Rapid Field Appraisal of Decentralization


Region 13

This study is made possible by the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through Cooperative Agreement Number AID 492-A-00-09-00031-00. The contents are the responsibility of The Asia Foundation and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.

Decentralization Gains Still Haunted by Challenges

Alma A. Eleazar, Ph.D.


he Caraga Region in Northeastern Mindanao is a region of contrast. It is a contrast seen in the face of poverty amid plenty – of natural bounty and rich cultural diversity, yet with a high incidence of poor families. This picture of contrasting attributes sets the backdrop of local governance in the region, where this study endeavored to profile the initiatives of local government units (LGUs) in the areas of governance and administration and its results on the economic, social, and environmental development of the region and its people. This study covered 12 LGUs, composed of three provinces, three cities, and six municipalities selected across income classification. Generally, local governance in Caraga gained headway in simplifying and improving systems and procedures, bringing people’s participation in governance processes, providing public access to information on LGU services and transactions, localizing national laws, crafting responsive legislation, enhancing participatory planning and processes, and working toward transparent and accountable fiscal management. The LGUs of Caraga, however, are challenged to explore other sources of local revenues; further build capacities to make better use of technology in planning, legislative tracking, and project management and monitoring. The need to professionalize processes and management systems that ensure the retention, motivation, and best use of the skilled human resource; balance the focus and budget emphasis between operational expenses and those for social services, economic and environmental management; and strengthen administrative capacity and widen people participation in monitoring the implementation of plans and projects remain a challenge, as does institutionalizing mechanisms for a more transparent and accountable governance. Furthermore, LGUs are challenged on how they can give more to the public in terms of health and sanitation, social welfare, housing, livelihood, economic development, and safe, healthy environment, among others. While they have initiated the operations of local economic enterprises and focused development assistance in infrastructure projects, they also need to widen partnerships and strengthen coordination and collaboration to meet the region’s infrastructure requirements, including those that provide vital links to agriculture, industries and major tourism areas. LGUs need to invest their effort and resources to Caraga’s high potential for ecotourism and agroDecentralization Gains Still Haunted by Challenges


industrial development. A strong link between the public and the private sectors is needed to ensure a shared vision and understanding of the government’s development plans and programs. The initiatives and focus of LGUs at organizing and strengthening the cooperatives have been shown to have helped promote economic development. LGUs benefit from, and need to strengthen further inter-government agency cooperation as much as inter-LGU cooperation or alliances for desired results in environmental management. Introduction The Caraga region in Northeastern Mindanao is one of the newly created regions in the Philippines. It is composed of five provinces, six cities, and 67 municipalities (BLGF Caraga, 2009). Its beauty, potentials, and richness are seen side by side with the contradicting poverty of its people. It is a region peopled by Christians, Muslims, and indigenous peoples. Unfortunately, its natural bounty and rich cultural diversity have also been sources of conflict among contending groups. Areas in the region have been the site of violent clashes between the government and other armed entities for a number of years. It is a region considered as among the richest source of minerals in the country, with vast potentials in the field of agriculture, forestry, and ecotourism. Yet for a number of years, two of the region’s provinces were among the country’s top 10 poorest. National Statistics and Census Board (NSCB) data also show Caraga region with the 4th highest poverty incidence in 2000, 2nd in 2003, and first in 2006. In response to the challenges posed by the contrasting face of poverty and conflict amid bounty, the rich resources of the land and its people, the leaders of the region visualized Caraga becoming the fishery, agri-forestry, mineral, and eco-tourism (FAME) center of the country. This is contained in the Regional Development Plan for 2004-2010. The achievement of this vision for the region given the challenges of poverty reduction, however, is possible only with continued good local governance. It calls for efficient provision of basic services to spur economic development while ensuring that the use of its resources is done in a manner that promotes sustainability. How the local governments address these challenges and the extent to which they have responded to them are measures of the potential gains of decentralization. For the study, the following is the list of covered LGUs with their corresponding income classes. The data was taken from the Bureau of Local Government Finance (BLGF) Caraga Regional Office.

Rapid Field Appraisal of Decentralization: CARAGA

347 107. Tagbina. has the highest population density and growth rate.151 9.km. Among the municipalities. while Surigao del Norte has the most number of people for every square kilometer of land area.210 2.604 13.06 405.6 212. Butuan City – the regional center and the primary urban center of Caraga.Table 1: Demographic Profile of Sampled LGUs LGU Province Agusan del Norte Surigao del Norte Surigao del Sur City Bislig City Butuan City Surigao City Municipality Carmen Claver Kitcharao Remedios T.0 816. Surigao del Sur has the highest number of population but with the lowest population density. Among the provinces covered by the study.960 298.) 3rd 2nd 1st 3rd 1 st 314. a 2nd class town in Surigao del Sur has the highest population.216.027 409. Romualdez (RTR) Tagbina Tubod 5th 2 nd Income Class Population (2007/2000) Total Land Area (in Sq. Among cities.715. while Carmen. has the least number of population.40 sq km 81.47 sq km 14 11 8 25 9 69 164 6.557.km.468 541.93 538.7 1.57 667.873 3rd 322.258 14.98 4.378 132.165 4th 5th 2nd 5th Source: National Statistics Office & Municipal data Caraga is the third least populated region in the country. 5 Decentralization Gains Still Haunted by Challenges .551 (2000) 18.359 (2000) 34.3 11 / 166 27 / 335 17 / 309 24 86 54 8 142 160 115 266.45 2.) No. a 5th class town in the same province.057 (2000) 10.922 (as of 2000) 2.62 245. of Municipalities/ Barangays Population Density (Persons/ Sq.

6 38.591 Source: NSCB The provinces also show an increasing growth rate from 1995 to 2007. RESULTS OF DECENTRALIZATION I.9 42. child welfare and protection. financial accountability. constructed farm-tomarket roads.2 54. Department of Agriculture (DA). All sampled LGUs of Caraga have shown initiatives toward this end.936 37. Investment Code. Local Governance and Administration Policies formulated related to decentralization – including the Local Government Performance Management System (LGPMS) of the Department of Interior and Local Governments (DILG) – emphasized the importance of crafting responsive and supportive legislation. and facilitated the raising of LGUs’ awareness on transparency and participation.2 53. 6 Rapid Field Appraisal of Decentralization: CARAGA . and Omnibus Tax Code.992 38.198 52. LGUs also passed ordinances related to agriculture and fishery. undertook agreements with Bureau of Fisheries and Agriculture Research (BFAR).510 47.5 48.Table 2: Poverty Incidence and Magnitude of Poor Families Province Poverty Incidence Among Families (%) 2000 Agusan del Norte Surigao del Norte Surigao del Sur 40.4 Magnitude of Poor Families 2000 42. Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR). Surigao del Sur dropped out from the list in 2006. and International Food and Agriculture Development (IFAD).2 45. and customer service.417 47.6 2006 35.. development planning.668 55. resource generation and allocation. Surigao del Norte remained among the 10 poorest provinces in the country from 2003 to 2006. with Agusan del Norte registering the highest growth rate.350 2003 36.192 2006 40. This rising growth rate is accompanied with an increasing number of households considered to be poor. solid waste management plans and programs. human resource development and managemen. and Revenue Code. accredited non-government organizations (NGOs) for project implementation. undertook loan agreements with banks for the purchase of heavy equipments. Local Legislation In addition to ordinances related to budget appropriation and creation of positions. networking and linkaging. provided post-harvest facilities.4 2003 33. and adopted various plans and codes on gender and development.

Table 4: Information Materials and Modes Materials and Modes Brochures. only a few LGUs have published these accomplishments. which is evident in the allocation of projects under the 20 percent development fund. Some LGUs do not regularly update their bulletin boards but posting copies of LGU Citizen’s Charter in LGU buildings and other public places has facilitated the sharing of information on LGU processes. procurement announcements. projects implemented. Newsletters. However. and holistic approach to address the needs of the community. the imperatives of quality legislation have to be looked into. They conducted public hearings. Bulletin boards Websites Flowcharts Barangay Assemblies Radio Programs Province 3 3 3 0 3 City 3 3 3 3 3 Municipality 6 3 6 6 0 Total 12 9 12 9 6 7 Decentralization Gains Still Haunted by Challenges . or State of Municipality Address. and increased the involvement of the private sector in the delivery of basic social services. Transparency LGUs differ widely in their practices on promoting transparency. such as a tracking system. State of City Address. and other matters. However. put up bulletin boards and make their accomplishments known through the State of Province Address. This means looking into the greater use of legislative tools. comprehensive. Local Organization Structure and Positions Agriculture and Fishery Gender and Development Child Welfare and Protection Environment Code Revenue Services Province 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 City 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 Municipality 6 6 6 4 4 4 6 Total 12 12 12 10 10 10 12 These ordinances were enacted through a rational. LGUs claimed these local legislations helped create a friendly business atmosphere.Table 3: Local Legislation Areas Budget for Services Governance and Administration. Bulletin boards contain only information on ordinances passed.

