New Zealand Embassy Manila, The Philippines
Presentation of the Head of Mission Fund (HOMF) Recipients for 2012-13
The recipients of the New Zealand Embassy’s Head of Mission Fund (HOMF) for 2012-2013 were presented in an afternoon tea hosted by Ambassador Reuben Levermore in honour of the New Zealand Minister of Commerce Craig Foss during his visit to Manila in mid-March.
One of the recipients comes from Rizal province, the Monte Alba Squash Catsup Production of Alay Buhay Community Development Foundation, Inc., which aims to provide sources of income for the members of the Monte Alba Producers Cooperative. Their project will support production of yellow catsup (or ketchup), the first squash catsup in the local market. The project beneficiaries will be involved in production, marketing and sales of the catsup. The project will also benefit upland farmers and the Dumagats (indigenous peoples) who supply the squash. Aside from the economic benefits this project will create, it will also promote increased awareness of a healthy lifestyle.
Another recipient is based in the province of Negros Occidental in the Visayas. Ecological & Agricultural Development Foundation, Inc. (EcoAgri)’s project aims to provide a disadvantaged community comprising of 80 households in a remote uphill area with reliable access to water supply (for drinking and household use) through the installation of a hydraulic ram pump without using electricity or fossil fuel-driven engines. The project will require the community to develop a watershed to protect their water sources.
The third recipient is Water, Agroforestry, Nutrition & Development (WAND) Foundation’s Water, Sanitation, Agro-reforestation and Development among Higaonon Indigenous Peoples in Misamis Oriental in Mindanao. The project will empower disadvantaged Higaonon indigenous peoples and other upland farmers (300 families) by providing clean drinking water, dry sanitation and by re-using waste in agroforestry. The project’s main activities include community establishment of water systems and bio-sand filters; provision of eco-san toilets for the re-use of waste in agriculture; agro-reforestation; and community education through ‘barefoot technicians.’
The Head of Mission Fund is administered through the New Zealand Aid Programme, whose mission is to support sustainable development in developing countries in order to reduce poverty and to contribute to a more secure, equitable, and prosperous world.
New Zealand Aid Programme Manager Joseph Imperial said: “We are pleased to support our civil society partners from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao who were able to put forward low-cost, simple and innovative solutions for the challenges faced by indigenous peoples.”
New Zealand is a long standing development partner of the Philippines, and operates projects in the areas of disaster risk reduction, agricultural development, scholarships and a young business leaders’ initiative. New Zealand’s annual development support for the Philippines is around NZ$4 million.