Poverty Reduction and Development Initiatives in Bohol Province

     By Angeline Valencia

     The Bohol Integrated Area Development (BIAD) clusters form the concept in this year's poverty reduction and development initiatives fair on October 16 at the Bohol Cultural Center .

      For the unique exposition of project proposals, the only event of its kind in the Philippines, the provincial government dubs this year's event as Bohol Poverty Reduction and Development Initiatives Fair 2008: A Marketplace of Development Initiatives for Poverty Reduction and Economic Growth.

      In the occasion, Country Director Neeraj Jain of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) will be among the guests, according to Provincial Planning and Development Office (PPDO) Head John Titus Vistal, the event's overall chairperson.

      As the third annual poverty fair since 2006 held every October, the 2008 sequel carries the value-adding component of development initiatives and clustering of participants in the concept.

      The two previous poverty fairs focused on poverty reduction initiatives, while this year's event will showcase an expanded version with the inclusion of development-specific proposals, according to Rogelio Alegado, the event's vice-chairperson.

      This time, the presentation will be based on the BIAD clustering of the municipalities and the lone city according to commonalities and proximity, he added.

      Composing BIAD 1 are the municipalities of Alburquerque, Baclayon, Dauis, Panglao, Antequera, Balilihan, Cortes, Lila, Loay, Tagbilaran City, Corella, Loboc, Maribojoc, Sevilla, and Sikatuna.

      The towns of Buenavista, Calape, Catigbian, Clarin, Getafe, Inabanga, Loon, San Isidro, and Tubigon compose BIAD 2.

      BIAD 3 is composed of Alicia, Bien Unido, Mabini, Pres. Garcia, San Miguel, Talibon, Trinidad, and Ubay.

      BIAD 4, on the other hand, covers Anda, Candijay, Dimiao, Duero, G-Hernandez, Guindulman, Jagna, and Valencia, while BIAD 5 is composed of Batuan, Bilar, Carmen, Dagohoy, Danao, Pilar, Sagbayan, and Sierra Bullones.

      Alegado further explained that this year, PPDO expanded the concept to include infrastructure, environment, and other social and economic projects.

The activity serves as venue for the 47 municipalities and the lone city of Bohol to interact and establish linkages with foreign and local funding and grant agencies which can assist them in implementing poverty reduction and development projects.

      Traditionally, the participating local government units (LGUs) or cluster, this time, put up booths at the cultural center where they can display the profiles of their proposed poverty reduction and development projects. Then, the potential funding institutions- -foreign and local- -will go around, assess them, and pick out which ones they would want to sponsor, Ma. Trinidad Caseñas of the PPDO, who is in-charge of the event's publicity, said.

      An opening program will be held in the morning and the grant agencies will interact with the participating BIAD clusters in the afternoon where there will be perusal and discussions of the project profiles of the poverty reduction and development initiatives, as usual.