Besao was originally a part of Bagnen municipality. With the establishment of the old
Besao is situated on the borders of the adjacent provinces of
However, when the communities completed a community mapping with the assistance of the ESSC, they determined that the actual land area of the municipality is 18,170.00 hectares.
Almost 38% of the area actually occupied by the municipality is officially within the political boundaries of Quirino, Ilocos
Besao has two pronounced seasons. The dry season starts from December and peaks towards the months of March and April, while the wet season sets in from May to October. Typhoons pass through the area in between June to November. The western barangays of Tamboan and Laylaya being situated near Ilocos Sur and on lower elevation than the other communities in the municipality have a slightly warmer climate than the rest of Besao.
Located within the Gran Central Cordillera Range, Besao has a mountainous terrain generally of moderately steep to very steep slopes, with altitudes ranging from 400 meters above sea level (at the Balas-iyan Delta) to 2,364 meters above sea level (at the peak of Mt. Caman-ingel). Most of the mountains are over 1,000 meters above sea level, except for those in the southwestern area, which is differentiated by their lower altitude. Pine and mossy forest, croplands and grasslands dominate the landscape.
Based on the records Based on the records of the DENR, the total land area of 17,361.50 hectares is classified as forest reserve with 6,946.33 (40.01%) as forest lands, 4,505.30 (25.95%) as timberlands and 5,909.87 (22.03%) as unclassified forest.
While the DENR's classification did not provide for alienable and disposable land, the existing land use shows that there are built-up areas in the municipality. Data from the Department of Agriculture shows that only 1,772.15 or 10.2% of the total land area is used for agricultural purposes and 347.23 or 2% represents the built-up areas. The rest are grasslands and wooded forests.
Table 1- Land Classification and Land Use
LAND CLASSIFICATION AND LAND USE
Table 2: Population per Barangay
Based on the latest NCSO survey, 98% population belong to the Aplai tribe with Kankanaey dialect as their mother tongue while the 2% represents the Ilocanos and Tagalogs who have married some of the natives.
B. AGE STRUCTURE
The population of Besao in 2005
based on actual survey is composed largely of 18-64 years old representing 54.28%. The 1-17 age group comprising 38.88% and lastly by the elderly group representing 7.09% of the total population follows this group. Dependency ratio then is estimated to be 1:1.
C. GENDER RATIO
The male population totals 4,007 or 52.02% while the females total 3,695 or 47.97% of the total population respectively. This gives a gender ratio of 1.08 males for every female.
The literacy rate of the municipality is higher at 95 percent than that of the province (87.21 percent) because of the strategic location of schools. There are 11 elementary, five (5) primary, four (4) secondary schools, and two (2) pre-schools in the municipality. The DECS support all the elementary and primary schools and two high schools. The municipal government pays the salary of one teacher at the
There are 22 early childhood education centers serving a total of 345 3-6 year old children. These centers are managed and maintained by the municipal and barangay governments.
Besao has a crude birth rate (CBR) of 13.55 per NSO population but actually reported by MHO as 18.83 in 2005. During the last five years (2001-2005), there is an average of 154 births per year. The CBR has continuously increased from 2000 to 2003, decreased for 2004 but again increased in 2005. This reduction can be attributed, to some extent, to the effective implementation of the Family Planning Programs in the area. On the other hand, crude death rate (CDR) is placed at 5.70 per NSO population but the actual report of the MHO is 7.92, with an average of 57 deaths per year.
Based on MHO report for 2005, 92 under-six children are mildly underweight, 3 are moderately underweight and 1 severely underweight. This represents 9 % of the total 1,058 0-6 aged weighed children for the year.
A. AVERAGE FAMILY INCOME
Majority of the families in Besao receives an average monthly income of P2, 500.00 as shown by a survey conducted by the LGU in 2000. Based on the regional poverty threshold of P78, 000.00 per annum in 2000, the majority of the families (89%) live below the poverty level and 11% are within the comfortable and above subsistence level.
Low family income can be attributed to several factors; one is the dependency of the majority of the population on agricultural/agriculture for their livelihood. With marginal lands on rolling hills and steep mountain slope to cultivate, the farming family is constrained to increase its production. Added to this is the seasonality of agricultural activities. It is only after harvest season that the farming family receives cash income for its goods for the rest of the year. Lack of transportation facilities, road to market roads and poor road condition contribute to the low income of farmers.
With 1,670 households engaged in farming and only 940 hectares for agricultural use, the average area to till per households is 65 hectares.
