IFSU and partners launch Ifugao Rice Terraces  Satoyama Phase II- Project

From left to right: Dr. Serafin L. Ngohayon, IFSU president gives copies of the Satoyama Phase I terminal report to Dr. Melinda dP. Bandalaria, Chancellor, University of the Philippines—Open University; Atty. Pedro G. Mayam-o, Governor, Ifugao Provincial Local Government Unit; and Prof. Koji Nakamura, Visiting Professor, University of Kanazawa University and Executive Director, ISMTP- Phase II

Ifugao Satoyama Meister Training Program (ISMTP) launched the Phase II project entitled “Strengthening the Twinning between Globally Important Agricultural Heritage System (GIAHS) designated sites, Ifugao Rice Terraces (IRT) and Noto’s Satoyama and Satoumi, for sustainable development” at the Review Center, IFSU Main on June 28.

The ISTMP is a capacity building project to help build the capacity of Ifugaos in the conservation of Ifugao Rice Terraces (IRT). It is a collaborative undertaking of the Ifugao State University (IFSU), Kanazawa University of Japan, University of the Philippines- Open University, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and Provincial and Municipal Local Government Units in the Province of Ifugao.

Dr. Serafin L. Ngohayon, University President, IFSU gave the welcome remarks.

In his message, he gave copies of the terminal report to the different heads of partner agencies; Prof. Koji Nakamura, Visiting Professor, University of Kanazawa University and Executive Director, ISMTP- Phase II; Dr. Melinda dP. Bandalaria, Chancellor, University of the Philippines—Open University; and Atty. Pedro G. Mayam-o, Governor, Ifugao Provincial Local Government Unit.

According to Dr. Ngohayon, the terminal report contains the triumphs and the successes of Phase I that convinced the project partners and the funding agency to launch Phase II.

He also added that the terminal report represents the “realization that we have indeed started to address the concerns and problems of our people in Ifugao that led to the conduct of Phase I.”

ISMTP Phase II formally opens

He then formally opened the ISMPT-Phase II.

Dr. Ngohayon informed the body that IFSU Board of Regents already approved the establishment of the IRT as a GIAHS Center.

“It is a Research Development and Extension Center that aims to sustain and continue this program until all the concerns besetting our farmers in the rice terraces areas are fully addressed,” said Dr. Ngohayon.

“That is the University’s commitment and we saw to it that it is now part of our organizational structure,” he added.

He ends his message by encouraging everyone to help in the success of Phase II.

“Let us hold hands together and see to it that Phase II will be another round of triumph and success for all of us,” said Dr. Ngohayon.

Meanwhile, Masuhiro Izumiya, Chairman, Ifugao GIAHS Support Committee-Japan gave his message via video file. He gave his message in Japanese translated by Prof. Nakamura.

“We would like to collaborate with Noto Satoyama Meister Training program and Ifugao Rice Terraces” said Chairman Izumiya.

According to Chairman Izumiya, Nato Satoyama Meister Training Program was launched ten (10) years ago and has now 144 projects.

ISMTP is unique

Also, Dr. Bandalaria shared the ISMTP three important highlights of Phase I and II which makes it unique from the other similar initiatives.

First is the focus on the human resource development and skills sharing especially among the youth who will be involved in the training program. Second, the model partnership or collaboration given the nature of organization that we are working together in the program—the Provincial and Local Government Unit, Academe, International Funding Agencies, and the civil society. Lastly, the integration of research to the initiative.

Dr. Bandalaria also adds the overall impact on the cultural heritage which is the very essence of the three components.

She then encouraged everyone to ‘walk the talk.’

PLGU supports initiative

On the other hand, Gov. Mayam-o gave his full support to the Satoyama Phase II project and informed everyone that he issued an Executive Order creating the Ifugao Rice Terraces rehabilitation and development council.

He then informed that Secretary Emmanuel “Manny” F. Piñol, Department of Agriculture has given a Php1M fund to start the IRT rehabilitation project.

Gov. Mayam-o also promised to issue an Executive Order of re-constitution of committee to take charge of the program by the end of June.

“I need your cooperation as your provincial governor, if only to have all programs in the Province including this particular program to be successful and to be of-help to uplift the living condition of our people and to developed a better community for the future generation of our province,” Gov. Mayam-o said.

Sustain the program 

Dr. Napoleon K, Taguiling, Vice President, RDET-IFSU gives his closing remarks during the launching of the Satoyama-Phase II.

Dr. Napoleon K, Taguiling, Vice President, Research and Development Extension Training-IFSU. He reiterated that the launching of ISMTP phase II is based on the successful implementation of phase I.

“With the commitment of implementers from IFSU, partner-implementers, LGU’s, we are assured that phase II will also be a success after 3 years,” he added.

“ISMTP as a human resource development activity inculcates the principles and ideas of what is GIAHS and at the same time the concept of SATOYAMA as they called it in Japan,” said Dr. Napoleon.

He also reiterated that the idea of capacitating our human resource should not end, “let us [then] sustain, joining our hands towards the success and sustainability of this program, even our partners from other campus may extend their support financially.” –said Dr. Napoleon.

He then challenged the first batch of trainees of the ISMPT-Phase II to finish and complete their training for one year.

“With high hope and very much sure, we expect that every one of you should and must finish this training program for this year. We expect that after finishing this training, you will be more active and be an instrument in trying to help, develop, sustain and make our community, make our Ifugao Rice Terraces’ environment more pleasing to the eyes of our fellow men and to the eyes of our creator,”Dr. Napoleon challenged.

ISMPT-Phase II has 20 local trainees from the heritage areas: five from both Kiangan and Mayoyao; four from both Banaue and Hungduan while two from the PLGU.

They will train for a year and will meet twice a month. #

Florida B. Robles