role is to provide safety and security to the guests/tourists. The main objective of the meeting is to establish and implement a proper channel of communication with the project management and their office especially with regards to peace andsecurity related matters. The meeting ended with a promising messages from 3rd IB and Baguio District Police Office that they will give their full support in securing the whole area covered by the project and will be active in all activities of the proposed project.
Overall, with the support and recommendations of different partner agencies, the proposed Koontayan ‘To Obu-Manuvu Eco-Cultural Adventure was push through. The Obu-manuvu community is very excited with their new project as it will not only provide incentive to them, but for most, it preserves their genuine cultural resources. As of this writing, more or less 60% of the eco-structures were done and now in partnership with one great travel agency for promotion and marketing both in local and international tourist.
Last May 8, 2018, a Pre-Membership Education Seminar (PMES) was held at Barangay Hall of Carmen, Baguio District, Davao City and facilitated by the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) representative Mrs. Geralyn C. Lumawag. The objective of this initiative is to have a legal business entity and economic sustainability within the community. This initiative started when the Obu Manuvu community came up with the decision to expand the impacts of the project by continuing/reviving their cooperative. Members decided to contribute a small amount of Php. 200.00 as starting capital to reset and reestablish the small store on retailing general merchandize (sarisari). The store will still sell basic commodities (sari-sari), including rice, canned goods and other food stuff and later on products/handicrafts for the eco-tourism initiative of the project. The intention with the coop store is to become the source of food for the families of the forest guards while they are out in the forest doing patrols and other project related activities. This time though they will limit selling on credit to a very minimum level as past experience shows the unsustainability of selling on credit because of credit sales in the past. The initial available working capital was Php.20,000.00 and was reduced to Php.4,000.00 with some groceries, then eventually razed by fire after the community transfer it to Datu Landim. The community also resolved to have future catering services during community meetings and workshops organized through the cooperative whereby profits will be added to the capital share of their cooperative.
The training was required to all prospective member of a primary cooperative like the “Kolivuungan ‘To Obu Manuvu Marketing Cooperative”, a marketing cooperative that the Obu Manuvu community in Carmen want to establish. The seminar was attended by 35 participants from Obu-Manuvu Community of Carmen headed by Datu Paulino M. Landim Sr., EGIP Foundation staff and some council of the Barangay Carmen. The seminar discussed the significance of establishing a cooperative, types of cooperative, the role of the members, committees and board of directors, as well as explained further the purpose of share capital and membership fees and finally, the list of requirements needed for registration.
Participants from BLGU-Carmen and Obu-manuvu Forest Guards, together with the EGIP foundation staffs and DENR XI representatives, flaunt their certificates after completing the 2-days Deputation Training
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources under the Biodiversity Management Bureau is the lead agency for the conservation, development and protection of wildlife resources. The Deputation of Environment and Natural Resources Officer (DENRO) is mandated under the provision particularly Section 30 of RA 9147, otherwise known as the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act and its Implementing Rules and Regulations (Joint DENR-DA PCSD AO No. 01, 2004).
Deputation Training is a requirement pursuant to Section 30, Rule 30.1 to be provided to selected volunteers to provide them with the basic and required knowledge and skills and subsequently the necessary authority to accomplish the task on basic and wildlife enforcement activities. It would also ensure public participation on the enforcement of existing wildlife and other related laws. The training will also clarify the different roles and responsibilities of the team on the enforcement of wildlife and environment laws.
The objective of the program was to train the selected Bantay Gubat on the basic knowledge of wildlife laws, rules and regulation, CITES provision among others, to train and orient them with the basic training in the preparations of reports, affidavits sworn statement, seizure and turn over receipt, inventory report, filing of complaint in court, inspection procedure, safety, surveillance, smuggling techniques, methods of concealments, documentation of frauds and detection of falsified or invalid documents and prosecution on wildlife cases and to train and award them the official status as Deputized Environment and Natural Resources Officer (DENRO).
The 2-days training last January 25-26, 2018 was attended by 43 Obu-Manuvu forest guards (bantay gubat) of Carmen led by their tribal chieftain, Datu Paulino Landim, 7 representatives from BLGU-Carmen – Brgy. Sec. Jean Delina, Mr. Joel Corrales, Mr. Nilo Empinado, Mr. Renato Rabe, Mr. Bonifacio Ruba, Mr. Richard Auxillo and Mrs. Jenilyn Verallo and facilitated by EGIP Foundation staffs: Mr. Joshua L. Donato and Ms. Kristine Nova P. Macado through DENR XI team: Mr. Demosthenes H. Amaga, OIC Chief, Surveillance & Intelligence Section, Mrs. Josefina B. Limbaga, Mrs. Emma P. Pechon, Ms. Conteza P. Arao-Arao, Mr. Norhamen S. Abdulkadir and Mr. Brine Dumdum.