The accredited NGOs/POs form part of the various local special bodies (LSBs) which reconstitution was supported by ordinances. Contingency Plan. NGOs/POs however. Comprehensive Development Plan (CDP). LGUs regularly conduct public consultations and reported to have conducted them in at least 80 percent of the barangays. Development Planning With the implementation of the Local Government Code (LGC) development planning has taken a new flavor – becoming more participatory and consultative. In coordination with the provincial governments and DILG field offices. poverty alleviation. Health Investment Plan (HIP). this was when they were reconstituted. Rapid Field Appraisal of Decentralization: CARAGA 8 . NGOs and POs also reported very minimal engagement in program implementation in their respective LGUs. and Bantay Gubat. Human Resource Development Plan (HRDP). This has facilitated the formulation and updating of the various planning documents such as the Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP). Gender and Development Plan. and natural resource management programs. The city and municipal personnel’s expertise in planning were shared with the barangay officials to produce the different planning documents especially the Barangay Development Plan (BDP). Bantay Dagat. Revenue Generation Plan (RGP). The barangay governments take an active role in the management and governance of their respective communities. the LSBs met only once. and the Barangay Annual Investment Plan (BIP). Poverty Reduction Plan (PRP). after which the members were no longer called or did not meet again. some did not even apply for accreditation because of lack of trust in the LGU processes and its leadership. Annual Investment Plan (AIP). LSBs in most of the sampled LGUs meet regularly – at least twice a year for consultations. Municipalities and provinces that had been project areas of the Northern Mindanao Community Initiatives Resource Management Project (NMCIREMP) have organized Self-Help Groups (SHGs) and Community Volunteer Organizations (CVOs) that became partners and beneficiaries of the project’s livelihood. especially for the newly elected barangay officials in 2007. are seldom represented in public biddings. reconstituted the different Local Special Bodies (LSBs) and created other LGC-inspired bodies such as the Integrated Forestry and Agricultural Resources Management Council (IFARMC). however. Bids and Awards Committees (BAC) of LGUs are convened.Participation and Participatory Development LGUs have accredited non-government organizations (NGOs) and people’s organizations (POs). planning offices of municipal LGUs also facilitated the conduct of barangay planning and budgeting workshops. In a number of LGUs. Ecotourism Development Plan. Capacity Development Plan. and the executive-legislative agenda (ELA). Solid Waste Management Plan (SWMP). Tourism Development Plan (TDP).

6 percent come from tax revenues.9 77. The share of local sources to total income ranged from a low of five percent to 15 percent for fiscal years 2004 to 2008. Tools used in assessment and planning include the LGPMS. Gender Responsive LGU (GeRL) SelfAssessment Tool. Of these local sources about 31 to 77. Resource Generation The IRA share of all the LGUs of Caraga is significantly high compared to their respective local incomes. Table 5: Average Percentages of Local & National Income Sources to Total Income of Sampled Provinces (2004-2008)   Percent of Local Sources to Total Income Percent of Tax Revenue (RPT.1 9 Decentralization Gains Still Haunted by Challenges . Provinces showed an increasing trend in total income from 2004 to 2008.6 93. While some of these LGUs – specifically provinces and cities – have computerized their planning data and used computer-based tools.The LGUs’ planning processes engaged the various stakeholders at all levels.1 95. a number of the municipal LGUs have not updated their data. and other secondary data from various NGAs. Workshop is a common method used to generate issues and build consensus during planning.8 2. and 78 to 97 for the municipalities. although this was mainly due to the increase in IRA and other national share and not reflective of an increase in local sources.3 84. 64 percent to 87 percent for the cities. the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). The percentage of IRA to the total LGU income for 2004 to 2008 is from 82 percent to 96 percent for the provinces. and by various non-government organizations and academic institutions. the Socio-Economic Development profile survey instrument. System for Competency Assessment of Local Government (SCALOG). Community-Based Management Information System (CBMIS). National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA). Buss Tax Other Taxes) to Total Local Income Percent of Non-Tax Revenue to Total Income Percent of Share from National Tax Collections (IRA and others) to Total Income Agusan del Norte 15 31 10.8 Surigao del Norte 6.6 59.6 1. or lack the capacity to install and manage computer-based databases. LGU planning competencies had been improved through their attendance in various training and conferences sponsored/facilitated by national government agencies such as DILG.4 Surigao del Sur 4. do not have databases.

the revenue collection processes are seen as areas for improvement. Butuan City. total income of cities has increased because of a rise in IRA and other shares from the national government. However. Except for 2007. While the sampled cities reported to have clearer revenue targets and performance benchmarks for the revenue generating offices. however. Figure 1: Percent of Share from National Tax Collections The percentages of the cities’ local sources. which is highly urbanized. For Surigao City. These ranged from 15 percent for a 3rd class city to 28 percent for a highly urbanized city. the tax base is still considered small as in the case of the provinces and municipalities. Income from national tax collections is more than twice or even three times than income from local sources. bringing the cost to collection ratio at 13 percent. in all the sampled cities. This program’s strategies include the awarding of certificates to prompt taxpayers and incentives for officials and employees for exceeding collection targets. are higher compared to those of the provinces. a Tax Collection Enforcement Program was implemented. 10 Rapid Field Appraisal of Decentralization: CARAGA . From 2004 to 2008. it also had the comparatively higher percentage of local sources to total income. has the lowest percentage of share from national tax collection compared to the other cities.A similar trend is seen among the cities.

It should be noted. Some provisions were deferred. since it was an election year. fluctuations in the percentages of local sources to total income characterized the municipalities’ collection efforts from local sources. These fluctuations in collections occur for both tax and non-tax revenues. From 2004 to 2008.9 RTR 9.7 3. Four of these municipalities had not computerized their RPTA system. meanwhile. or to the non-implementation of programs and services.2 91. Buss Tax Other Taxes) to Total Local Income Percent of Non-Tax Revenue to Total Income Percent of Share from National Tax Collections (IRA and others) to Total Income Carmen 6.9 50. This rise in surplus for 2008 compared to the 2007 data is attributed to an increase in local collections for the cities.2 93.2 2. that the increases of the IRA Decentralization Gains Still Haunted by Challenges 11 . The income derived from local sources – both tax and non-tax – is about a tenth of the total income or even less.7 94 92. Resource Utilization and Mobilization The total surplus of the CARAGA LGUs for 2008 is P1.6 1.6 Higher share of IRA and other sources to total LGU income are also seen in the municipalities. these range from 79 percent to 94 percent. were able to craft/ update their revenue code only in 2007. Provinces contributed more to the surplus. Furthermore. followed by the cities and the municipalities. though. There is a significant but a low and inverse relationship existing between the income classification of the municipality and the percentage of IRA to total income. Some of the LGUs. The low figures for surplus in 2007 are attributed to the desire to complete unfinished projects.6 43.3 67.1 Tagbina 6. the creation of three cities in the region.9 72. in the five years covered by the study.1 49. Lower class (4th to 6th) municipalities have lower IRA share compared to the higher income municipalities.6 50.6 3. However.9 91.2 billion.6 3.3 Claver 6 Kitcharao 7. only initial gains were realized since the Sanggunian had not fully passed the recommended measures.Table 6: Average Percentages of Local & National Income Sources to Total Income of Sampled Municipalities (2004-2008)   Percent of Local Sources to Total Income Percent of Tax Revenue (RPT. in other LGUs (especially the municipalities) the LGC had not been passed but was by then in the final reading.9 4.3 Tubod 6. They also have lower collection and less varied sources of local revenues.1 86. thereby bringing about an increase in IRA. A number of these LGUs during the fiscal years of 2004 to 2008 had not fully implemented their revenue code.

Improved information dissemination. and Population Control. one percent for Social Services and Welfare. While LGUs’ spending pattern varied through the years. to explore and generate alternative sources of revenue. 20 percent for Health. especially in cities. and the Business Tax Enhancement Project (BTEP) resulted in increased collection and increased business investments. Provinces on the average spent 36 percent for General Public Services. Rapid Field Appraisal of Decentralization: CARAGA 12 . and 14 percent for Economic Services. City governments’ support to the establishment of the Real Property Tax Information System (RPTIS) and Geographical Information System (GIS) contributed to the quick completion of the general revision of assessment and property classification. the General Administration and Support services far outweigh those of the social and economic services. most of them submitted supplemental budget to support the new or expanded programs and activities as newly-created cities. Figure 2: Average Percentage Expenditure of Sampled Provinces LGUs were encouraged. Culture & Sports/ Manpower Development. 2. The general revision of real property assessments and the computerization project initiated and/or supported by the provincial LGUs ensured the fast and accurate delivery of tax assessment services.received by these newly created cities were not included in their 2008 annual budget. less than one percent for Housing and Community Development. and to some extent given the discretion. presence of Business-One-Stop-Shop (BOSS). As such. A similar trend is seen for the cities and municipalities. The LGUs thus had greater capacity to generate local revenues and diversify their income sources. Nutrition.3 percent for Education.

