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March 22, 1999




SUBJECT    :     Guidelines For Regional And Provincial Offices For Sustainable Rural
                           Development (SRD) Planning In Convergence Model Sites


I.       Background:

For the past months, the Departments of Agrarian Reform, Agriculture and Environment and Natural Resources have held several consultation meetings to come up with a common framework on Sustainable Rural Development. On January 26, 1999, Joint Memorandum Circular No. 1, Series of 1999 creating an "Inter-departmental Steering Committee And Technical Working Group for the Application And Monitoring of A Common Sustainable Rural Development SRD Framework" was signed by the 3 Secretaries with the approval of Pres. Joseph E. Estrada at Malacañang Palace. This formalized the coordinative mechanism among the three (3) departments in the form of a Steering Committee and a Technical Working Group to oversee and ensure that the SRD framework receives official approval and recognition within the three (3) departments and their respective planning, policy and operations personnel adhere to the said framework in the formulation and implementation of their respective programs. An Addendum to Joint Memorandum Circular No. 1 also identified 9 Convergence Model Sites where the initiative is to be piloted.   cdrep

On February 16, 1999, Resolution No. 1, Series of 1999 was signed by the three (3) Secretaries operationalizing the Convergence Towards Sustainable Rural Development initiative. Among others, it states that there is a need to undertake area based planning in the nine (9) Convergence Model Sites to align departmental efforts in the identified site; to develop an operational framework for working with LGUs, other governmental agencies, civil society organizations and other stakeholders; and to define a basis for mobilizing strategic support and resources from ODA donors and the business community for the joint effort.

Resolution No. 1 authorized the DAR to act in behalf of the 3 departments in contracting the services of the Foundation for Rural Economic Enterprise and Development (FREED) represented by Prof. Eduardo Morato to facilitate the preparation of SRD Plans for the nine (9) Convergence Model Sites. The said resolution also designated DAR as Secretariat for the planning process, authorizing the same to invite representatives from LGUs and civil society, represented by the Conference Against Poverty to participate in the planning process. While DAR shall act as Secretariat in all 9 sites, the three departments shall share equally in presiding over the planning process, i.e. each department shall preside in 3 sites.   DTSIEc

On March 8, 1999, a Memorandum of Agreement was signed between DAR and FREED to implement Resolution No. 1 defining the terms of reference for the SRD Planning process in the 9 Convergence Model Sites.

This Memorandum Circular is being issued to provide guidelines to DAR officers and staff regarding DAR's role in the planning process, taking into consideration all agreements between the 3 departments.

II.     Regions and Provinces Covered:

The 9 Convergence Model Sites cover the following regions across 28 provinces. These are:

Region II:      Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya (Cagayan Valley River System)

Region III:     Bulacan, Pampanga, Tarlac, Zambales, Bataan, Nueva Ecija (Central Luzon)

Region IV:    Quezon (Bicol River Basin)

Region V:     Camarines Sur, Camarines Norte, Albay (Bicol River Basin)

Region VI:    Negros Occidental (Negros Island); Iloilo, Antique, Capiz, Aklan (Panay Island)

Region VII:   Negros Oriental (Negros Island); Bohol

Region IX:    Zamboanga del Sur and del Norte (Zamboanga Peninsula)

Region X:     Agusan del Norte and Sur; Surigao del Norte and Sur (CARAGA)

Region XI:    Davao Oriental and del Norte

The SRD planning processes shall involve officers, staff, partners and stakeholders from these regions covering the specified provinces numbering 28. However, their participation shall be governed by processes aimed towards coming up with SRD Plans for the following 9 Convergence Model Sites chosen according to the criteria set by the 3 departments: Cagayan Valley River System, Central Luzon, Bicol River Basin, Panay Island, Negros Island, Bohol, Zamboanga Peninsula, CARAGA and Davao.   AHDaET

III.    Composition of Local Planning Teams:

Local Planning Teams shall be set up in each of the 9 Convergence Model Sites. They shall involve the following:

           DA: Regional Director and Planning Officer of the Regional Field Units

           DENR: Regional Executive Director, Regional Technical Director for Forestry and CBFM Coordinator at the regional level; PENRO, Forestry Specialist and CENRO at the provincial level

           DAR: Regional Director, ARDO, Operations CARPO and SSD CARPO at the regional level; PARO, PARSSO, BDCD CARPO and Operations CARPO at the provincial level

           Representative(s) of the Conference Against Poverty jointly agreed upon between CAP and DAR acting in behalf of the 3 departments

           Representative(s) of LGUs at least at the provincial level (at the minimum the Provincial Planning and Development Officer and the Provincial Agriculturist)

           Others as may be agreed upon by the DA, DENR and DAR at the site level

IV.    DAR's Lead Role In the Planning Secretariat

DAR shall play the lead role in the Planning Secretariat at the national level and in the nine (9) Convergence Model Sites with the support of area-based FREED process consultants and personnel assigned by DA and DENR. As such, DAR, with the support of the area-based FREED process consultants, and the assigned personnel from DA and DENR, shall be responsible for the following:   EDATSC

           Organizing the local planning teams composed of DA, DENR, and DAR with representatives from CAP and LGUs

           Organizing the orientation/priming workshop, the strategic planning workshop and the investment plan validation workshop.

