Assessment of Water User Fee For Improved Water Supply

Researchers from NwSSU conducts a survey of the possibility of coming up with a water user fee.

Its purpose is to improve the water supply in the Calbayog City.

This is possible through the protection of the Calbayog Pan-as Hayiban Protected Landscape (CPHPL).

The premise was there is occasional insufficient water supply in the city. According to the local residents, there is a low water supply early in the morning. If you are in an elevated area, water seldom is unavailable during peak hours from 5:30 am to 7 am.

Also, previous researchers show unsustainable farming practices like slash and burn farming in CPHPL.

Slash and burn and other land-use practices affect water supply.

Thus, conducting a survey for the protection of watershed areas is necessary. To do this it needs an approach called payment for the ecosystem or environmental services.

So, the team asked the lowland water users if they are willing to pay for sustainable water supply. Likewise, if farmers are willing to shift their farming practices to a sustainable one.

After six months, the team finished the valuation study in Calbayog City. This was through the funding of the DENR Region 8 and with the help of provincial ENR in Catbalogan.

The team conducted a random survey of 700 households from lowland water users. Meanwhile, about 300 upland farmers living in the watershed protected area.

For the lowland water users, there are only 412 who responded to the interview. Others were busy and they are not present in their houses during the field survey.

From the results, there are only a few people who knew about the main source of the raw water which is the CPHPL.

Some perceived that raw water is from Ton-ok falls.

Over half (56.3%) of the respondents perceived that it is from the water district.

A little over half (51.8%) of the lowland water users have an alternative water source.

These are from water vendors, deep wells, and a little 13 % are using rainwater harvesting facility.

The real question in the study is, “ are you willing to pay for an extra amount for the protection of the CPHPL?”

Only 46.6 % are willing to pay for this. 53.4% are not willing to pay.

One reason was that they cannot afford to pay any extra amount for what they are currently paying. A majority (81.9%) did not feel the effect of insufficient water supply.

Here is a summary of the willingness to pay vis-a-vis their awareness about the CPHPL. This tells us that if they are aware of the watershed, they are willing to pay for the protection.

water user fee for watershed protection



For upland farmers, there were 350 farmer respondents out of 2, 820 households (as of 2014 , CPHPL Manual).

The study shows that majority of them were willing to accept compensation for land use change. Their willingness to accept is due to shifting cultivation and slash and burn.

But, there are few lowland water users who are willing to pay for the watershed protection. Meanwhile, the majority of farmers are willing to accept this compensation. Thus, in this case, the possibility of payment for ecosystem services is not workable.

Yet, with the governments’ funds, watershed protection is still a good thing to pursue. But, this would also entail other water users will share the cost of protection (e.g. NIA, Electric Cooperatives and Water Districts).

Even so, the cost or value of watershed protection is as follows.

Please see table below.


These values are the people’s perception of the value of watershed. It appears that lowland water users have low perceived value over the upland water users.

This is because upland farmers got their daily living in watershed protected areas. But, lowland water users were not able to link watershed provisioning services (e. g. water) of CPHPL to themselves.

As such, there should be an environmental awareness campaign about the watershed.  Failure to do so will decrease the willingness to pay over not willing to pay for ecosystem services.

How about you?

Are you willing to pay for watershed protection for improved water supply?

[wpdevart_poll id=”3″ theme=”13″]

Role of Agriculture in Economic Development in the Philippines

Want to know the role of agriculture in economic development?

Imagine a world without the farmers who work in the farms to produce fruits or vegetables or grains and the like.

What would it be without agriculture?

Farmer Cooperator

Agriculture sector serves as the major source of income and employment of our country – Philippines. Agriculture, as we all know, is the primary occupation of the rural people in our country including my family. It supplies all our basic necessities as a human and increases the employment rate of one’s country. Also, it has something to do with the production, exportation and other related things. Indeed the role of agriculture in economic development is beyond compare.

Few facts and figures

Well, talking about the economy, according to the World Bank ( the economy of our country remained resilient to global headwinds last year. They also project that real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will grow at a rate of 6.9 percent in this year (2017) and next year (2018). In fact, according to their latest edition of Global Economic Prospects, it is almost twice the country’s long-term growth.

