THE SOCIO-ECONOMIC IMPACT OF THE HELP FOR CATUBIG AGRICULTURAL ADVANCEMENT PROJECT (HCAAP)
Keywords:HCAAP, Irrigation System, Rural Infrastructure, Schistosomiasis
Development must not only focus on economic growth expressed in rosy figures of GDP and GNP. The economic gains of the rich as expected by economists, must “trickle down” down to the grass roots. It is along this reality that prompted the national government and development planners to look for strategy in which the marginalized which constitute the biggest number of the population in the Third World countries become recipients of development initiatives. Northern Samar, one of the poorest provinces in the Philippines, has been a recipient of the Help for Catubig Agricultural Advancement Project (HCAPP), a project of 5.2 billion yen or 3.4 billion in pesos allocating 2.4 billion pesos alone to irrigate 4, 550 hectares of agricultural lands to spur agricultural development in the Catubig Valley area of Northern Samar. This research aimed to determine the level of socio-economic impact of the HCAAP and related problems. The areas covered by the HCAAP were the Municipalities of Catubig and Las Navas both located in the Catubig Valley. A descriptive-evaluative study, utilized quantitative techniques like survey employing interview schedule for data collection and analyses. The respondents were beneficiaries from Municipality of Catubig, and Las Navas. Purposive and stratified sampling was used in selecting barangays and respondent-beneficiaries respectively. It was found out that the income of the beneficiaries is still low since they have availed or accessed to HCAAP services and facilities and do not suffice to meet the economic needs of most of the respondent-beneficiaries, nor send their children to tertiary education so they have to resort to other occupation. The respondents’ level of living also has not improved. Main problem encountered by the respondents were the non-completion of other two dams, main canals, and lateral canals. It was concluded that irrigation component is much beneficial to land owners than farmers, farm-to-market roads only converted lands from agricultural to commercial and residential, and other project’s sub-components have to be totally completed to serve the beneficiaries of the services and facilities it will offer. Hence, it is recommended that the implementing agencies should push for the completion of the project to benefit the larger remaining service areas.
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