6 0 36.4 0 0 1.6 1.4 5. Nutrition & Population Control to Total Budget 9.7 7.2 31.6 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 10.5 11. Culture & Sports/ Manpower Development to Total Budget 8.6 6 8.4 Percent of Expenditures in Labor and Employment to Total Budget Percent of Expenditures in Housing and Community Development to Total Budget Percent of Expenditures in Social Security /Social Services & Welfare Percent of Expenditures in Economic Services to Total Budget Percent of Expenditures in Debt Service to Total Budget Decentralization Gains Still Haunted by Challenges Percent of Expenditures in Other Purposes to Total Budget 13 .1 55.3 1.9 4.7 25.1 62.8 0 0 0 0 0 2.5 23 7 11.5 2.5 4.5 2.4 0.7 11.3 9.2 2.Table 7: Average Percentage Expenditure of Cities & Municipalities Butuan 24.5 28.6 Percent of Expenditures in Health.2 47.5 3.6 Surigao Bislig Carmen Claver Kitcharao RTR Tabgina Tubod   Percent of Expenditures in General Services to Total Budget 2 2.7 5.1 57.1 0.6 0.1 Percent of Expenditures in Education.2 48.6 7.5 40.4 1.6 0.7 47.6 0 24.2 40 13.8 2.1 6.4 0 21.2 33.3 8.3 3.1 0 0 2.2 0 14.5 7.7 0 21.8 11.9 23.

and 17 percent lower than those of the municipalities. In actual amount/figures. Projects and activities proposed by the different offices of an LGU including the devolved offices determine the distribution of the LGU’s aggregate budget. CapDev activities that were not implemented for the current year were carried over the succeeding year. Financial Accountability LGUs view the implementation of the LGC as an efficient mechanism in addressing the needs of the people.83 percent lower than those of the province. but LGU personnel consider this as a “limitation. In addition. the nonregularization of certain personnel. cities on the average. Furthermore. the next highest expenditure areas are on health and nutrition and economic services. Some LGUs reported they need to exhaust their CapDev budget for fear that the nonutilization of the current training budget may cause a reduction in the budget for the succeeding year.” In the municipalities. with LGUs now more empowered to implement programs and projects that directly respond to the needs of the people. In the cities and provinces. including its budget as an obligated fund. Butuan City has the highest percentage expense for debt servicing. Aside from General Administrative and Support Services. however. education is one of the lowest budgeted items. Each office is allocated with a budget for trainings and capability development and implementation of such is coordinated through the Personnel or Human Resource Management Office. Two of the sampled cities and all of the municipalities had not allocated and had not spent for labor and employment. the PS cap is cited by personnel as limiting their flexibility in providing additional incentives. The cap for personnel services (PS) has been observed. or the non-creation of the environment and natural resource office. In terms of percentage difference on the expenditure for General Administrative and Support Services to the total expenditures. the PS “limitation” is seen as contributing to the non-hiring of additional personnel even when more people are needed. the expenditures of the highly urbanized city are much higher than those of the province and municipalities. spent 0. Trainings and other capacity development (CapDev) activities would depend on the mandate of the office. and housing and community development.Cities and municipalities showed the highest expenditure on General Administrative and Support Services. 14 Rapid Field Appraisal of Decentralization: CARAGA . One out of the six sampled municipalities had spent for debt servicing. such as salary increases.

But save for the financial reports cited in the annual accomplishment reports and the State of the Province Address/State of the City Address/State of the Municipality Address (SOPA/SOCA/SOMA). LGUs also tried to observe compulsory annual budgetary reserve and austerity measures. the preparation of the Annual Procurement Plan (APP). in three out of the five years (2004 to 2008) covered. the creation of the new Bids and Awards Committee. most of them had not publicly posted their financial reports. the use of the Electronic Procurement System (G-EPS).Figure 3: Ratio of Total Expenditure to Total Income LGUs have Annual Investment Plans (AIP) reviewed and approved by their respective Sanggunians. which includes sanctions for erring personnel. All LGUs reported regularity of audit. too. During these years. the adoption of the Transparent Accountable Governance (TAG) project. Surigao City pioneered the implementation of the Electronic New Government Accounting System (E-NGAS) in Caraga. The implementation of the Government Procurement Act. there was an observed increase in the city’s non-tax revenue. The Local Finance Committee (LFC) control the utilization or disbursement of funds as defined in the AIP. Butuan City reported a total expenditure that was more than its annual income. the implementation of document tracking with the prescribed response time for processing payments to vendors. yet the decrease in tax revenues was significantly higher. However. and the delegation of alternate signatories all ensured greater responsibility and accountability and significantly reduced delays. Accountability of financial officers is clear in the system. 15 Decentralization Gains Still Haunted by Challenges .

as well as the training provided for frontline services. which in turn reduced to a minimum document processing time and payment of fees. especially those of the lower income class. Training of frontliners and streamlining of frontline services were also undertaken by LGU personnel to improve customer satisfaction.Customer Service The improved organization through the creation of offices was cited as instrumental in enhancing the LGUs’ performance to better respond to the needs of the people through the performance of their specific or specialized functions. The team investigates and then reports to the head of office who will then render the appropriate sanction on the erring employee. values. commitment. however. Training workshops were usually conducted in-house or were conducted by local experts. however. the Transparent Accountable Governance (TAG) project enabled the institutionalization and the operationalization of the computerized Business Tax Assessment and Collection System (BTACS). meanwhile. All LGUs have formulated the Citizen’s Charter. These are perceived to help improve customer service in addition to information desks. and candies made such waiting time less of a burden for clients. All of the sampled provinces and cities have public information desks. At the same time. For the Butuan City Assessor’s Office. the creation of the Service Audit Team (SAT). under the Transparent Accountable Governance (TAG) project. strategy. better services are delivered by staff who now have more time to attend to the needs of the constituents with the appropriate use of their fields of expertise. although mandatory trainings by NGAs are prioritized. their clients’ waiting time was reduced. The Anti-Corruption Team (ACT). Among municipalities. TVs. As a result. and standards. “service enhancers” such as the availability of newspapers. Public Service Ethics and Accountability Program (PSEEAP). LGUs with these programs – such as the cities of Butuan and Surigao and the province of Surigao del Norte – were able to facilitate the formulation of service mission. and other capability building programs were also cited as contributing to the improved services and customer satisfaction. Transparent Accountable Governance (TAG). this is true only for one out of every three towns. In Surigao City. LGUs. Rapid Field Appraisal of Decentralization: CARAGA 16 . Because these reduce the workload of personnel. is sometimes less than the number required by the mandate because of budgetary constraints. They have put up illustrations of the flow of transactions in strategic places. The number of people to be sent for training. or coffee. facilitated the monitoring of employee performance and served as input information for awards or recognition. Public Service Excellence Program (PSEP). seldom send people for national training because of budgetary limitation. now responds to complaints of acts of employees engaged in corrupt practices.

cities. Guidelines have been built into the different offices’ guidelines and mandates. especially if these are not covered by the AIP. Management Information System (MIS). financial management. competency assessments. The majority of the prioritized training focused more on management and in the enhancement of the LGU’s financial operations. and computerization. training needs assessments (TNA) were conducted by the personnel or human resource management and development office. The TNA’s results were used as bases for the allocation of funds and in determining the need for a specific training. Unfortunately. and a few municipalities have a human resource management (HRM) plan. and the possibility of bringing about increased income generation were factored into the prioritization of such training efforts. communication skills and IEC. Specific training needs of the different offices are determined by the department heads and are usually subject to availability of funds. This included trainings on project planning and development. CapDev activities on transparency and participation included the strengthening of the Local Special Bodies and other NGOs. In cities. As a result of the implementation of CapDev activities. and some municipalities. human resource development. fiscal resource generation. 17 Decentralization Gains Still Haunted by Challenges . Results of the LGPMS and SCALOG are also factored in determining training activities. the training’s contribution to the organization. Human Resource Management All sampled LGUs have existing Human Resource Management and Development Office (HRMDO). service standards. training and strengthening of community-based/ruralbased organizations. Other training workshops were dealt on a case-to-case basis. TNA is not regularly updated. LGU personnel have enhanced performances and are now able to install and institutionalize systems and processes for improved customer satisfaction even as they respond to the challenges of devolution. The extent at which a training workshop is expected to enhance the individual’s work performance. But only the provinces.LGUs have also conducted CapDev activities related to improvement of competencies in management and enhancement of management systems. conflict management and culture of peace. and the training workshops to be attended must be in line with the office’s scope and functions. values formation. Mandatory trainings by the NGAs are included in the priority list. Such must first be discussed in the executive and legislative levels before any approval (or disapproval) can be made. provinces. bidding and procurement process. GIS and records management. even by the sampled LGUs. as well as the establishment.