On the other hand, this rapidly growing domestic economy has yielded substantial gains in employment and poverty reduction. Noticed that? I believe, agriculture has something to do with that and we will tackle it later. Further, Philippines is the 10th fastest growing economy in the world in 2017 (

According to the GDP Annual Growth Rate, the Philippines averaged 3.68 percent from 1982 until 2017, reaching an all time high of 12.40 percent in the fourth quarter of 1988 and a record low of -11.10 percent in the first quarter of 1985 ( Data and pieces of information gathered would speak as to how the economy of the country is growing but to sum up all the things, the Philippines’ growth outlook remains positive.

Alright, lets look at the role of agriculture in economic development in terms of employment, production and exportation in this simple diagram.

role of agriculture in economic development

Now, let us dissect the three indicators of development one by one.


In terms of employment, I found out that the average share of agricultural employment for the past two decades to the total labor force is about one-third or 36.6%. In 2010, 31.2% of the total labor force was working in agriculture. When the total employment figures in the agriculture sector are broken down by region, Western Vistas and Cagayan Valley have the most numbered employed persons in agriculture while the least are in Metro Manila and CARAGA.

Moreover, in 2012, agriculture had a 32% share in the total employment, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA). This is slightly lower than in previous years. Total Employment 37.61 million people Agricultural Employment 12.09 million people.

However, the share of agriculture in the country’s economy was only 11%, according to PSA. And, in 2013, the government announced that it will focus on creating more jobs in the agriculture sector.

In addition, the economic development in Philippines has been because of high government spending. A hardworking service sector and large allowance from millions of Filipinos working abroad played an important role in Philippine economic development. More economic development of Philippines are required to alleviate poverty and address imbalances in distribution of income for the main focus of the country is to develop employment opportunities and lessen poverty. With these data, I can say that an economy with high agriculture will lead to an increase in the employment rate.This is so for an economy will need more workers for better production.And thus, there will be enough opportunity for the people in need of jobs to be employed and somehow, this will also lead to development in the economy.

B. Production

Philippines economic development is also the result of agricultural products which include corn, sugarcane, pineapples, coconuts, bananas, rice, cassavas, mangoes and pork, eggs, beef, and fish.

agricultural economy

Major industries that contribute to economic development of Philippines are wood products, electronic assembly, food processing, footwear, garments, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, petroleum refining and fishing. Hence, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), better nutrition begins with improving agriculture.

Agricultural productivity growth contributes to better nutrition through raising incomes, especially in countries where the sector accounts for a large share of the economy and employment, and by reducing the cost of food for all consumers. In addition, a study by the Organization for Co-operation and Development (OECD) suggested that agricultural growth contributes to a country’s overall property reduction.

Now, with these data, the impact of agriculture in our economic development is evident in terms of production.

You can also read the “State of economic development in the Philippines.”


The Philippine economy prides itself in having been resilient during the global financial crisis of 2008. Until now, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has said that the country has a well-insulated economy, characterized by steady remittances, robust private consumption and capital formation, and lastly, a well-maintained services sector and a booming industrial base. The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 6.9 percent in the First Quarter of 2016, growing faster than the economies of China, Vietnam, Indonesia and Malaysia at 6.7, 5.5, 4.9 and 4.2 percent respectively, in the said period.

According to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA)the “main driver of GDP growth was the services sector which accelerated to 7.9 percent from 5.5 percent while industry grew by 8.7 percent from 5.3 percent” from last year. On the other hand, the agriculture sector remained in a dire state as it continued to decline – this quarter by 4.4 percent representing “its fourth consecutive quarterly decline since the second quarter of 2015.”

Meanwhile, services still had the largest portion of GDP at 56.8 percent, followed by Industry and by Agriculture, Hunting, Forestry and Fishing (AHFF) at 34 and 9.2 percent, respectively. Per capita GDP expanded by 5.2 percent as compared to 3.2 percent. With these data, there indeed has an impact of agriculture in terms of exportation in our economic development.


