PDI Organizational Background
Peoples Development Institute (PDI) was established in 1990 as an NGO propelled by a vision to pursue asset reform and rural development by building and strengthening local organizations that will serve as effective partners in addressing related social, economic and political concerns. In earlier years, PDI established its presence in Zambales and Nueva Ecija in order to assist in the mitigation of the disasters caused by the 1990 earthquake in Carranglan, Nueva Ecija, and the 1991 Mount Pinatubo eruption. The PDI obtained lessons in land tenure improvement, livelihood and people empowerment by utilizing the government's agrarian reform program to address the needs of the disaster victims.
PDI upholds and adheres to the Genuine Asset Reform (GAR) Framework which argues that rural development and self-reliant communities can be achieved by the positive combination of changes in land tenure and social and economic support services minus the influence of vested interests that impede progress. In this regard, PDI's main role is to encourage and support farmers, farmworkers, women and indigenous peoples who aspire to claim and protect their rights and who aim to pursue their autonomous goals in their respective communities.
The Mount Pinatubo eruption caused massive displacement of the affected population in Central Luzon, especially in the provinces of Zambales and Pampanga. Using agrarian reform as a strategy, PDI responded with a resettlement program for the disaster victims. It established a model agrarian reform community. As a monument to the success of the program, the resettlement community of Sibol has now become a thriving community with resettlers owning the land they till. The residents, including women, are now active participants in local governance led by their organizations. The PDI project "Resettlement and Reconstruction: An Integrated Response to the Problems Caused by the Mount Pinatubo Eruption," was selected for exposition at the Expo 2000 in Hannover, Germany, under the theme "Basic Needs." Thirty out of more than 3,000 projects from around the world were chosen for exhibition by an international jury chaired by the Club of Rome, are real life examples of a world shaped by cooperation and partnership. They show up practical approaches to sustainable development and solutions for a new relation between humankind, nature and technology. Each of the projects on exhibit was a pioneering venture in its own right and serve as an example for other schemes.
PDI's concept of the model agrarian reform community was adopted by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) and called it the ARC Program, which won ODA support. Eventually, numerous DAR-ARCs were identified and formed all over the country.
In 2001, PDI implemented the 3-year Rural Empowerment through Asset Development (READ Programme) with the support of the German Protestant Church Development Service (EED/EZE) with funds from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
The READ Programme was followed through with the Central Luzon Sustainable Rural Development Program (CL-SRDP).