the training and seminars available to LGUs are dependent on the initiatives of the different line agencies. thereby limiting the participation of other personnel in such training seminars. are assigned to other departments and those who attend training are usually the senior ones who are less mobile than most of the rest of the staff. most of the workshops and seminars conducted by the different NGAs are held toward the last quarter of the year. facilities. The leadership of the local chief executive to implement the programs and projects involving capacity development is critical to the success of the CapDev implementation. Trainings that updates skills are needed. to some extent. depleted. The respondents cited shortage of personnel trained in particular skills such as policy analysis. there are just one or two people who meet the required criteria. Those attended by LGU personnel depend on whether or not the different line agencies of the government would handle or provide these. and strategies as reflected in the HR plan or CapDev agenda properly adopted by the Sanggunian. In addition. The combined lack of resources. The respondents themselves said that with improved human resource and better organization. The conflict in the schedules of available seminars and trainings further hinder the participation of LGU personnel. but to the use of these personnel. most of the LGUs’ budget for these activities is almost. on external assistance. for example. and in some ways hindering local capacity. which may translate into a resistance to embrace or apply new learning to their work. management systems to include the creation or presence of an office or unit/division/department and installed processes and procedures for planning. Most of the time.Prior to 2007. In almost all of these LGUs. Lack of budgetary resources hampers them. Allied to these training workshops. and resource-sharing mechanisms. developing. appropriate budget. Another personnel-related constraint is the resistance of some of them to change or accept change. The institutional context of the LGUs continues to act as a drag on performance. equipment. At the time. especially those that do not have donor support. Competent employees. networking and linkaging are facilitated and are able to bring about strengthened partnerships. alternative fund sourcing. if not totally. training and other CapDev activities were done in compliance with national requirements and directives. Its reliance on the training provided by NGAs play an important role in shaping. and technologies for LGU personnel to do their job and the few training opportunities encumber performance. NGAs have specific criteria on who are qualified to attend the trainings. implementing and evaluating programs and projects. Today the identified facilitating factors include the presence of articulated vision. most of the LGUs did not have a defined CapDev agenda. program planning and implementation. and management of information systems. The LGUs are dependent. goals. At such time. Other constraints relate not to the availability of human resources. 18 Rapid Field Appraisal of Decentralization: CARAGA .

Madrid. they have yet to see concrete benefits as a result of their membership in these leagues. provinces. Jabonga. and • Cabadbaran-Tubay-RTR-Magallanes Alliance – Cabadbaran. the region’s IMR dropped from 11. II. Barobo. The cities and provincial LGUs have engaged the local chamber of commerce while some municipalities partnered with local associations such as cooperatives and market vendors. however. • Lower Agusan Development Alliance (LADA) – Butuan City. Hinatuan. Cantilan. From 2000 to 2003. and Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) 22 percent lower. Cities. as well as in CBR. Bacuag. and League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP). Interbarangay cooperation was seen operating in Butuan City as a result of the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) project. Alegria. • BIBAHILITA Development Alliance – Bislig. Carmen. Gigaquit. Magallanes and Las Nieves of Agusan del Norte. Mainit. and Tubay of Agusan del Norte. and Tagbina of Surigao del Sur. Cortes.58 percent per 1. Claver.68 percent lower. Malimono. Tubod. and Sison of Surigao del Norte. • CARCANMADCARLANCORTAN Development Alliance – Carrascal. and Tandag of Surigao del Sur. RTR. Social Services Health and Nutrition Health indicators for the sampled LGUs showed that in comparison to the 2000 national figures. According to them. These include: • Hinatuan Passage Development Alliance (HIPADA) – Placer. Decentralization Gains Still Haunted by Challenges 19 . League of Provinces of the Philippines (LPP).51 percent. and San Francisco of Surigao del Norte.1 percent to 9.000 live births. Crude Death Rate (CDR) 12 percent lower. and Magallanes of Agusan del Norte All these LGUs are also members of their respective leagues – League of Cities of the Philippines (LCP). Lingig. • Lake Mainit Development Alliance (LMDA) – Kircharao. San Luis and Esperanza of Agusan del Sur.43 percent per 1. Regional Crude Birth Rate (CBR) was 14.Networking and Linkaging Caraga LGUs have formed alliances among themselves for common environmental and economic concerns. and four municipalities in the region have built partnerships with the private sector and civil society organizations other than those accredited in the Local Special Bodies (LSBs). A comparison of 2004 to 2008 figures also show a decrease in IMR from 9. LGUs are also developing public-private partnerships to provide services through community-based organizations.000 live births and the Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) from 1.57 percent to 6. Tubay.72 percent to 1. Lanuza. Santiago.

4 3.4 16.4 19.8 5.1 2005 22. of Health.27 5.45 9. Center for Health Development – Caraga Region At the provincial level. a rise in MMR.42 20.02 2006 3. Center for Health Development – Caraga Region Table 9: Trend of Crude Birth Rates in Caraga Region.5 4.6 2002 3. however.73 9.1 3.3 19.5 22.1 3.57 9.25 5.1 4.41 10.7 5.3 5.8 8. However.5 5.24 17.56 11.00 6.51 Source: Dept.55 14.08 17.69 19.2 3. (2000-2008) Area Agusan Norte Butuan City Surigao Norte Surigao City Surigao Sur Bislig City Caraga 2000 9.7 3. rate per 1.0 14.48 percent).75 2005 3.05 18.85 19.05 6.1 3.65 11. the IMR per 1.58 19.30 13.5 5.08 13.68 7.5 3.7 4.13 13.43 12. Table 8: Trend of Infant Mortality Rates in Caraga Region.8 17.46 14.33 7.5 4.7 4.5 20 Rapid Field Appraisal of Decentralization: CARAGA .41 14.43 17.81 8.97 9.88 8.76 7.42 2003 20.21 18.19 percent to 1.7 16.7 percent to 3.6 20.16 6.14 10.41 2007 5.3 3.26 15.00 8.2 5.8 4 5.8 17 18 18.37 2006 23.12 9.27 16.31 7.1 2001 5.95 12.2 3.000 pop.41 17.7 2007 3.43 17.44 18.26 2008 22 17 18 20 17 19 19 Source: Dept.97 6.000 pop.47 20.69 19.5 11.9 3.73 18 16.07 17.5 3.9 10.1 17.14 2007 23.48 20.90 6.42 16.73 16.58 2004 3.55 18.78 6.8 5.84 2002 18.7 2006 3.73 2003 3.37 percent.71 18.16 9.84 9.43 6.3 18.86 18.which fell from 19. there was an increase in IMR observed in 2007 for Agusan del Norte and Surigao del Sur and a decrease again in 2008.54 19.000 live births ranged from Table 10: Trend of Crude Death Rates in Caraga Region in rate per 1.8 2003 3.94 13.4 5.81 15.6 5.7 2005 3.83 19.50 2002 5.1 18.5 4.80 9.69 10.1 3.52 3.77 17.29 2008 2.4 2001 3.84 7.1 percent to one.35 6..9 17. (2000-2008) Area Agusan Norte Butuan City Surigao Norte Surigao City Surigao Sur Bislig City Caraga 2000 19.02 17.21 8.20 16. In 2008. rate per 1.6 19.4 5. from 1. There was.8 3.3 2004 22.3 2004 3.1 6 3.21 17.38 8.19 15.7 3.49 17.16 9.000 pop. of Health.8 2008 3.75 7.19 2001 18. and in CDR (from 3.97 16. a decreasing trend is seen from 2000 to 2003.81 12.48 18.79 7.49 9. (2000-2008) Area Agusan Norte Butuan City Surigao Norte Surigao City Surigao Sur 2000 3.5 3.

19 2005 0.81 1.02 0.00 1.4 2003 4.47 1. with Surigao City having the highest and Bislig City the lowest. 79 rural health units/municipal health units.37 Source: Dept. of Health.3 0.10 percent).2 2002 3.57 1.23 0. Table 11: Trend of Maternal Mortality Ratio in Caraga Region. The IMRs for the cities are higher than those recorded in the provinces.7 3.13 1.52 2.64 1.66 0.7 1. with Surigao del Norte posing the highest IMR and Agusan del Norte the lowest. of Health. CDR.7 2001 0.45 2001 3.27 percent. including the two DOH-retained hospitals. the leading cause of morbidity continues to be acute respiratory infection or upper respiratory infection while the top cause of death is hypertensive cardio vascular disease. Surigao del Sur.6 3.3 2008 4.43 2003 0.7 3.08 1.65 percent) and lowest in Surigao City (1. while Surigao del Norte had the lowest. By 2008.18 2007 0.4 3.48 Source: Dept.65 1.08 0.1 3.10 1.6 2007 4.7 3. and 11 in Surigao del Sur.37 0.43 2004 0.52 2006 0.50 2.79 1.59 0.4 3.35 2.Area Bislig City Caraga 2000 2. Center for Health Development – Caraga Region 2. Ten of the hospitals in the region are in Agusan del Norte. rate per 1. nine in Surigao del Norte. three City Health Offices. and 528 barangay health stations. Pneumonia remains as the leading cause for IMR while it is post-partum hemorrhage for MMR.22 1. Surigao del Sur posted the highest Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) – 2.0 1.88 1.57 2.9 0.74 1. Center for Health Development – Caraga Region Despite the fluctuating IMR. For the sampled cities in the region. It also had four Provincial Health Offices.96 2.19 1.24 1.6 3.10 2.75 0. and MMR from 2000 to 2008.6 2004 4.14 percent on the provincial level.09 1.35 3.27 1.58 2.retained hospitals: the Caraga Regional Hospital in Surigao City and the Adela Serra Ty Memorial Medical Center in Tandag.68 1. the highest MMR was recorded in Bislig City (2. ranging from 6. five in Decentralization Gains Still Haunted by Challenges 21 .30 0.71 1.94 3.58 in 2008.39 0.97 percent to 7.22 2.26 1.81 0. From 2000 to 2003. There are seven hospitals in Butuan City.64 1.97 2. For the general public.35 percent to 10.000 live births (2000-2008) Area Agusan Norte Butuan City Surigao Norte Surigao City Surigao Sur Bislig City Caraga 2000 0.14 1.19 1. Caraga region had two Department of Health (DOH). The maternal death rate meantime declined from 2003 to 2008.13 0.38 2002 0.5 2006 4.7 2005 4.91 2008 0.86 2.43 1.76 1.70 1. CBR.40 1. health indicators show improvement over the last nine years or more across all LGU levels and income class. Caraga had 60 major health facilities.4 1.