To sum up, agriculture plays a vital role in our country’s economy. Agriculture plays an important role in economic development particularly in terms of employment, production and exportation. And these three terms are somewhat interrelated to each other for these constitute agriculture towards the Philippine economic development.


Article written by Camarines, Lemar R. and Nelia Penaflor

BS Education Student

NwSSU, Calbayog City

How do people value a cultural resource: Lessons from IP in Compostela Valley

This article is all about valuation of cultural resource.

I wrote this article because I was inspired by the tribal communities especially in giving value to the natural resources.

I remember years back when I was conducting my master’s thesis, according to one of my interviewee, I should also practice and help my own town in doing this resource valuation exercise.

Last May 2017, my former professor, mentor, Dr. Dargantes invited me to be a resource speaker for a resource valuation workshop for a group of IPs in Mindanao particularly in Compostela, Valley.

cultural resource valuation workshop
Resource Valuation Workshop with Indigenous People in Compostela Valley

This event took place just after I attended the international conference on food and environment hosted and organized by Benguet State University, in Baguio City.

Honestly, this is my first experience to be with a group of IPs and I learned a lot from them.

The activity was to introduce how to do a resource valuation. I thought of it was just simple valuation, but it turned out to me a different from what I learned.

In this article I will be dealing more about some specific topic like valuation on cultural resource not just natural resource.

This article highlights the following sub-topics:

  • Resource valuation
  • Who are these Indigenous People?
  • Economic Values or Sociocultural Values? That is the question!
  • IPs valuable resources: Why it matters to them and to us?


Resource Valuation

Alright, I don’t want to be more technical here. So, when we say resource valuation it means that estimating the value of a non-marketable resources.


Let me put it simply, what I mean is putting a value to good that cannot be found in the market place.

Resource valuation is also known as economic valuation where it is understood as putting a “pricetag” to a resource.

It is used to help bolster policy in protecting and restoring environmental services. Like in the photos below, resource valuation can be used to support anti-mining campaign from local communities.

mining area
Access road where it has presence of small scale mining


It can also be used to promote the protection of a natural resource like hot spring (below) and many others.

natural resource valuation
Hot spring in IP settlement

In economics, we classify resource according to its use and non-use values. These sums up to be the total economic values. Estimating the use values are very straightforward unlike with the non-use values where most of it are intangible.

If we say, non-marketable goods, these are goods which has no market price.

It’s not that easy to estimate goods which are non-marketable, so we have to use economic tools and analysis to elicit at these values.

But don’t get me wrong here. Like these economists (Fisher, Bateman and Turner, 2011), price and value are two different things. However, people use this two terms interchangeably.


What then is a value?

These are the benefits that we get from using a resource. If these benefits will be sold in the market, then we can have a price which can sometimes be a perfect and yet a poor approximate of a value (Fisher, Bateman and Turner, 2011).

Well, like many other theories and principles in economics, valuation especially Contingent Valuation Method has also lots of criticisms even the practitioners themselves.

In our exercise, we did a valuation of these ecosystem and socioeconomic services. After looking at their results in the identification of goods. I found that IPs considered the following attributes to be most valuable.

rescource valuation IP
Tribal leaders perform actual valuation exercise

And these attributes are the ones that they would like to give value from the economic perspective.

So, here comes the bridge in science and indigenous knowledge.

Sometimes scientists criticized indigenous knowledge but let us not underestimate it, rather support it with scientific findings.


Who are these Indigenous People?

Well, they refer to a group of people or homogenous societies identified by self-ascription and ascription by others, who have continuously lived as organized community on communally bounded and defined territory, and who have, under claims of ownership since time immemorial occupied, possessed and utilized such territories, sharing common bonds of language, customs, traditions and other distinctive cultural traits, or who have, through resistance to political, social and cultural inroads of colonization, non-indigenous religions and cultures, became historically differentiated from the majority of Filipinos (RA 8371 IPRA).

Indigenous People
Tribal leaders (from center to far right)

Indigenous People are important in rural and economic development. They are in fact recognized in the National Framework on Physical Planning (2001-2030). This framework ensures the rights of the IPs to develop, control, and use lands within their ancestral domains (HLURB, CLUP Vol. 1)


Economic Values or Sociocultural Values? That’s the question!