There are 4,945 individuals composing the municipality's potential labor force. Among the labor force only 3,178 are employed, while the rest 1,767 are unemployed. This gives an employment rate of 64% and an unemployment rate of 36%. Underemployment is high at 61%. This condition is prevalent especially in farming communities like the municipality, where activities are dictated upon by the seasonality of agricultural products.
Among the 3,178 employed workers, a great majority of 93.05% is engaged in wholesale/retail business and the service sector.
There are various non-governmental organizations, community organizations and people's organizations assisting the government agencies/offices in implementing various development programs and projects.
The elected officials provide
political leadership. There is however, a group of traditional council of elders composed of the "wise men" (old men) of the community. Despite being unlettered, they are believed to be full
Most of the times, this informal group is more effective in setting conflicts and disputes among the people.
With all the socio-political structures in the area, efforts are being undertaken to harmonize the role of each for community development and governance.
A. Roads, Bridges and pathways
Besao has a total road
length of 72.1
according to MEO report of 2000. These are classified as provincial, 27.5 kilometers; municipal, 1.6 kilometers; and barangay roads, 16.5 kilometers registered and 26.5 kilometers unregistered. Of the total road length, 1.2 kilometers is concrete and 70.9 kilometers is either gravel or earth roads.
There are five concrete bridges within the municipality, with a total length of 51. These are in the barangays of Besao West, Besao East, Agawa and Banguitan. Another concrete bridge is under construction in barangay Laylaya.
Most of the barangays have improved/cemented their major pathways particularly those leading to the settlement centers and the agricultural areas.
B. Transportation and Communication
system in Besao is basically by road and foot trails. Daily trips of jitneys and buses travel the Bontoc-Besao and
The basic communication system within the municipality is the word-of-mouth. The "paw-it" system, i.e., requesting a relative or neighbor or the public vehicle drivers to bring letters or packages to the addressee is practiced. These "delivery men" usually deliver the goods to the nearest sari-sari store located along the road, the owner of which in turn sends the message to the addressee.
The DOTC operates a telegraph office and the PPC maintains a post office. The municipal government maintains a two-way transceiver radio communications covering all the barangays. Communications system was improved with the establishment of a mobile telephone service by SMART Communications Inc..
Electricity is available in the municipality that is provided by the Mountain Province Electric Cooperative. Of the 14 barangays, only Ambagiw and the sitio of Pangweo in Laylaya are yet to be energized. Coverage in the other energized barangays is about 89%.
Of the total 665 hectares of irrigable land, only 105 hectares or 16 percent are served by NIA-assisted irrigation systems. These are located in Banguitan, Laylaya and Payeo serving at least 70 hectares, 10 hectares,
There is one communal irrigation system located at Ambagiw, which is being assisted by a non-governmental organization. Individual farmers construct privately owned systems, found throughout the community.
E. Social Infrastructure
There are eleven public elementary and five primary schools that are strategically located within the municipality.
Furthermore, There are four secondary schools (two public and two private), and 22 day care centers. There are still 3 barangays with no day-care center and the sitio of Bunga.
For health services, there is one district hospital with 25-bed capacity. This hospital also serves some residents of barangays in Abra and Ilocos
Rice and camote are revered to be the traditional dominant agricultural crops in the community as of 2005.
Farmers generally apply the traditional way of farming which is the use of animal traction and manual tilling as in the case of gardening. Farmers apply both organic and commercial fertilizers with minimal use of pesticides for some gardeners.
Most gardeners are applying integrated pest management. Generally, farmers profit from their citrus and commercial crops depending on the fluctuation of prices.
Carabaos and cows are also dominant and significant in the life of every farmer household. These are used for farming purposes; rituals or butchered for food.
The major enterprise present in the municipality is furniture making. There are six entrepreneurs engaged in this kind of activity. Raw materials of pinewood are abundant in the mountains of Besao. This is a profitable business as furniture is being sold in the nearby municipalities and also in
The municipality is facing boundary conflicts in all its borders. The
These portions are officially within the territorial jurisdiction of the municipality. The conflict with Sagada is mainly due to the right to utilize the water sources located in the areas while the conflict with Tadian is mainly because they want to extract the pine trees in the said forest.
Aside from a possible resource use deprivation, the municipality is at the losing end since financial allotments are given to the two municipalities, which could otherwise be given to the municipality being the actual occupant and maintainer of the said areas. This would translate to more financial resources with almost 100% increase in the municipality’s share in the IRA in terms of land area. Further, this would correspondingly increase that of the province.