Surigao del Sur has the deepest drop in home deliveries.Surigao City. Health insurance coverage increased to 168.096 enrolled individuals in 2008 compared to the 124. are accredited with the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PHIC). Bislig City recorded the highest drop in home deliveries compared to 2001 data. enrolment of indigents is shouldered by the provincial government through the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWD) in partnership with the congressional office. only about 77 percent of Caraga hospitals. the family. There are 11 Rural Health Units (RHUs) or Municipal Health Units (MHUs) and 91 Barangay Health Stations (BHSs) in Agusan del Norte. Among the RHUs. recording 12 percent of births in 2005 as occurring at home. this dropped further to 59 percent in 2009. only about 81 percent are accredited.196 in 2007. Figure 4: 22 Rapid Field Appraisal of Decentralization: CARAGA . Under this scheme. the municipal government. Accompanying the increase in hospital delivery rate has been a rise in health personnel-attended deliveries. Among the sampled provinces. However. By 2005. LGUs that adopted a multi-payor scheme were able to achieve universal or 100 percent coverage of identified indigents. and private and NGO partners. Among the sampled cities. 88 percent of births in Surigao del Sur occurred at home. In 2001. This direction influenced and portends the future decline in the MMR. and 18 RHU/MHU and 189 BHS in Surigao del Sur. barangay government. both public and private. The increase in the number of health facilities has contributed to the decrease in home deliveries and a corresponding increase in hospital/facility-based deliveries. and 45 percent in 2008. and four in Bislig City. where 81 percent of these hospitals are privately owned. 20 RHU/MHU and 68 BHS for Surigao del Norte. this figure had decreased to 81 percent.

the challenge of addressing mosquito borne diseases like dengue. expanded immunization. This deficiency is higher at the provincial and municipal levels where the hospitals are also wanting of repair and maintenance.318. Surigao del Sur has the highest incidence of malnutrition (22 percent) while Butuan City has the lowest incidence (7. in 2000 to 2003. schistosomiasis. tuberculosis. violence against women and children. LGUs have programs to reduce the malnutrition rate implemented in collaboration with NGOs. renal disease control. with its average ratio being 1:1. leprosy. Data from DOH–Center for Health and Development Caraga showed a continued decline in the malnutrition incidence from 2000 to 2008. national government or from foreign assistance. The city and municipal governments provided preventive health programs and projects with counterpart funding either from the provincial government. Nutrition-related programs aimed at improving children’s health such as supplemental feeding and Decentralization Gains Still Haunted by Challenges 23 . malaria. Of the sampled LGUs.318 Interestingly. diabetes mellitus. acute respiratory infection control. and blood donation among others. cardiovascular disease. deworming.7 percent). Still.917 1:806 1:531 1:896 1:1.318 1:1. of Hospital Gov’t 6 9 8 1 1 1 35 3 6 4 3 25 Priv’t 4 Total 10 9 11 7 5 4 60 No. malaria. cancer and autoimmune.000.110 20 295 108 85 633 Priv’t 70 Total 255 170 250 377 258 110 1743 Bed to Pop Ratio 1:1. sexually transmitted diseases and social hygiene clinics.In terms of hospital bed to population ratio. These preventive-curative health services included programs for filaria. the combined efforts of the LGUs and the DOH-Center for Health Development (DOH-CHD) have managed to provide health services in the region. Cities and some of these municipalities have since been declared disease-free zones for filaria. and water borne diseases like schistosomiasis became the concern of the region especially those of the sampled LGUs. of Hospital Beds Gov’t 185 170 230 100 150 25 1. the subsequent years saw the complementation of the preventive to the curative aspect of health programs in these LGUs. As such. IMR. Table 12: Hospital Bed to Population Ratio in Caraga Region (2008) Province/City Agusan del Norte Surigao del Norte Surigao del Sur Butuan City Surigao City Bislig City Caraga Region No. They also have Sentrong Sigla certified RHUs. community based rehabilitation for stroke patients.811 1:1. malaria and filariasis. and schistosomiasis. goiter. and MMR. and even to the extent of having Caraga reduce its crude death rate. dengue. Caraga is way below the standard of 1:1. adolescent and youth health development. maternal and child health care.

Among the cities.micronutrient supplementation have been implemented by the sampled LGUs. the participation rate. with 47.293. support for ALS. Cohort survival and completion rates of public elementary school children improved from 58 percent and 56 percent in the years 2000 to 2001 to 61 percent and 58 percent in 2003 to 2004 respectively. There is a high dropout rate in both elementary and secondary levels.6 percent belonging to the 0 to 17 years old age range. Social Welfare and Development Caraga is the third least populated region in the country.480 in 2007. cohort survival. and completion rates in school years 2000 to 2008 registered volatile trends. the operation of the School for Indigenous Knowledge and Tradition (SIKAT) improved the functional literacy of the indigenous people and their communities. This has been due to the increasing demand for skilled workers abroad. as of 2003. Remote barangays and even some urban barangays – especially in the 3rd to 6th class municipalities – cited problems regarding access to basic education. out-of-school youths and the indigenous peoples. There has also been a rise in the number of technical-vocationals schools. It had an average annual population growth of 1. Among provinces. At the same time. Butuan had the most number of DCCs at 107. Education.095. The region’s population is relatively young.25 percent between the censal years 2000 and 2007. However. especially during the school year 2006-2007 and onward. The Alternative Learning System (ALS) successfully provided education to young adults. which promotes physical fitness among the school children. with a registered population of 2. appropriate funds for the honorarium of teachers and utility workers.367 in 2000 and 2. Caraga LGUs showed an increasing enrolment participation rate from 2000 to 2009. and for the implementation of projects that are critical to promotion of formal and non-formal education. malnutrition incidence is still considered as a continuing challenge as this affects school participation and performance of children. The school boards also appropriated funds for their division’s participation in the Palarong Pambansa. while the male-female population ratio is 51:49 across age groups. Local school boards meet regularly to discuss the mechanism and support needed for their respective LGUs’ scholarship program. Yet while the decline in the malnutrition rate suggests an on-track achievement of the MDG target on the proportion of underweight children. It also had the highest number of six to 11 year old children. Rapid Field Appraisal of Decentralization: CARAGA 24 . Surigao del Sur had the most number of day care centers (DCCs) with 436. construction and improvement of school buildings and facilities to address classroom shortage. way below the national average.

the institutionalization of the five-percent GAD budget was a challenge. structures. Lingap Center. however. leadership training for the youth. and differently-abled people.36 respectively. and 5. and programs for gender and development. albeit under different program names and budgetary allocations. which include children and youth. and senior citizens.The financial support of the provincial governments helped the municipalities and component cities build and repair their Barangay Health Stations and day care centers. The provincial LGUs said these not only respond to the needs of their communities but are also in support to the national program on “Accelerated Mitigation” and the MDGs. out-of-school youth. more LGUs appropriated the fivepercent GAD budget for programs and projects to improve the lives of women and enable wider access to various livelihood opportunities.33. women. mortuary aid. in 2000. Kasalan ng Bayan. The focus of social welfare and development is the protection and the promotion of the welfare of the vulnerable groups. financial and service assistance to senior citizens. There are also mechanisms. 5. Surigao del Sur. Surigao del Norte. as well as funds for the construction of schools buildings and additional classrooms in their towns and cities. The sampled city governments have programs on Children in Conflict with the Law (CILC). The provincial LGUs also provided assistance to the Department of Education (DepEd) for the honoraria of volunteer teachers and the salaries of regular teachers. These included families occupying private Decentralization Gains Still Haunted by Challenges 25 . 5.26.19. Welfare programs implemented by the city governments are similarly implemented by the municipalities. In 2000 to 2003. These programs are supported by the provincial governments. are 5. By 2003. 5. differently-abled persons or persons with disabilities. the housing backlog was even higher due to informal settlers.3. 5. displaced families and doubled-up households. Butuan City. indigenous peoples (IPs). women. In later years. Surigao City and Bislig City. Housing and Basic Utilities The ratio of the household population to occupied housing units for the sampled LGUs such as Agusan del Norte. practical skills training for heads of households. basic emergency motherhood obstetrics services. Gender and Development (GAD) initiatives at the regional level are spearheaded by the Regional Development Council (RDC GADCC) and by the Caraga GAD Advocates at the LGU level. SelfEmployment Assistance (SEA-K). They also helped fund municipal and city supplemental feeding program and livelihood projects. This indicated the significant number of doubled-up households and housing backlog.4. and Child Labor Protection.