Datu Lipatuan Joel Unad, member of Obu-Manuvu Tribal Elders and Leaders was also present during the opening ceremony of the program. He gave a short message expressing his gratitude to different parties facilitating the said activity and left an inspirational message to his co-tribe about the relevance of the program.
A range of teaching methodologies were employed throughout the program in order to meet its objectives. These includes presentation to explain information and ideas to deepen the understanding of the participants on Law on Forestry (PD 705), Chainsaw Act of 2002 (R.A 9175), Wildlife Resource Conservation and Protection Act ( R.A 9147), Executive No. 23, Permits and Transport Documents Familiarization, Basic Skills on Measurement and Scaling, Basic Intelligence and Surveillance technique and Procedure on Administrative Adjudication.
Interactive discussion was done to obtain participants’ views and opinions. Group works for demonstrations and role playing on how to arrest properly the illegal activities, given different cases, were also exercised during the program. The session was highly interactive and participatory to enhance learning and strengthen partnership.
At the end of the program, a post test was given to participants not only to measure the program’s value and effectiveness, but also to determine passers to officially state as Deputy Environment and Natural Resources Officer (DENRO).
Date : January 19, 2018
Location: Brgy. Tambobong , Baguio District, Davao City
- Lipatuan Joel Unad – representative of Obu-Manuvu Council of Elders
- Cris Arcebal – CENRO and Davao City Hall representative
- Davao City Water District representative
- Eliazar Onse – NCIP Calinan representative
- Baguio District Police Officers
- Philippine Eagle Foundation staffs
- Apo Agua Infrastractura Inc. representatives
- Aedes foundation
- Members from Barangay Tambobong
- Chieftains from each community within Baguio District
- EGIP Foundation staffs: Joshua L. Donato & Kristine Nova P. Macado
Obu-Manuvu Council of Elders representative, Lipatuan Joel Unad, initiated the said meeting mainly with a purpose of giving awareness to partnered government agency, Non-government organization and local units most especially to communities about the importance of their Ancestral Domain and on how to protect and conserve their precious forest.
Representative from each party introduced his/her organization works and objectives, as well as project updates related to the conservation of the Obu-Manuvu AD.
Question and answer session was followed. It focused mainly on the rules and regulations within the Obu-Manuvu AD. Answers and clarifications were provided by the NCIP and CENRO representatives.
EGIP Foundation is assisting the Obu-Manuvu Indigenous Community in Sitio Macatabo, Barangay Carmen in Davao City since 2011. The project is about protecting and rehabilitating remaining forests in their Ancestral Domain in the uplands of Davao City through capacity building and regular foot patrolling in the area. To make the forest protection sustainable in the long run, EGIP, within its capacity, is providing support for sustainable agricultural development and eco-tourism to increase community income that can make resources available for forest protection.
Farming is the main source of income of the IP’s in Sitio Macatabo.The farms of the IP’s are about 2km from their residences and they can only go there using a rough, slippery, unpaved trail through mountainous area with steep slopes. With this, EGIP Foundation collaborated with the Schmitz-Stiftungen Foundation to improve the trail from IP community going to their farms. Schmitz Foundation is a Non-Profit Organization based in Germany who supports mainly on the following three major sectors of development work :(i) Basic education and training (principally in manual trades and job training); (ii) Securing basic living standards promoting small-scale commercial activity (examples: micro-credits schemes, including agriculture and food security); and (iii) Social and charitable projects (examples: work with the handicapped, care for the elderly, rehabilitation of street children or support for disadvantaged minorities).
The objective of the project is to have a good and improved trail that will enable farmers to easily access their farmlands and transport their farm products by concreting the existing trail. An improved farm to market trail will also facilitate eco-tourism as the trail passes a bird watching spot. A concrete foot trail of an approximately 2000 meter long, 1 meter wide and 10 cm thick is the expected output of the project.
The construction of the concrete trail was started last August 2017 and currently on going.As of now, more or less 250 meters concrete trail were done and IPs are continuously getting paid ( food for work ) to do the construction under supervision by EGIP staff.The project is expected to finish by end of April 2018.