Basically there are many types of values based on the typology according to de la Torre, (2002) and sometimes these values overlap with each other. Cultural, economic, political and aesthetic values are sometimes shaped by social forces and cultural trends.


Two types of values

Sociocultural values

Exploring these values, I found out that there is what we call sociocultural values. These are the “traditional core of conservation— values attached to an object, building, or place because it holds meaning for people or social groups due to its age, beauty, artistry, or association with a significant person or event or (otherwise) contributes to processes of cultural affiliation” (de la Torre, M. 2002).

Spiritual Values

In addition, there is also spiritual values which “emanate from the beliefs and teachings of organized religion, but they can also encompass secular experiences of wonder, awe, and so on, which can be provoked by visiting heritage places” (Ibid).

Again there are other types of values aside from the two but I will just focus on the two since this is important in the next section of the article.

Alright, so as a resource valuation practitioner, I am faced with a challenged to introduced valuation techniques to these group of IPs regarding their natural resources.

However, the initial activity turned out to be different. It is not just about their natural resources, but also their cultural capital.

Culture is generally defined as the ways of thinking, the ways of acting, and the material objects that together form a people’s way of life. Culture includes what we think, how we act, and what we own. Culture is both our link to the past and our guide to the future. (Maccionis, 2014)

According to Turner and Willmarth, (2014), cultural and natural resource preservation are both valuable. However, in their study, it shows that respondents seemed to give more value to the protection of natural resources more than the protection of cultural resources.

Economic Values

In economic theory, values can be either use values or a non-use values. According to de la Torre, M. 2002, non-use values can be used to look at sociocultural values.

This brings me to the next section.


IPs valuable resources: Why it matters to them and to us?

In our resource valuation workshop, I was tasked to introduce to the IPs the  valuation methods. However, this seems different with what I learned back in my master’s degree.

The topic the IPs want to preserve was their culture more specifically IP settlements, burial grounds and sacred places.

As written above, non-use values can be used to look sociocultural values.  In this sense, economic valuation can then be of great help when valuing a resource from the IPs.

Looking at their scenario, one of the most appropriate tool in economic valuation for cultural resource or heritage is the choice experiment.


IP settlements

IP settlements according to the tribal leaders is a place where they have also economic activity, a source of livelihood to them. It can also be considered that it has social value where they commune with each other. The IPs outlined the attributes that they will preserve in their IP settlements is their culture. They wanted that the culture of their tribe be preserved despite the changes in their community due to economic development.

They further pointed out that their native language, clothes and beliefs (sociocultural values) are dissipating.

In other words, these IPs value a cultural resource because they have attached values to it.


Burial grounds and sacred places

IPs want to preserve their burial grounds and sacred places which have spiritual values.

To them these place are significant because it is where their ancestors were buried and it is where their believed-gods are residing.

According to one leader, if you are in the mountain, you are not allowed to crack a joke on anything there because this is sacred to them.

burial grounds and sacred place of IPs
IPs lagoon considered as a sacred place

Nowadays, with the influx of modern and western traditions. Their local traditions are dwindling.

The big question that comes to my finite mind is; how does a person value a cultural resource at the same time embrace sustainable economic development?


Why value cultural resources?

Because culture fades and changed and cultural transformation will continue. Although it is acceptable that these are part of society’s transformation, there are things that should not be forgotten.

Taken from the words of Dr. Jose Rizal,

Ang hindi marunong lumingon sa pinangalingan ay hindi makakarating sa paroroonan.

He who does not know how to look back at where he came from will never get to his destination.

Thus, as one of the characteristic of culture, this should be passed on and taught from generation to generation.

It is written that the commandments, the statutes that God commanded to teach us be also taught to our grandchildren.


And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.  And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes.  And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates. Deuteronomy 6:6-9



Marta de la Torre. 2002. Assessing the Values of Cultural Heritage Research Report.

The Getty Conservation Institute, Los Angeles, 2002.