Butuan City had 10. as well as for procedures on how to address the rampant selling of rights to awarded lots and the prices of lots. Table 13: New Units Needed Due to Backlog.259 4. congressional office. As of 2008. parks.378 371 Homeless 451 48 Total 7. and a housing backlog of 25. and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) national office.253 10. Alongside the housing backlog is the issue on the security of land tenure. its City Urban Development and Housing Council (CUDHOC) passed resolutions for the approval of beneficiaries.12.220 Displaced 321 492 2.108 4.886 informal settlers who could be found along its urbanized areas. and people residing in danger zones and blighted areas such as esteros. For Surigao City. Bislig City’s records showed about 202 constructed houses under the CORE Shelter program for 2008 and 2009.953 9.973 3. Butuan City.417 Double-Up Households 898 1.275 315 23.113 4.004 1.033 420 1.117. under bridges. LGUs and NSO In 2000. Habitat for Humanity. 26 Rapid Field Appraisal of Decentralization: CARAGA . By Province and City. and limited opportunities for gainful employment especially in the rural areas.430 583 Landless/ Informal Settlers 2. population growth. Bislig. about 85 percent of the target beneficiaries had been provided with homelots. and open spaces.886 3.005 160 6.791 2.591 Source: NHA. and limited funds for shelter. (as of CY 2003) Province/ City Agusan Norte Surigao Norte Surigao Sur Bislig City Butuan City Surigao City Due to Population (2000-2003) 4. through the City Housing and Development Office. Caraga Region. has since facilitated the provision of homelots to more than 11. This housing problem is attributed primarily to poverty. those displaced by government infrastructure projects.481 5.and public lands. meantime.000 families and reduced to half its housing backlog. even as it had the highest number of homeless families among the three cities sampled.183 10.716 4.741 .170 3.528 5. These housing programs were implemented by the city government in partnership with Gawad Kalinga. riverbanks. roadsides.519 1. had the least number of informal settlers.

6 30.4 51. implement.0 100. which grew to 89 percent in 2008. counseling sessions.9 % of HH w/comp. only about 80 percent of the households had access to Level III water system while the remaining percentage had Levels I or II or doubtful water sources.9 % of Level 1 % of Level 2 % of Level 3 % of HH with access to Sanitary Toilet 92. still below the target of 98 percent for urban and 90 percent for rural areas. The overall regional percentage of households with access to safe water was 79 percent in 2007.0 34.4 35.5 84.5 82.9 81.9 28.6 82. food.6 53.4 23.5 100.9 56. Of the sampled provinces.2 96.4 35.8 53.5 38.6 % of HH w/sat.7 61.7 5. Butuan and Surigao had the highest percentage of access and Bislig City the lowest at 78 percent in 2007 and 85 percent in 2008.6 82.6 31. disposal of solid waste 77. there was little improvement in the percentage of households with access to safe water supply. and monitor the programs and activities related to peace and order and disaster risk management.2 61.3 19.9 26. Peace.6 60.Table 14: Environmental Health Status (2008) % of HH w/access to improve safe H20 Supply 85.5 79. But the continued support of the LGUs as seen in their allocation for health helped enhance the other environmental health indicators.4 61.0 77.0 84.5 Area Agusan Norte Surigao Norte Surigao Sur Butuan City Surigao City Bislig City Caraga 38.6 5. This was.4 17. Surigao del Sur posted the lowest with 72 percent in 2007 and 81 percent in 2008.1 From 2000 to 2007. Among the sampled cities.1 31. Facilities 76.7 36. Security and Disaster Risk Management The members of the Local Peace and Order Council and the City/Municipal Disaster Coordinating Councils (C/MDCC) meet regularly to plan.1 48. Basic San.3 74. The Women and Child Protection Desk (WCPD) and the Crisis Center for Women and Children provide temporary shelter.4 33. 27 Decentralization Gains Still Haunted by Challenges .3 38. however.6 72.0 5.9 88. medical assistance to children in conflict with the law and to women and children who are victims of abuse and violence.0 63.5 82.6 60. By 2007.

and Tandag and Lianga in Surigao del Sur. All the barangays have their Lupong Tagapamayapa and about nine out of every 10 recorded community interpersonal disputes are resolved by this body. Bislig and Surigao. The cities of Surigao. Prone to ground rupture are the built-up areas of the major growth centers of the region such as the cities of Butuan. along with disaster risk reduction. Among the sampled LGUs. and Placer (Surigao del Norte). and supported relief operations and distributed goods and medicines to victims of flood. four flashfloods and two flooding and landslide incidents. Local Economic Development Poverty has contributed to making the region an out-migration area. earthquake and fire drills. Surigao. Data from the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) indicate that the region experienced a total of 18 incidents of natural calamities from 1999 to 2008. Surigao City expressed the need for a drainage plan. fire and other calamities. In 2000. and the provincial government to support the implementation of the watershed management plan. The Disaster Coordinating Councils (DCCs) at the provincial. Provincial governments constructed and rehabilitated timber and bailey bridges as mitigation measures. In the last decade. III. Bislig. Development of competencies needed for the implementation of coastal resource management program and disaster risk management were also done with funding support from various donor agencies. the poverty incidence in Caraga was 43 percent. the Lower Agusan Development Project (LADP) – Flood Control component was undertaken to minimize the occurrence of flooding in Butuan City. Nasipit and Buenavista in Agusan del Norte. to dredge the Surigao River as flood control mechanism. 28 Rapid Field Appraisal of Decentralization: CARAGA . with Surigao del Norte posting the highest incidence among the three provinces studied. Butuan City is further assessed to have areas with Level-5 risk to property. and the municipalities of Cabadbaran. As such. and Bislig and Tandag (Surigao del Sur) indicated Level 3 (moderate) risk to property. city and municipal levels continuously conduct disaster preparedness and management orientation. Flooding occurs frequently. along with three typhoons and one earthquake were experienced by the region. Disaster information materials have been disseminated to increase awareness on the steps to be taken during emergencies. The Quick Response Teams (QRT) are also able to respond to emergency calls.Barangay Tanods (village watchmen) are organized to assist police functions. Caraga is one of the regions in the country prone to geological and meteorological or hydrological hazards. also due to flooding. the top areas that indicated Level 5 (highest level) risk to life due to flooding are the cities of Butuan.

to even transportation Decentralization Gains Still Haunted by Challenges 29 . only Surigao del Norte posted a higher poverty incidence compared to the regional figure of 24 percent. meetings. and pesticides and herbicides were also distributed. Farm inputs such as fertilizers. Infrastructures to support agricultural development such as farm-to-market roads.2 53. cassava production and processing. It has grown due to the forestry subsector’s robust performance. eventually surpassing the latter in 2008. was also the only province in the region that posted a rise in poverty incidence. pre. LGUs provided financial assistance to cooperatives under the zero-interest loan.4 2006 35. promotion of high-value crops.5 45. followed by Butuan City. Agriculture and Fishery Cooperatives served as an effective vehicle for LGUs to promote economic development.4 By 2006. The LGUs’ agricultural technicians conducted training. and informal consultations in support to ruralbased organizations and tapped the services of the Cooperative Development Authority and other agencies such as the Department of Trade and Industry to provide such trainings.2 45.and post-harvest facilities were constructed.6 38. the only province in Caraga that did not belong to the country’s bottom 20 list. Surigao del Norte produces the highest volume of cassava production. however.4 2003 33. which compensated for the decline in agriculture and fishery in 2000 to 2003. seeds and seedlings were provided with zero interest and 50/50 payment schemes. Other provinces managed to keep their own numbers below 50 percent. LGU initiatives for agricultural development projects include assistance to farmers on rice and corn production. with equity used for micro-lending and livelihood projects. Agusan del Norte. from 33 percent in 2003 to 35 percent in 2006.Table 15: Poverty Incidence Among Families Province Agusan del Norte Surigao del Norte Surigao del Sur 2000 40. ranging from mechanical dryers to tractors. has been increasing rapidly compared to the agriculture and industry sectors. Cassava is considered as one of the major crop in the region. Only Butuan City has most of the needed post-harvest facilities while the rest lack all sorts of things. The AFF sector absorbed the bulk of the labor force. The agriculture. and small enterprises for rural women and youth. Inadequate management practices and occurrence of disease were identified as the major causes of low productivity. The services sector’s share of the labor force. Agusan del Norte. fishery and forestry (AFF) sector is considered as the banner economic sector among the LGUs studied.9 42. and Surigao City. aquamarine and livestock production and dispersal. seminars.2 54.

