Kabalikat Rubber Development Project
Mindanao's plantation-led agricultural economy has generally been unreceptive to efforts to distribute land to farmers directly as mandated by the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law. Plantation owners wish to retain title. Farm workers worry they may fail if they have no access to credit, farm inputs, and skills in farm management. The Makilala Rubber Corporation was faced with all of these problems. Through the Kabalikat Rubber Development Project, such problems appear to have been addressed successfully for both the workers and the landowners.
Through the four-way partnership of the farmworkers, the provincial government, the Makilala Rubber Corporation (Makrubber), and national government agencies, Kabalikat was able to distribute three hectare lots to 344 farmworker families. The total hectarage distributed was about 1,000 hectares. With help from their partners, the farmers, who were the primary recipients of the program, formed themselves into the North Cotabato Rubber Development Cooperative (NOCORDECO). Makrubber on the other hand, continued to operate as the primary processor of rubber latex and financier of NOCORDECO. Makrubber and the Land Bank have provided over P48 M in loans to the cooperative. Members borrowed from the cooperatives to improve their farmlots.
Since the Kabalikat program began, many of the farmers have doubled their income. The corporation continues to buy and process the farmers' rubber. The provincial government has built and maintained feeder roads and an overflow bridge through the former plantation area. Through the Kabalikat partnership, CARP's goals of equity and management expertise have been promoted in North Cotabato.
Now, the people of Cotabato have recognized that people's participation in project development is vital in addressing the needs of the community.
This program is recognized as one of the Ten Outstanding Programs in the 1994 Galing Pook Awards.