by Regional Convergence Initiative 8

Prior to the implementation of the National Convergence Initiative (NCI) as a government development framework, the town of Javier, Leyte has no electricity with per capita income of P4.65. However, when the Enhanced NCI was adopted by the previous administration thru Executive Order 26 the program took the force of law and Javier became its model. After less than three years of enhanced NCI implementation, Javier now has 100 percent electrification and a per capita income of P66.67 or a phenomenal increase of 1,434%. The irrigation system was also improved adding some 600 hectares of irrigated rice farms doubling the yield from a measly 80 cavans per hectare to the present 160 cavans and still increasing. Through the Enhanced NCI supported by the dynamic leadership of Mayor Leonardo “Sandy” Javier, a road network was established spanning almost all of the town’s 28 barangays. This circumferential concrete road proved to be the major key in the progress of this town. Javier today even boasts of a huge chicken farm, a new ice plant and now starting to develop its own commerce.

 

Convergence Initiatives Propels Javier, Leyte to Progress

In 2011, the Municipality of Javier, Leyte was chosen as the first municipal convergence model. The agro-enterprise cluster composed of the municipality’s 28 barangays was expected to impact on 4,598 farm households and develops 15,270 hectares. An indicative requirement of more than P197 million investments was pegged to develop the complete value chain on the identified priority crops/commodities such as rice, abaca, banana, ginger, jackfruit and coconut, including goat and carabao.

A few of the initial projects/assistance extended by DA and its attached agencies in partnership with LGU-Javier included the establishment of a bagsakan center; distribution of ginger, abaca, and jackfruit planting materials; conduct of trainings/seminars; site validation and techno-demo area establishment for jackfruit, abaca, hybrid rice and coconut; soil fertility mapping; pasture development; registration of farmers with the National Farmers Registry System (NFRS); crop insurance; and small scale irrigation project and composting facility.

Technical and financial assistance was also provided for the coco coir plant establishment, and vinegar production and the production of Javier ginger tea which is now being sold nationwide.

Seeing the potentials of agriculture in his municipality, Mayor Leonardo “Sandy” Javier encouraged the young people of the town to go back to farming. He even sponsored twenty-five students who are now taking up Agriculture courses at Visayas State University in Baybay City.

Moreover, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and the German Society for Technical Cooperation (GIZ) intervened and assisted in the creation of the Alliance of Fisheries and Aquatic Management Development Council.

Furthermore, the Agrarian Reform Community Program (ARCP) was also started by DAR alongside with DENR’s National Greening Program (NGP) and the Bito Watershed Rehabilitation and Development and Rattan Plantation Projects.

Road concreting and rehabilitation and irrigation projects were also undertaken as part of the national government and partner-institutions’ major commitments to the municipality. Among the road projects implemented were the San Sotero to Ulhay Road, Laray to Magsaysay to Malitbogay Road, San Sotero to Caraye Road, and Odiong to Guindapunan Road. Also implemented were the bridges connecting Inayupan to Caranhug, and two bridges form Odiong to Manlililisiid, the P79 million Daniel F. Javier Circumferential Road, Zone1 to Pinocawan to Andres Bonifacio to Talisayan, Comatin to Caranhug and last but not the least, the Inayupan to Rizal to Sta Cruz.

The Javier Circumferential Road is crucial because it cuts the travel time around the town from 1 hour and a half to only 25 minutes. More than 50 percent of the economy of Javier goes to Abuyog because of better roads. Now, the farmers do not have to go to Abuyog because of easier access to the town proper.

The roads in Javier today have already been paved, a far cry from the muddy roads way back 2010.

Through the convergence, a processing center has been set up in the town and with the P60 million Dam, the LGU has been able to irrigate 600 hectares of farms. Also ongoing is the P60 million water project that will provide potable water to the people of Javier and to the town of Abuyog.

In November 2015, a ceremonial turnover of check worth P 3,721,350.00 as a mobilization fund in the establishment of the Agri-Pinoy Trading Center was facilitated by the DA-RFO 8 coinciding the regional visit of Secretary Proceso J. Alcala.

Mayor Javier is now working on the establishment of the first of its kind commercial center in the Picas Norte area with an adventure park in Picas-Inayupan area. He also hopes to establish a public cemetery, construct fire department building and a dump site and waste disposal project. Now ongoing is the charting of the Municipal Land use Plan.

The Javier experience is a living monument that convergence of government agencies can steer countryside development.