Furthermore, there has never been a technical survey conducted to delineate the boundaries of the barangays within the municipality. There is therefore an inequitable distribution of IRA in terms of share based on land area. Delineation would therefore correct possible inequities.
2. TENURIAL PROBLEMS
The municipality as stated earlier is practically considered a forest reserve. Security of land tenure over the built-up areas, the rice fields, swidden farms and all other developed areas is therefore a problem because these are considered public lands.
Likewise, the pine tree plantations established by the people are considered public forests and with the existing policy of total log ban, extraction is theoretically prohibited. This runs counter to the right of the people who have established, managed and protected the pine tree plantations.
The issuance of a Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title (CADT) and the eventual issuance of Certificate of Ancestral Land Titles (CALT’s) should be worked out to protect the interests of the owners of these lands.
1. PINE FORESTS
C. Rampant logging in the
municipal communal forest: Since there are no clear guidelines on the cutting of trees in Batay, the area has been logged over.
owners of chainsaws in Kinali: Not all
owners are registered with the barangay, and there is difficulty in regulating their operations. In Catengan and Laylaya, where bringing out lumber outside the barangays is prohibited, the chainsaw owners often do not acquire cutting permits or have known plans for the use of lumber they extract before they log.
E. Illegal loggers from Abagatan: Tadian and Besao have an unresolved boundary dispute. Following the political boundary, some part of Catengan belongs to Tadian. However, by ancestral domain claim, Catengan extends to parts of the political jurisdiction of Tadian. From 1999-2000, s the iCatengan have been protesting logging activities from their forest by some men from Tadian, who would sneak into the area on unexpected days (and even nights), quickly cut trees, load the timber in their trucks and return to Tadian. This manner of logging was stealing to the iCatengans, who would rush to the mountains to stop loggers when they hear them operating their chainsaws in the area.
F. Lack of discipline among pangapo members (access to saguday di : pangapo): There are pangapo members who abuse their right to avail of the trees: they log without asking the caretakers’ permission, they cut beyond the designated number of trees, or log for selling. On the part of the caretakers, there have been caretakers who had usurped some saguday by registering them as their private properties. There are also those who tend to favor certain community members over the others.
G. Batang vis-à-vis water: There are elders who attributed the reduced outflow of water sources and the drying up of some springs to the pine trees that have come to replace former dense cogon, shrub and stick vegetation of the mountains. The same is being said of the older trees growing near creeks and water sources. This observation led to suggestions to restore the original land cover or to replace pine with “water-producing species”. On the other hand, there are elders who recognize other possible factors that contributed to the decreasing water supply, such as the earthquakes that could have caused water sources (water table) to sink, weather changes (i.e., that there are fewer dry months at present than before) and tapping of water sources for domestic use.
I. Batang vis-à-vis pasture land : Like in crop farms, pine needles also hinder the growth of grass in pasture areas. Among some cattle raisers, pine forest and grazing areas are incompatible land uses because pine needles tend to accumulate on and cover the grass, thus, hindering its growth and regeneration. The need for fresh grass is sometimes used to justify forest fires. Because of this, cattle raisers sometimes deliberately set forest fires just to get rid of accumulated pine needles.
J. Decreasing wildlife in mossy forests: Community members observed that the population of wild animals has been decreasing because the unregulated, all-year round hunting activities do not allow for the animals to breed and reproduce.
B. Abandonment of some payeos and insufficiency of irrigation supply: Rice paddies have been abandoned because of inadequate irrigation supply and workers to till the rice paddies.
Aside from kuhol, other rice pests – namely, earth-boring worms, rats and birds – contribute to the decreasing production. Earthworms that bore holes into the soil increase the seepage of water, which aggravates the shortage of irrigation supply during the summer months. Generally, rice paddies that are planted first and last suffer the most damage from rats and birds, because these pests tend to concentrate on these farms.
E. Use of chemical fertilizers in farming: Farmers apply fertilizers on their croplands based on their experience and common sense, without much regard of the effects of the continuous application of urea, complete or sulfate fertilizers to the soil. Few farmers continue practicing lubok and tunek.
1. Random burning in pasture areas-cum-pine lots: Menpaspastol are often accused of burning mountains during dry season; they justify this by the regeneration of grass needed by their animals when it rains. In the Kinali area, burning in pasture areas is allowed on recommended periods, i.e., when it is likely to rain so that the fire will be contained. However, frequent burning destroys the soil.
