Irosin Integrated Area Development Program
Immediately after the election of mid-1992, the government of this fifth-class municipality held a three-day strategic assessment. The participants, who included all barangay captains, NGOs, POs, cooperatives, and religious organizations as well as representatives of the business sector and national government agencies, felt that their development strategy had to be comprehensive to address the three main problems of poverty, powerlessness, and inaccessibility of basic services.
The integrated development program initiated at that meeting has guided Irosin's government since then. Named "Laban Para sa Progresibong lrosin (LPI),'' this program has three simultaneous strategies: Livelihood Promotion, People Empowerment, and Improvement of Basic Services. Under its livelihood component, the government has stopped jueteng, placed a partial ban on logging, provided loans to agricultural cooperatives for rice mills, abaca making, and coconut processing, and arranged the transfer of nearly 500 hectares to farmer beneficiaries under the agrarian reform program. As such, the citizenry declared the entire municipality an Agrarian Reform Community.
Irosin's people empowerment has been manifested by declaring the town a peace zone, establishing a bank run by and for cooperatives, constructing a building to house the bank, POs and NGOs, and making the local special bodies highly participatory. Irosin has improved basic services, particularly the provision of health and Gramee Bank-style loans to the poor. Malnutrition has decreased and the municipality was cited as having the best immunization program in Bicol. Key to the municipal government’s success has been the building of consensus and cooperation among POs, NGOs, national line agencies, and LGUs every step of the way.
This program is recognized as one of the Ten Outstanding Programs in the 1994 Galing Pook Awards.