First Research

Research is essential to survival and development. That is why this function is intertwined with instruction. Hence other people simply consider them as inseparable entities.

UNP Candon as a pioneering center of research has also conducted lots of researches along various commodity areas. Others made it to the international fora as an avenue of dissemination.

It must be remembered that a research not disseminated is a waste of effort and resources.

Starting this piece, the findings of the many researchers of  UNP Candon are serialized. Let’s start it with the first and most promising research of UNP Candon.

Just a brief situationer of this topic. This was conducted way back in 2001 and it was funded by UNP GAA (General Appropriations Act.)

Two faculty members, Dr. Andres T. Malinnag, Jr., the unit research coordinator, and this author, conceptualized this study. They went as far as Sugpon, Ilocos Sur just to float and retrieve the questionnaires. They even missed the faculty Lakbay-aral during that time because of this mandate.

However, unaccounted blessings return in many ways. This study managed to qualify to the Regional Research Forum held at PSU Sta. Barbara, Pangasinan during the Annual ILARRDEC gathering.

As authors, we were very happy to have reached that far. And lately, this was even presented in a poster form in a national conference at the Ateneo de Zamboanga University at Zamboanga City sponsored by UGAT.

Now, we try to digest what this research tries to impart. It was all about the “Coping Mechanisms of the 14 Upland Municipalities of Ilocos Sur Towards Resource Degradation, Natural Disasters and Economic Crises.”

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Out of the two cities (Vigan and Candon) and 30 towns of Ilocos Sur, fourteen (14) comprise the upland municipalities of Ilocos Sur which are culturally and physically different, all located in the eastern strip of the second district of the province. Most of the residents are members of the cultural communities.

 Due to drought, floods and other natural and man-made calamities, the people are experiencing difficulties in agriculture. These made their lives miserable. However, to counter them, they employ unique coping mechanisms towards resource degradation, (like the use of chemicals), natural disasters (like floods, typhoons, droughts and earthquakes), and economic crises (like food shortage and unemployment).

Objectives of the Study

1.    To determine the socio-economic characteristics of the respondents and their level of coping mechanisms against degradation, natural disasters and economic crises; and

2. To assess the level of capability of the government functionaries in terms of  personnel and finance and its equipment and physical facilities to combat resource degradation, natural disasters and economic crises.

     Methodology

A descriptive method of research was employed with a structured questionnaire as its main instrument, aided by scheduled interviews, observations, and documentary analysis. The 14 upland municipalities of  Ilocos Sur, 392 household-respondents and 233 municipal employees were taken as respondents. Through the use of SPSS, the data were statistically treated.

    CONCLUSIONS

Four children is the average number of siblings in the family of upland people; majority of the respondents failed to seek higher education and are house and lot owners only. Farming is still the people’s primary occupation.

The household respondents occasionally do preventive measures along resource degradation and often initiate coping mechanisms along natural disasters and economic crises which are always supported by the government functionaries with almost adequate administrative capability, very adequate personnel but financially uncertain or unstable.

All the 14 municipalities have functional trucks for road clearing, or jeeps for rescue operation, have already established evacuation sites using schools, emergency clinics and barangay halls; centers for non-formal education, and cooperatives. However, eight municipalities do not own fire trucks; two don’t have loader equipments and bulldozer/grader to combat resource degradation.

The real property ownership of the household respondents has a significant relationship with their coping mechanisms towards resource degradation, natural disasters and economic crises.

The administrative functions of government functionaries, its personnel, financial capability and physical facilities have also significant relationships with their coping mechanisms towards resource degradation, natural disasters and economic crises.

The coping mechanisms employed by the household respondents are diverse compared to the coping mechanisms instituted by the government functionaries which could be attributed to varying interests, concerns and importance.

  RECOMMENDATIONS

To train LGU personnel, they should be given one year exposure to the field or immersion (sites of occurrences of problems relative to resource degradation, natural disasters and economic crises) in order to man the affairs of the committee they swore to serve.

Local employees serving the people should, in synchronization with civic oriented foundations, conduct more intensive and judicious trainings and seminars.

The adjacent municipalities should cluster or group themselves as one and propose an operational plan to the Department of Interior and Local Government particularly the Bureau of Fire Protection to establish one fire fighting center.#