3. Cattle rustling
Domestic water supply
B. Unequal water distribution
Rivers and fishing grounds
A. Destructive fishing methods: Despite ordinances prohibiting the use of destructive fishing methods, some community members persist in applying them. Chemicals causes’ massive killing of creature in rivers where these are applied and along its downstream flow, while the use of electricity renders fishes that are affected but are still able to survive incapable of reproducing. Consequently, the edible creatures that used to teem in rivers are now diminishing.
The increase in population is offset by out-migration. The normal growth rate of 2.54% per annum should have translated to an increase in population of about 1,200 for a period of 5 years but the corresponding increase in population for the period1995-2000 is only 920, and for the period 1980-1990, the population decreased. The following graph shows the population growth over the years.
Population Enumerated in Various Censuses 1903-2000
Out-migration as evident in the above graph is brought about by socio-economic reasons, like pursuit of education or employment outside Besao. Majority of the people who find employment in other places upon completion of education do not return to the municipality. This contributes to the reduction of the labor force, which partly accounts for the abandonment of some rice fields and, consequently, decrease in crop production.
Ironically, during festivities, Christmas season and even summer, the out-migrants return to Besao bringing along with them pressures of all aspects. Basic services would usually suffer since the population practically increases. Thus, the municipality’s service delivery system while it may be prepared to cater to 10,000 would find it hard to absorb 5,000 more.
2. PERVADING POVERTY AND HIGH UNDERPLOYMENT RATE
Based on the national standard, 68% of the total number of households lives below the poverty threshold. The average monthly income of P2, 500 is way below the poverty line. Only 32% mostly belonging to the business and services sector could live decently.
3. HEALTH AND NUTRITION
There is likewise a need to improve the accessibility of health facilities. While there seven health stations, only three have physical facilities. The main health center that was constructed in the 1950’s also needs immediate replacement. Moreover, there is a need to establish barangay health stations.
There is further a need to provide health care services to the elderly and the indigents as the government hospital could only provide limited health services to them. Financial support is necessary for them to be members of the Philippine Health Insurance Co.. The recently reorganized Ogogbo- Social Health Insurance needs more funding to realize its objective of providing financial assistance.
4. WATER AND SANITATION
Access to domestic water supply has improved from 73% during the previous years to 99% as of this year. Access is viewed in terms of water sufficiency and potability. While this has brought down the incidence of waterborne diseases in some of the barangays, the poblacion still has insufficient water supply. Considering that the schools, the hospital and the government offices are located in the area, water demand water is high. Due to the distance of the water sources, continuous supply could not be assured.
In terms of household sanitation, from 651 households or 42% of total number of households, who did not have sanitary toilets in 1999, this has improved to 17% or 267 households who do not have sanitary toilets. This needs further improvement as it affects the overall sanitation of the communities.
For environmental sanitation, the MHO records show that 82% of the total households practice sanitary solid waste disposal. The safety of disposal practices could not yet be assured as people resort to dumping pits and burning. The municipality has yet to come up with its Solid Waste Management Program to ensure compliance with the Clean Air Act.
While the 16 elementary and primary schools are strategically located, these are beset with several problems. Some of the schools lack the appropriate instruction materials and devices. These include updated maps, science equipment, globes and textbooks. Most of the buildings are dilapidated. The TEEP program that started last year will address these problems. Expectedly, these will be a thing of the past once the program is completed.
For secondary education, the existing schools especially, the Panabungen School of Arts, Trades and Home Industries (PSATHI) and the
There is therefore a need to work out for the full operationalization of the two government high schools and for greater subsidy for the two private schools.
6. SOCIAL SERVICES
The dependent population specifically the elderly and the children need
More services to improve their health and welfare. The elderly have to be provided with livelihood opportunities. There are still five barangays that do not have barangay day care centers. Thus while the day care program is implemented in said areas, there is no physical structure which adversely affects its effectiveness. Likewise, it is necessary to address the needs of persons with disabilities.
1. FISCAL ADMINISTRATION
The municipal government being a fifth class municipality depends on the aid provided by the national government for its operations. Due to its limited tax base, only 5% of the total revenues come from local sources such as realty taxes and fees.
The Sangguniang Bayan being the local legislative body of the municipality has to come up with ordinances to address the issues and concerns particularly on the problems on land and natural resources management taking into the consideration the culture of the people. Likewise being the elected representatives of the people it has to reach out for external support to improve the delivery of basic services and the overall economic condition of the communities.
3. DEVELOPMENT ADMINISTRATION
Given the scarce financial resources, the local government can implement limited development programs, projects and activities. To optimize the utilization of funds, the municipality has been earmarking its development funds as equity to programs and projects of the national government agencies. The livelihood projects implemented were on a small scale while the infrastructures were limited to small projects.