Issue of August 25, 2013
Mt. Province

Courier Anniversary Issue
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Kapangan village relatively adaptive to Climate Change
by Press Release

Barangay Balakbak in Kapangan was found to be moderately adaptive to Climate Change.

Using the Vulnerability and Adaptive Capacity Assessment for Different Agroecosystem Agro tool, the barangay’s rating was on the fifth level, based on an index of seven levels with “extremely vulnerable” as the lowest and “extremely adaptive” as the highest.

The assessment of the barangay was based on the result of household surveys conducted among the farmer residents and a focus group discussion (FGD) conducted on Aug. 16 and facilitated by Benguet State University researchers.

More than 10 farmers joined the FGD at the barangay hall led by Punong Barangay Alex Mencio. In the FGD, the sinking areas and the areas vulnerable to landslides were first identified. The farmers enumerated their major and minor crops and the changes in their cropping seasons due to Climate Change.

The farmers shared the ways on how they cope with the effects of monsoon rains, typhoons, and droughts. They cited landslides occurring on the highways during typhoons and monsoon rains that could completely isolate their barangay.

On disaster preparedness, the barangay is working on its disaster risk management plan and already identified evacuation areas in case of disaster. They also acknowledged the support of the provincial government, government line agencies, and non-government organization in times of disaster.

Among the farmers who participated in the FGD is Doming Bugsit who has been farming for about 15 years now. He plants pole beans and said the continuous rains caused his plants to rot. He said a greenhouse would help a lot in protecting his crops from too much rain and pests. He said if his crops will be less exposed to pests, he can avoid using pesticides. Together with the other farmers who participated in the FGD, Bugsit showed interest in learning the principles of organic farming.

The VAST Agro Tool was designed to capture baseline information on local climate and scenario, extreme weather events pattern, income sources and community resilience, and cropping practices. Crop requirements, behavior abnormalities, and tolerance to weather extremes were gathered, including the adaptation practices of the community and its effectiveness, and cost and practicality of the different management options applied.

The technology  was developed by Amparo Wagan, Jose Nestor Garcia, and Simplicio Medina from the Agricultural Systems Cluster of the University of the Philippines-Los Baños.

The assessment conducted at Balakbak is a part of BSU’s research project called, “Participatory and community-based Climate Change adaptation strategies in Benguet Province.”

The same study will be replicated in selected barangays in all the municipalities of Benguet. The research project is manned by a team led by BSU president Ben Ladilad.

The team members are Maria Luz Fang-asan, Mursha Gapasin, Janet Pablo, Marissa Parao, Carlito Laurean, Jennyline Sabado-Tabangcura, Noreen Ancheta, Janthor Gideon Ambrosio, Jumar Yago-an, and Bryan Bangnan.

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