Common problems encountered by farmers include lack of credit access to high principal capitalization with low interest rates. seminars. Promotion of Trade. Surigao del Sur and Surigao del Norte likewise recorded significant cutbacks of 58 percent. SIPLAS gained distinction for the varied natural landscapes of the small islands and the natural waves coming from the Pacific seaboard suitable for surfing. These areas have gained prominence because of their unique natural features and biodiversity.65 hectares. fell by 25 percent from P6. alternative livelihood training. Industry and Tourism The National Ecotourism Strategy identified Agusan Marsh and Wildlife Sanctuary in Agusan del Sur. The island is also known for having the largest contiguous mangrove forest in the country. and investment is integrated into the development plans of the LGUs.3 billion in 2002 to P4. Seaweed production was also strengthened through training workshops and distribution of seaweed propagules and paraphernalia. and lakes covering a total area of 10. and fingerlings dispersal. All the provinces covered in this RFA posted negative growth. To support rural-based organizations. While mining areas have been identified in the province of Agusan del Norte. brackish water. meetings. theft.6 billion in 2003. Agusan del Norte and Butuan City generated the biggest increases in percentage share of investment. Despite these abundant resources. business.225. fishery production in Caraga can neither satisfy nor meet the local demand. and the Siargao Island Protected Landscape and Seascape (SIPLAS) in Surigao del Norte as major ecotourism sites. The province has seven marine fishery grounds.facilitation. bad weather conditions. Surigao del Norte is the major producer of marine fishery products in the region. establishment of one-stop-shop. LGU programs and projects to support the fishery sector are on aquaculture and marine fishery production. Economic development initiatives has included the promotion and production of highvalue commercial crops.5 percent reduction in investments. While most of the sampled 5th and 6th class LGUs have yet to Rapid Field Appraisal of Decentralization: CARAGA 30 . high labor cost. Most of the farmers have limited training. and provision of needed infrastructure support. with support from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR). a significant volume of minerals is actually located in the provinces of Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur. respectively. to transfer skills and technology. formulation of the investment plan. workshops. The region’s investments as reported by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). Agusan del Norte posted a minimal 8. and rich inland fishery resources like fresh water. The promotion of trade. and 48 percent. and the absence of technology. and informal consultations were also conducted by agriculture technicians.

Not surprisingly. and created more than 250 jobs in 2009. Coastal Resource Management and Development Project (CRMDP). MGB. Reforestation and Community-Based Forest Management (CBFM).619 jobs. These are implemented in partnership with DENR. and management of the forests. and the assistance to small and medium entrepreneurs were also cited as factors needed for economic development. academic institutions. PENRO. The communities are considered partners in forest development. and NGOs. strong partnership with the private sector. The processing and industrial center of the City of Bislig generated more that P13 million public investment and over P50 million in private investments. Seedling Dispersal. promotion of online information. MENRO. Butuan City’s business investments increased from P5 million in 1996 to P800 million in 2008. and created 2. protection. the years 1987 to 2003 saw a significant reduction of its forest cover by 77 percent due to illegal logging. and land conversion and cultivation for agro-forestry and industrial plantations. and those on soil erosion control along the damaged water tributaries and creeks. development. which integrates the Social Forestry (ISF). However. The LGUs’ partnership with the Small and Medium Economic Development Councils (SMEDCs) is cited as instrumental in creating an environment conducive to business growth and investments. forest ranger visibility and information dissemination campaign to prevent Decentralization Gains Still Haunted by Challenges 31 . and play the lead role in the rehabilitation.formulate and/or implement their revenue and investment codes. the Co-Production Sharing Agreement (CPSA) was adopted to ensure sustainable development of the region’s forest resources. Environment Management Caraga Region is declared by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) as the timber corridor of the south. Marine and Mangrove Development. business sector. and water districts. Forest Protection and Monitoring. Coastal Marine Resources Management. have implemented patrolling activities. nongovernment organizations. Surigao City became a national finalist in the Search for Most Business Friendly City in 2008. among others. The quality of customer service provided to businesses and investors. PENRO. Community Environment Project (CEP). slashand-burn farming practices. for their part. Community Forest Plantation (CFP). The DENR-CENRO. and Environment and Natural Resources-Sectoral Adjustment Loan (ENR-SECAL). The enactment of new environmental ordinances has been limited and slow to come. The other tenurial instrument adopted is the Community Based Forest Management (CBFM). As such. These agreements are supported by the LGUs through the various NRM projects such as Watershed Management. IV. others are already implementing these codes formulated through multi-sectoral consultations and with participation from national line agencies. CENRO.

while households have applied waste segregation. Gains and Challenges of Decentralization on Governance and Administration The implementation of the LGC for the last 19 years has impressed on the local authorities their responsibilities as well as the extent of their autonomy. The CarCanMadCarLanCorTan Lanuza Bay Development Alliance Forest Land Use Project. But the process of waste collection remains a challenge. The initiatives of the LGUs in bringing people’s participation in governance processes. Increasing taxation based on a small tax base may not raise enough revenues for the LGUs. Other SWM-related activities included waste segregation and the operation of recycling technology and materials recovery facility centers. which also had workshops to help it implement the Solid Waste Management Act of 2000. Most Caraga LGUs. the collection does not support this practice. A few have institutionalized waste segregation from source. The need to improve local income is important in order to fund the expenditure responsibilities of local governments. Capacity development activities for environmental governance were conducted and supported by LGUs. A number of Caraga LGUs say they have improved their environmental management competencies and have implemented ecological SWM activities down to the barangay level. The Bantay Gubat and Bantay Dagat groups had been organized but express difficulty in finding logistical support for their operations. and their advocacy activities in the communities have shown that increased awareness and enhanced enforcement of environmental ordinances minimize the incidence of timber poaching and other issues. Hence. they need to explore other sources of local revenues to generate funds for critical capital projects that fuel local development. protect and conserve wildlife. are still heavily dependent on their IRA. and ensure a healthy ecosystem through various measures and safeguards against pollution and preservation of the natural ecosystem. and coordinate with the barangays. 32 Rapid Field Appraisal of Decentralization: CARAGA .illegal forest products activities. LGUs convened the SWM Board. however. spearheaded by the LGUs in this alliance. But LGUs are constrained by a small tax base. The accomplishments in local governance in Caraga are seen in the improvement of the systems and procedures within the LGUs and in simplifying operational procedures. and facilitating access of citizens to information on LGU services and transactions showed significant gains. set up of policies. They also helped promote the viability and effective implementation of the Solid Waste Management (SWM) programs. ConClUsIon 1. These workshops helped formulate the SWM plan. These activities included information dissemination campaigns to prevent illegal practices.

procurement. and enterprise development. basic infrastructure have been developed continuously and accorded high priority for local and foreign Decentralization Gains Still Haunted by Challenges 33 . An area of capacity development that needs to be considered and improved are the processes and management systems that ensures the retention. moreover. 2. and best use of LGU human resources. Alongside the need for a Human Resource Management plan is ensuring that the well-trained human resources are put to effective use. On development planning. Decentralization and Social Services The LGUs have appreciated the importance of the people’s participation in the planning. all provinces and cities and some municipalities have demonstrated planning competencies. there are only a few bankable investment projects in these sectors. social services. implementation. Decentralization and Economic Development Caraga has ecotourism and agro-industrial potential for Micro. Most of them have undergone various orientations on mainstreaming disaster-risk reduction measures. there is a need to improve accountability and strengthen administrative capacity to ensure observance of guidelines relative to accounting. and planning databases that are highly facilitative in the preparation or updating of land use and development plans are in place. and monitoring of social services. integrative. Development interventions funded either locally or by Official Development Assistance (ODA) have been primarily dedicated to infrastructure. However. and financial transactions. Lessons from Caraga LGUs that have successfully nurtured and sustained the partnership may be shared with other LGUs. The 19 years of LGC implementation has shown the progress made in fostering partnership between government institutions and civil society groups. This is in keeping with government thrust for transparency and accountability in the budget making process. The preparation of the Executive Annual Budget of provinces has been open to public scrutiny. Local enterprises would have been good sources of additional LGU revenues but only few of the LGUs initiate local enterprises. Lesser attention has been given to governance. 3. which are mostly devolved functions. The review of budget and financial statements is in accordance with the budgetary requirements and general limitations set forth in the LGC of 1991. Since the birth of the region. motivation. and climate change-adaptation measures. And while structures. there is still a need for more linkages with other entities for more accurate data. Those that do have such initiatives. consultative processes. resulting in more synergistic. However. Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) development. collaborative service programs and delivery. and are regularly updating their plans. have them in scales that are not big enough to contribute significantly to the local budget. geo-hazard vulnerability.

environmental protection and natural resources conservation need to be taken into account. Inter-government agency cooperation and inter-LGU cooperation or alliances are seen as vital. Representation of the private sector in local development planning has yet to be strengthened and expanded to bolster cooperation and sharing of ideas. The initiatives and focus of Caraga LGUs at organizing and strengthening the cooperatives have been shown to have helped promote economic development. 34 Rapid Field Appraisal of Decentralization: CARAGA . the SWM Boards in most of these LGUs have yet to become fully functional. The use of forest resources is growing faster than the reforestation activities as shown in the region’s diminishing forest cover. Most of the capacity development activities of the LGUs are funded from the 20 percent development fund. viewed as key support to economic and social services to enhance quality of life. 4. A strong link between the public and the private sectors is needed to ensure a shared vision and understanding of the government’s development plans and programs. While the region recognizes that its rich natural resources can contribute significantly to its long-term development. the capacities developed are taking effect gradually. Yet Caraga’s infrastructure requirements remain large. However. and conflict on interests regarding land and natural resources. Capability-building programs for the development of technical skills and knowledge are also needed to deliver better services.funding. and include those that provide vital links to agriculture. industries and major tourism areas. Efforts on effective Waste Management and Pollution Control are in place in a number of LGUs. remain a challenge and considered as among the major causes of conflict. and enhance monitoring and evaluation of agrifishery development projects have to be made. In Caraga. the issues on environmental misuse and exploitation. And while the respondents confirmed having gained benefits through the activities conducted along the agriculture and fishery sector. The proliferation of mining activities has become a concern in the recent years. Decentralization and Environment Management Two of the industries for which Caraga is known for are mining and logging. Although these two industries contribute largely to the income of the LGUs and the Caraganons. lack of public funds limits the scope and reach of local government programs and projects. Data showed the need for the LGUs to strengthen their collaboration and coordination with the NGAs for agricultural programs and thrusts. The formulation of a sound environmental plan such as the forest land use plan for some LGUs or the implementation of these plans for the others are the challenges local officials have to face.

