Few cities in the Philippines are as severely threatened with watershed loss as Cebu. No one suffers more from that situation than the residents of the city's 18,000 upland hectares, for whom the loss of soil and drying up of springs is a threat to their very livelihood. After consultation with the people, the city government set up the Cebu City Hillyland Resource Management and Development Commission.
The Commission's goals are to alleviate poverty, restore the productive capacity of the hillyland ecosystem, and strengthen the human and physical resources in selected upland barangays. The Commission's Integrated strategy has four components. First it invests heavily in human resource development. This is through the holding of training sessions on cooperative formation and technology use. Second, it helps upland cooperative members to market their produce and cut flowers directly to markets in Cebu. This results in bypassing middlemen and giving more income to the growers.
Third, the Commission has set up nurseries and model farms to promote the adoption of Sloping Agricultural Land Technology (SALT). Fourth, it has built reservoirs and water catchment structures to prevent erosion and provide safe drinking water and irrigation.
The components of the strategies are implemented by a partnership between the LGU, NGOs and POs. As a result of this strategy and cooperation, the people in many of Cebu's upland barangays have been able to stabilize their land and increase their incomes.
This program is recognized as a Trailblazing Program, a finalist for the 1994 Galing Pook Awards.