AGREEMENT SIGNING. JVOFI Executive Director, Marichu Lopez and Bruce Hutchins, Deputy Chief of Party at DAI at the signing of Grant Agreement of the project ““Strengthening Multi-Stakeholder Participation in Small Scale Mining Governance in Benguet” under USAID’s Facilitating Public Investments (FPI) program.

Last September 2017, Jaime V. Ongpin Foundation, Inc. (JVOFI) participated in the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) call for proposals under the component Financing Public Investments (FPI).  Supported by the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI) Grant Fund implemented by the Development Alternatives, Incorporated, it is intended to promote activities designed to: expand and promote more meaningful civil society organizations (CSO) engagement in the EITI process; increase transparency and accountability in the management of the extractive sector; and, contribute to sustainable reforms in extractive sector governance.

JVOFI chose to delve on improving multi-stakeholder participation in small scale mining governance in Benguet to help resolve the various issues that deter the implementation of relevant laws. Although this is a short term project which will run from December 2017 to May 15, 2018 we are hoping that it will pave the way for improvements in the sector more so it is a major source of livelihood in many Benguet municipalities.

We will engage government agencies, local government units and other stakeholders in promoting transparency and accountability in small scale gold mining governance in Benguet. This will be done through: (1) a scoping study to determine the extent of small scale gold mining in Benguet province; (2) information dissemination and capacity building on small scale mining laws and Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) standards in 8 small scale gold mining communities; (3) organizing of an interim Benguet provincial multi-stakeholder group (MSG).

We will focus on the eight municipalities of Bakun, Bokod, Kabayan, Kapangan, Itogon, Mankayan, Tuba and Tublay.

Just last July 2017, JVOFI concluded another project, Defending and Protecting the Amburayan River through Good Governance and Active People’s Participation, under the Phil-Am Fund of USAID’s  Partnership for Growth