SERVE’s Development Work in the Philippines

In partnership with the Presentation Sisters in the Philippines, SERVE works with the Badjao Tribe in Cebu City.

Typically, the Badjao are a mobile people, transferring from one place to another by sea transport. This is why they have often been referred to as sea nomads. The Badjao of Mambaling trace their historical roots mostly to Zamboanga, although a number of them

also trace their origins to Basilan and even Malaysia. According to the elderly Badjao, their parents left Mindanao in the early 1960’s because of rampant raiding and piracy in the waters of Basilan and Zamboanga at that time. Alaska beach in Mambaling, Cebu City was an inviting cove then, with mangroves to provide shade from the sun and protection from strong winds. Thus, the Badjao made their temporary base, tying down the boats to the mangroves lining the beach. They built houses along the shoreline on stilts, so that they could just tie their boats to the post beneath their houses. In general, the Badjao settled on land in places which they deemed safe as well as convenient for their livelihood- fishing and pearl trading. This was the beginning of the Badjao community in Cebu City.

Current Badjao Site:

The present site of the university of Cebu Maritime Education and Training Centre (UC- METC) in Mambaling was the original settlement site of the Badjao migrants from Mindanao in the 1960’s. They had to leave their old community because of the construction of the UC-METC in 1990. They then moved to Sitio Nava along Alaska Beach. Their houses at Sitio Nava were twice gutted by fire. The first time, they were able to rebuild their houses on the same site. Plans of relocating the Badjao were discussed in a number of meetings and consultations involving some non-government and religious groups. There was a proposal to relocate them to Cordova, but this was not very welcome idea for the Cordova residents. The Presentation Sisters proposed a reclamation project to provide a decent residential site for the Badjao in nearby Sitio Puntod. In 2007, the Badjao temporarily living at the CSRP were relocated to the new site in Sitio Puntod. The Badjao are now located in three contiguous areas in Cebu.

The Badjao are skillful fishermen, armed with a vast knowledge of the ocean and its resources. Some local fishermen do not welcome Badjao fishermen in their waters because they perceive Badjao as skilled fishers and divers, to which they are no match. Badjao generally rely on the sea for their livelihood. Fishing is done in groups, making use of pana (spear fishing) in deep waters. Pantana consists of diving in deep waters and catching big fish with the use of pana (consisting of a wodden tool with a long steel sharpened rod that functions like an arrow) and wooden goggles (which they call anipara) for eye protection. Usual types of fish caught are tangigi (tuna) and pagi (stingray). They sell in markets such as Pasil and Carbon. Fishing is threatened because of the marine sanctuaries. Municipal waters are protected.

Baseline research carried out by the Presentation Sisters reveals that:

  • 59.8% don’t have work;
  • 13.1% said their primary livelihood was pamana fishing;
  • 19.7% said they relied on vending;
  • 1.6% were into boat-making
  • The rest engaged as drivers, construction workers

Income is mainly from informal sector. 27.6% of household average income is less than Ps1.500 (€26) per month. 27.9% estimate their income to be around P 3,000 (€52) per month; 8.8% estimate their income at P6000 (€103) per month, while 23.4% estimate their monthly income to go beyond P600 (over €103 per month).

Active and Completed Projects in the Philippines

Active

Badjao Integrated Community Development Project, Year 2

Location: Cebu City, Philippines

Partner: Presentation Sisters/Badjao Tribe

Funding: €47,876

Completion date: December 2014

The Badjao Tribe are an indigenous tribe living in Cebu City who are victims of acute economic and social discrimination. SERVE, with Misean Cara support, are supporting the Badjao Integrated Community Empowerment Project that promotes programmes of social, community and enterprise development that deal with the causes and consequences of acute social and economic disadvantage. A community of 1,841 people is benefitting from this holistic project. (Co-funded by Misean Cara).

Year 2 of the project will focus specifically on funding

– Electricity and Water connection

– Construction of a livelihood centre

– Construction of a perimeter fence

– Training and Capacity building programmes

– Vegetable growing

– Medical Camps

– Childrens festival

Project 2

Completed

Badjao Regeration Programme

Location: Cebu City, Philippines

Partner: Presentation Sisters/Badjao Tribe

Funding: €100,000

Completion date: February 2013

The Badjao Tribe are an indigenous tribe living in Cebu City who are victims of acute economic and social discrimination. SERVE, with Misean Cara support, are supporting the Badjao Integrated Community Empowerment Project that promotes programmes of social, community and enterprise development that deal with the causes and consequences of acute social and economic disadvantage. A community of 1,841 people is benefitting from this holistic project. (Co-funded by Misean Cara).

    

Emergency response to Southern Monsoon flooding, Manila

Philippines – Emergency Response to Southern Monsoon Flooding, Manila

Location: Manila, the Philippines

Partner: Redemptorist Vice-Province of Manila

Funding: €17,018

Completion Date: June 2013

The main objectives are:

(1) Emergency food provisions for 300 families for two weeks in return for helping to clear the damage caused by flooding;

(2) Repair of water facilities in two areas where the whole communities will benefit. The materials will be supplied by the project but the actual installations and setting-up of these facilities will be done collectively by the beneficiaries. In return for this work, they will receive food packs, individual latrine materials and hygiene kits;

(3) Provision of farm implements and agricultural inputs to help those whose land was destroyed in the flooding;

(4) The project will be accompanied by an IEC campaign;

(5) Disaster risk reduction training to 5 communities also forms part of the project, as part of the project exit strategy.

The main activities include:

(1) Identification and verification of most vulnerable groups and households;

(2) Validation of assessment of stability of food and non-food supply and availability through local markets;

(3) Distribution of food and WASH services;

(4) Monitoring to ascertain the acceptability and usefulness of the ration, and also to identify people who meet the selection criteria but who are not receiving food aid;

(5) Coordination of village leaders and partner organisations;

(6) Public awareness activities in communities on food, water, sanitation and health issues

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