This led to investments. to develop and promote not just the surfing potential of Siargao. The international surfing competition in Siargao became a banner tourism event for the province. but also Surigao del Norte’s other tourism sites. They organized and built partnerships with tourism-related establishments for the improvement of their facilities and services. They review policies and seek funding sources for the sustainability of any tourism event. As such. influencing tourism patterns in Surigao City. the provincial capital. In 1995. Photos of the island and its inviting waves landed in the surfing magazines in all languages all over the world. the Department of Tourism.” The event’s success attracted the world’s attention and opened the doors to the global tourism market.BEst PracticE Province of Surigao del Norte Partnering with the People for Tourism Development and Promotion In mid-80s. These two policy-making bodies are composed of various stakeholders of the tourism industry. the provincial government. Other tourism-support industries saw to it that they would be prepared for the expected surge of visitors during the competition. their participation is integrated in the whole developmental process. Because the provincial government recognizes host communities as front liners of social development. The provincial leadership facilitated the forging of partnerships. By then. tourist influx to the province was practically nil. Through the Municipal Tourism Council. planning and implementation are brought up to the level of the Provincial Tourism Council. together with some Australian expatriates. organized the surfing competition dubbed as the “Siargao Surfing Classic. resort developers. The featured surfing area. and photographers soon started trickling into Siargao. Then word began to spread in the surfing world about the consistent and forceful waves of Siargao Island. “Cloud 9” became famous and what used to be a handful of surfers became a horde coming from all corners of the globe. the local government of General Luna. and encouraged the holding of other related water-sports activities. the provincial government and the Provincial Tourism and Culture Office conducted various tourism ancillary training workshops that would be useful in the hosting of the event. top surfing promoters had talked about “Cloud 9” enough for it to be mentioned if not become the subject of stories in leading surfing magazines the world over. 35 Decentralization Gains Still Haunted by Challenges . the community is involved even in the conceptual stage of the activity. Since most tourism activities in the province are community-based. The local government unit implemented projects to improve and beautify the municipality. both locally and internationally. International surfing professionals and enthusiasts.

mountain biking. Beachfront property 36 Rapid Field Appraisal of Decentralization: CARAGA . They have even lobbied for the formulation of the Siargao Eco-Tourism Master Plan. skimboarding. stabilizing at 6. with the competition now having various divisions. arrivals in General Luna and Siargao Island posted a cumulative record of 3. The popularity of General Luna’s surf waves has led to the development and promotion of tourism in Siargao and the rest of Surigao del Norte. Today tourism activities are regularly funded from the 20-percent Development Fund of the province and the municipalities. a leading global board sports apparel company until 2012. fishing. The province hosted 75. Now there are about 50 establishments in the area. Germany. Korea. rapelling. Thus came the formulation of the Provincial Sustainable Eco-Tourism Master Plan. the municipality of General Luna provided a local plan integrated with the municipal plans of all nine other municipalities of Siargao Island.700 (2001). Provincial Solid Waste Management Plan. Local tourism consistently contributed to this influx.000 in 2008. Community-based organizations supporting tourism development have been strengthened. From the tricycle drivers association to homestay program members. The international surfing event has paved the way for the LGUs of Siargao Island to be conscious on the preservation and conservation of the environment. More ecofriendly activities such as diving. the province posted 9. to resort owners organization – these all have been aware of the importance and contribution of tourism to the socio-economic development of the municipality and the province. (Caraga Tourism Masterplan 2009) By 2005. making up 91 percent or higher of the total arrivals.000 mark in 2008. The promotion of these surfing events encouraged similar activities in other parts of the province and the rest of Caraga. Japan. and the Provincial Environment Code.The provincial government further widened its partnership through the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement between the province and Billabong. and Canada.500 foreign tourists. Australia. and community interaction have also been developed and enhanced. kayaking. (Provincial Tourism & Culture Office) Direct investments for tourist resorts stood at zero in 1995. sailing. Majority of the foreign visitors are from the United States. Between the years 1999 to 2000. with foreign exchange component. hitting the 20. It is now on its 15th year. cave exploration.000 Filipino tourists in 2005 and 114. There was an urgent need to develop policies to regulate activities and make tourism a sustainable industry. The estimated capital generated has reached about P200 million.368 foreign arrivals. In consonance with the Provincial Tourism Master Plan. The provincial government realized that increased influx of visitors and settlers in Siargao would pose a challenge to the island’s ecology. beach volleyball and football.

Goods and services such as construction. and BP Solar. and leisurerelated components including human resource development like surf instruction created jobs and enterprises for thousands of residents. transport.452.values have skyrocketed from P1 per square meter some 20 years ago to the current P1. The total cost of these initiatives amounted to P29. (Caraga Tourism Masterplan) BEst PracticE City of Surigao Institutional Development for Solar Electrification and Agriculture/Rural Enterprise Development The 15 barangays of Surigao City are certified as agrarian reform communities composing the Surigao City ARC 3 –SHINSI Islands (Sumilon. the technical expertise of its personnel. such as the Aurora Solar Association (ASA). and afforded them the delivery of solar system packages. and evaluation have enhanced the running of the organizations. POs were formed and strengthened in the barangays. and the strengthened POs ensured the successful implementation of the project and its sustainability. To address this. and the Zaragosa Fishers/Farmers Association (ZAFASSO). technical assistance provided and concerted effort of the partners. The project is also in partnership with NEDA. These villages were in dire need of electrification and development. the local government of Surigao City embarked on a development project with the Spanish Government through the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Foreign Assisted Project Office and the Department of Energy (DOE).790. Lisondra Fisherfolks Association (LIFFASSO). which were registered under the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE). NEA. and Sibale). monitoring. infrastructure. food.000 per square meter.00. barangay hall lighting system in three barangays. financial management. 37 Decentralization Gains Still Haunted by Challenges . problem solving. communications. Danawan Fishermen Association (DAFISA). Hikdop. and one potable water system. Sumilon Agro-Fishery and Solar Home Users Association (SAFISSMA). Organizational management and technical training were provided to these associations. Surigao del Norte is now known as the Surfing Capital of the Philippines. As a result. getting 25 percent to 28 percent of total regional arrivals. electricity. increased membership. Nonoc. four barangay health centers. water. 270 households have become solar homes recipients. The POs’ collective skills in planning. Fifteen units of communal lighting system were installed in five barangays. NPC. The visionary and expansive leadership of the LGU of Surigao City. They have also availed of the school packages for five elementary schools and one high school.

and the subsequent budgetary commitment. among them fish cage and pump boat operation. and hog production. The Regional. and management viable. general merchandising. and other requirements. Provincial and City Agrarian Reform Offices and pump boat operators. as well as for the evaluation of solar packages appropriate for community application and their installation. and management of the solar packages. The partnership with various government agencies provided technical advice and support for the identification of sites. economic. The availability of funding from the Spanish government through the RP-Spanish Memorandum of Understanding on financial cooperation. also jointly monitored the implementation and the overall performance of the systems. together with the LGU personnel. management of the agribusiness/rural enterprises and the necessary counterpart. equity. technical. maintenance.To augment household income various livelihood projects were initiated. the endorsement of the Sangguniang Panglunsod (SP). 38 Rapid Field Appraisal of Decentralization: CARAGA . The partnership also assisted in determining community projects that are social. the availability of technical expertise and personnel from the City Planning and Development Office (CPDO) helped facilitate the start-up of the initiative. The strengthened POs shouldered the operation.

Japan. and to the 8th International Women and Health Meetings in Rio de Janiero. She has served as resource person and trainer in various development initiatives such as the Konsult Mindanaw project of the Bishop-Ulama Conference. LCE Development and Management program of the Development Academy of the PhilippinesMindanao. Alma Eleazar is the Vice President for Research. Extension and Development of Father Saturnino Urios University in Butuan City. Eleazar was a delegate to the Multi-sectoral Forum in Intersector Collaboration of Non-profit Organizations in Ichigaya.About the Writer Dr. Dr. Tokyo. . and was a regional screener for the Galing Pook Awards in 2004-2006. the Bridging Leadership Influence on Coalition Building of the Department of Agrarian Reform and International Fund for Agriculture Development (DAR-IFAD).