The 1st Project Board Meeting for the “Scaling Up Risk Transfer Mechanisms for Climate Vulnerable Agriculture-based Communities in Mindanao” or the “WIBI Mindanao” project was conducted on March 26, 2015 in Mandaluyong City.  The meeting was chaired by Undersecretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat of the Department of Agriculture Office for Special Concerns and co-chaired by Atty. Jovy C. Bernabe, President of Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC).  Seven permanent representatives from various government agencies and development partner supporting the project comprise the Project Board namely:  (1) United Nations Development Program (UNDP); (2) Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC); (3) Department of Agriculture – Office for Special Concerns; (4) Department of Agriculture – Systems-Wide Climate Change Office; (5) National Economic Development Authority (NEDA); (6) Philippine Commission on Women (PCW); and the (7) Climate Change Commission (CCC).  The Project Board is responsible for making management decisions for the project particularly when strategic guidance and decisions are required.

Usec. Puyat welcomed the members and highlighted the importance of the immediate implementation of the project.  She underscored the need for mechanisms to reduce or mitigate the effects of the intensity and frequency of extreme weather conditions.  She said that efforts should be made in providing smallholder farmers with credit assistance and crop insurance so that they are equipped for recovery should their farms be affected by disasters.   By the end of the WIBI Mindanao implementation, it is expected that agriculture-based communities in Regions X and XI will have better access to financial packages that is aligned with WIBI provisions.  Usec. Puyat encouraged the members of the project board to extend full cooperation to the WIBI Mindanao Project.

The meeting approved the (1) Annual Work and Financial Plan (AWP) for the year 2015 totaling to $342,650; (2) revised Project Framework; (3) indicative activities and; (4) areas of implementation namely Bukidnon (Valencia, Malaybalay, Maramag), Misamis Oriental (Balingasag), Misamis Occidental (Bonifacio and Plaridel), Camiguin, Cagayan de Oro City and Iligan City in Region X and Davo del Norte (Tagum, Panabo), Compostela Valley (Nabunturan, Compostela), Davao Oriental (Banaybanay, Lupon) and Davao City (Calinan, Paquibato) in Region XI.  A total of at least 2,000 farmers will benefit from the project.  Finally, the Board Members welcomed the proposal of Pres. Bernabe to finance the premiums of the WIBI product for all initial beneficiaries on the first year of implementation.