Macionis, John J. 2012. Sociology. 14th ed. ISBN 978-0-205-24291-7. Pearson

Brendan Fisher, Ian Bateman and R. Kerry Turner (2011). Environment for Development Ecosystem Valuing Ecosystem Services: Benefits, Values, Space and Time Ecosystem Services Economics (ESE) Working Paper Series. The United Nations Environment Programme

Turner, R. W. and Willmarth, B. 2014. Valuation of Cultural and Natural Resources in North Cascades National Park: Results from a Tournament-Style Contingent Choice Survey. SAGE Open April-June 2014: 1–9 DOI: 10.1177/2158244014528916



National Commission on Indigenous People for the logistic support through USAID.

Dr. Buenaventura Dargantes

Ms. Cheryl Batistel

IP tribal leaders

Kaisampalad Inc.


How Environmental Awareness Affect Economic Development

is important to educate and implant the thought of environment to be a partner and not being a limit to economic activities.

Today, an increasing number of companies and entrepreneurs are seeking towards green economy to ensure environmental sustainability will likely be achieve.

This is vital because population and income are rising. However, this lopsided distribution of revenue and population has aggravated the environmental crisis in several ways  (World Economic Survey, 2011). The understanding of a green economy is invoked so as to stress environmental sustainability and protection while pursuing (World Economic Survey, 2011).

Thus, environmental issues might be of interest one with the most important challenges that face the business enterprise in this first decade from the millennium.

Industrial companies and a lot of other international companies should look into this issue with higher importance, acting promptly as well as a proactive stance rather than abandoning a reactive posture.

It is achievable to merge economic interests with environmental interests, even so the economic thinking dominates and guides many governments is always that everything must submit to it and this ecology is external for the economy.

Well, humans are simply part from the nature of business, therefore the economy ought to be seen as component of ecology.

The hunt for an environmental success in the eco-efficiency, leads us time for a condition proven to sustainability: the awareness.

Speaking about sustainability, there is already an agreement to set new global Sustainable Development Goals as one of the main outcomes from the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) in 2012.

The new goals will serve as a guide of sustainable development in the world after 2015 in lieu of MDGs which will terminate this year.

In the report, the goals were presented based on the scoring assigned per indicator with a maximum score of 8. The higher the score, the higher will be the transformational change that will be undertaken for developed countries.

It was presented that Goal 13 of the SDGs ranked one in developed countries with an average score of 7.1 This goal is to “Take urgent action to combat and its impacts.”

For developed countries, this is very relevant since they are the ones that producing and emitting more CO2 compared to less developed countries.

Considering that they are already developed, will be hampered if these environmental risk and hazard will occur. (Of course, risk are always present).

Based on United Concern of Scientist, China is the highest carbon dioxide emitting country followed by US. These countries contribute different amounts of heat-trapping gases to the atmosphere. Energy Information Agency (Department of Energy).


Its always ethical and wonderful for a person, organization to give more emphasis on sustainable economic development through environmental awareness.

It is understood which the process of globalization or glocalization (global and local), the idea of citizenship has developed into universal value and ecological ethics a point of love, care, and involved on this vision of consolidating the engine are ethical individuals.

With the increasing numbers of industrial companies, awareness of companies in relation with environmental problems and issues, although limited and inadequate, is of fundamental importance.

Indeed, companies and developed countries started to cooperate to attenuate negative effects of pollution and should aim for environmental sustainability.

In 2014, countries with the highest share of renewable energy consumption in 2014 were also the ones who are in the highest carbon emissions worldwide. (As you can see above)

Photo: www.
Photo: www.

This awareness was the perception that it is important to increase the profit, these days with the vision of welfare, without harming the surroundings, educating the client in some way to increase the environmental situation.

After all, we are all the steward of this world.


Statista –

United Concern of Scientist –

Featured Photo:Designed by Freepik

Socioeconomic Indicators of Development in Philippines

What are socioeconomic ?

Okay, I know you are eager to know indicators of development i Philippines.

First, let us define what is an indicator.

Indicators are sets of data, or any mixed and gathered and analyzed for policy making, monitoring and evaluation. It is helpful in making assessments in local and national level.

