A Decade of LMDA Existence… A Brief

Lake Mainit Development Alliance (LMDA) has existed for almost eleven (11) years pillared by strong partnership between provincial governments of Surigao del Norte and Agusan del Norte coupled with the support of eight (8) municipal LGUs partaking responsibilities to conserve resources of the surrounding ecosystems such as the lake, rivers and other important resources for socio-economic and environmental amelioration benefiting communities within its proximity.

LMDA exhibits exemplary milestones on environment and socio-economic enhancement. It even exceeds the targets in some components. For upland development and management agroforestry has attained a total of 200 hectares from the 160 hectares target. About 91 linear meters riverbank stabilization project was established in the two municipalities of Alegria and Kitcharao. Several trainings sponsored by different Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) and donors were conducted to enhance the technical and management skills of the community more specifically those project recipients to ensure better chances of good project handling. Other accomplishments were done at the level of LGUs such as municipal tree parks and crafting of the Unified Fishery Ordinance for Lake Mainit. LMDA has also extended small scale enterprise development projects to Peoples Organizations in different municipalities.

Most accomplished environmental and enterprise development initiatives where done in partnership with donor institutions like the Philippines Australia Community Assistance Program (PACAP) who took the bulk share through their Focal Community Assistance Scheme (FOCAS) strategy to partly address componential concerns of LMDA. PACAP funded community projects in Lake Mainit municipalities reached to a total of Php31,310,739.00 both from FOCAS and Responsive Assistance Scheme (RAS projects. DAR-/FAD-NMCIREMP and the Philippine Council for Aquatic and Marine Research and Development (PCAMRD) have also contributed for lake resource assessment with Mindanao State University–Naawan as contracted partner to conduct the lakewide resource assessment.

LMDA has expanded its network with foreign, national and local institutions. The PMO is now a partner of the Philippines–Australia Community Assistance Program (PACAP) facility, Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO), the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), the Office of Civil Defense (OCD), Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Tourism (DOT), Philippine Information Agency (PIA), Provincial and Municipal LGUs, NGOs, Academe and many others.

The partnership is clearly emphasized by LMDA. Current donors practice the counterpart scheme where downloaded grant fund accompany a counterpart from the proponent before a project is approved. LGU contributions partly forms the counterpart for incoming and existing projects of LMDA that is extended directly or indirectly to LGUs and Peoples Organizations (POs) as the program demands.

Table 1. Member LGU contributions to LMDA from 1999 to present shows the tabulated LGU contribution as manifested in the LMDA records. The indicated amounts were used for the Program Management Office (PMO) operation and project counterpart.

The LGU contributions shown in Table 1 are utilized with the budget line items as presented in Table 2 Expenditure Reports from 1999 to June 2010 to keep the office moving while trying to continually access assistance from donor institutions by submitting project proposals in conformity with the LMDA Environmental Management Plan (EMP). Table 2 indicates that the average yearly operating budget of PMO is around Php550,000.00 a year, a meager amount to sustainably managed the very important ecosystem that support the life and future of around 150,000 populace.

LMDA is very optimistic in the delivery of its milestones. It has been transparent and efficient in using the entrusted fund of LGUs to maintain confidence and trust for better and sustainable partnership. (Omar C. Barillo, Project Coordinator - Lake Mainit FOCAS)

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