           Networking with relevant key informants to get their inputs for the planning process and their feedback on emerging outputs

           Holding of local planning team meetings every two weeks to monitor the progress of the SRD Planning Process

           Provision of administrative, logistical and technical support to the FREED Team who shall be responsible for the preparation of the Environmental Assessment, Strategic and Investment Plan and Preparatory Project Studies.

To ensure that DAR is able to perform its role as Planning Secretariat, DAR shall identify an overall lead person and a secretariat staff in each of the 9 Convergence Model Sites. The lead person and secretariat staff shall detail a work plan with the FREED Consultants assigned to each Convergence Model Site, in consultation with the presiding department. This work plan is to be submitted to the Technical Working Group through the Office of the Asst. Sec. for Support Services before the start of the orientational/priming workshop at each site.   HCITDc

The representatives of DAR to the Technical Working Group (Asst. Sec. For Support Services and Special Asst. for Countryside Development) shall be the anchor persons for DAR at the national level for the planning process, with the Director for Planning providing support as needed. All communications regarding the planning process should be coursed to the Technical Working Group through the Office of the Asst. Sec. For Support Services and signed/noted by the identified lead person of DAR for the Convergence Site concerned.

V.     DAR, DA and DENR Assignments in Presiding Over the Planning Process

The three departments shall equally share in the task of presiding over the local planning team in each Convergence Model Site. The following departmental assignments have been agreed upon at the level of the Technical Working Group:

           DA: Davao, Bohol, Cagayan Valley River System

           DENR: Zamboanga Peninsula, Bicol River Basin, Panay Island

           DAR: CARAGA, Negros Island, Central Luzon

These departments shall host the orientational, strategic planning and investment plan validation workshops in each of the sites specified graced at the minimum by the Secretary or Undersecretary and a Technical Working Group representative of the assigned department. The departments concerned shall be responsible for designating the Presiding Officer for the site where they are the presiding department.   ASEIDH

VI.    Cost Sharing

DAR, DA and DENR have agreed to equally share in the cost of implementation of the planning process. The contract with FREED has been covered by equal contributions from the three departments. As a general rule, any expenses deemed relevant for the planning process that are not covered by the contract with FREED shall be borne by the presiding department.

The approved budget stipulated in the contract of FREED covers only two workshop days with a budget of P20,000 per site covering venue and food. This excludes materials for distribution, facilitation and documentation during the workshops covered by the FREED contract. The DAR Secretariat overall lead persons are advised to work out a viable arrangement with the presiding departments regarding cost sharing. To implement the principle of equally sharing costs between the departments, the presiding department is asked to cover relevant expenses over and above the P20,000 budget to hold the workshops successfully. At the minimum, the presiding or host departments are asked to shoulder the expenses for the half-day orientational workshops for the various sites as these are not covered by the contract with FREED.

The presiding or host departments are likewise asked to provide the logistical support for ensuring the success of the three (3) workshops.

VII.  Time Frame of the Main Activities:

The following time frame shall guide the conduct of activities during the planning process which shall take place from March to May 1999.   HSaIET


           Internal meetings within departments

           Issuance of Memorandum Circulars and Special Orders per department to implement Resolution No. 1 and Technical Working Group agreements

           Composition of FREED Team per site

           Organization of local planning teams (site and provincial level)

           Identification of key informants per site/province

           Setting of dates and planning of workshops

           Secondary data collection


           Implementation of site level activities with an orientational/priming workshop at the site level during the first to second week

           Submission of site-level work plans (by the site level planning teams) to the Technical

           Working Group (before the orientational/priming workshop)


           Site level strategic planning workshop during the first week

           Site level investment planning workshop during the last week

           Completion of outputs by FREED


           First week — turnover of outputs to the three Secretaries with the DOF Secretary, NEDA Director General and President as invited guests.

This Memorandum Circular takes effect March 22, 1999 and supersedes all issuances inconsistent herewith.

Done this 22 of March 1999, Diliman, Quezon City.   SAHITC




Department of Agrarian Reform
Elliptical Road, Diliman
Quezon City, Philippines
Tel. No.: (632) 928-7031 to 39

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