While socioeconomics (also known as socio-economics or social economics) is the social science that studies how economic activity directly or indirectly determines and is shaped by social processes. In general it analyzes how societies progress, stagnate, or regress because of their localor regional economy, or the global economy.

There are different sets of socioeconomic indicators. Every country has different indicators depending on their social condition and to the needs and purpose of use. For example in fishery sector, estimation of socio-economic indicators are different compared to non-fishery sector.

On the other hand, some socioeconomic indicators on development are based in Millennium Development Goals (MDG) which is formulated and signed in 2000  by UN and its 189 member countries for the upliftment of the country’s economic and social well being and to free people from extreme poverty and multiple deprivations.

Photo: UNDP
Photo: UNDP

You can download the UN declaration and the MDGs here.

Indicators can help us classify countries according to their development whether they are Most Economically Developed Country or Less Economically Developed Country.

In the Philippines, there is a socioeconomic tool called Community-Based Monitoring System () which is being utilized by LGUs for monitoring poverty. This monitoring tool is updated every three years in the local level and is also in congruent to the MDGs.

The Community–Based Monitoring System (CBMS) Network is part of the Poverty and Economic Policy (PEP) Network supported by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Canada through its Globalization, Growth and Poverty (GGP) Initiative, and by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).

Please read the full article of CBMS here.

Some of the helpful data that we can extract from this tool are the following.

1. Poverty maps (provinces, cities, municipalities, barangays and sitios/puroks)
2. Tables and graphs of Core Local Poverty Indicators (CLPIs) such as below poverty and food threshold, no access on sanitary toilet facilities, no access to safe water, not attending school, maternal health, who are squatters and others which are disaggregated by gender, household, purok and Barangay.

Based on the CBMS monitory tool, we have the following indicators

  1. Demography

  2. Health and Nutrition

  3. Housing

  4. Water and Sanitation

  5. Basic Education

  6. Income and Livelihood

  7. Peace and Order

Socioeconomic Indicators of Development in the Philippines

Generally, socioeconomic indicators for includes the following.

GDP per capita

GDP per capita is the total value of (final i.e. not intermediate) goods and services produced within a country divided by the total population. 5.2% gdp growth for the 1st quarter

GDP estimates from WB $284.6 billion as 2014. (

GNP per capita

Life Expectancy

The life expectancy at birth for females born in the Philippines from the year 2005 to 2010 is 71.64 years. Derived from the 2000 Census-based projections, this projected life expectancy at birth for females is longer by 5.53 than the life expectancy at birth for males which is estimated at 66.11 years.

According to UNICEF, life expectancy at birth (years) 2012 is 68.5 years.

Literacy Rates

Philippine Statistics Authority classified literacy into two:

Basic Literacy refer to the ability of a person 10 years old and over to read and write with understanding a simple message in any language or dialect.

Functional literacy refers to the ability of a person 10 to 64 years old who can read, write, compute and comprehend.

Other socioeconomic indicators of development.

Infant mortality
People per doctor
Capital Investments
Real Wage
Disease Indicators
Stress Levels

Meanwhile, the Philippine Minimum National Social Data Set (PMNSDS) also has a set of indicators based MNSDS endorsed by UN Statistical Commission to all member countries and is updated quarterly by National Statistical Coordination Board.

1. Population estimates, by five year age group and sex
2. Life expectancy at birth by sex
3. Infant mortality per 1000 live births
4. Child mortality per 1000 live births
5. Maternal mortality per 100000 live births
6. Contraceptive prevalence rate
7. Average number of years of schooling completed by sex
8. Persons per sleeping room
9. Access to safe water
10. Access to sanitation
11. Monetary value of the basket of food needed for minimum nutritional requirement
12. GDP per capita in pesos
13. Average income per capita of families by decile group
14. Unemployment rate by sex
15. Employment- population ratio by sex

Below is a presentation of indicators of development.

Reliability of Indicators

Like many of data gathered from national and local level, realibility of such data depends heavily on the enumerators skills and the implementers of survey. While data may speak of what is going in the community level, it is useless if data gathering is carried on haphazardly and with a vested interest of the data user.