A week-long training on Rural Infrastructure Planning and Operation and Maintenance was the latest capability building exercise organized for stakeholders of the ADB Technical Assistance for Decentralized Framework for Sustainable Natural Resources and Rural Infrastructure Management Project in Southern Philippines (TA 7716-PHI). The project covers the following six Bukidnon upper river basin (URB) watersheds: (i) Kitanglad-Manupali; (ii) Talakag; (iii) Sumilao Manolo Fortich – Malitubog; (iv) Malaybalay-Impasugon; (v) Baungon-Libona; and (vi) Kalatungan-Muleta.
Held last 3-7 September 2012 in Malaybalay, Bukidnon, the training was premised on the role of rural infrastructure in river basin (watershed) development and in supporting sustainable livelihood and enterprise development in production areas. The training course aimed to enhance the management and coordination capability of the local government units (LGUs) and communities “as ultimate guardians of natural resources.”
The training comprised three main modules: (i) Planning and Design, including proper project planning and design with environmental and social safeguard considerations; (ii) Implementation, which discussed the need to maintain rural infrastructure integrity through sound engineering practices; and (iii) Operations and Maintenance (O&M), which focused on organizing O&M structures and establishing O&M systems and procedures through periodic monitoring and evaluation (M&E).
As a training exercise, participants, mostly from LGUs covered by the project, identified and prepared at least one priority subproject proposal for a municipality located within the watershed for which they integrated engineering specifications, environmental and social safeguards, and implementation arrangements as well as O&M arrangements as part of their training output. Among the proposals developed were the establishment of a water supply system and the construction of a farm-to-market road. As next steps, the monitoring team will continue to gather information about the progress of the project proposals from all the municipalities and organize a follow-up training to finalize these proposals.