Catbalogan Watershed and Forest Reserve Rehabilitation and Protection Project

2012 Finalist

Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP), the Philippines’ largest corporate-led foundation, is dedicated to the promotion of business sector involvement in social development. It was established in 1970 and currently has 262 member companies throughout the Philippines that are committed to the practice of corporate social responsibility (CSR).

More information about the organisation

PBSP operates throughout the country with a focus on the poorest provinces with programs in basic education, health, livelihood/enterprise development and environment with partners and communities as empowered players in development.


The project entitled "Catbalogan Watershed and Forest Reserve Rehabilitation and Protection" aims to contribute to 1. the sustainability and improvement of the quality of water supply for Catbalogan City 2. the prevention of the recurrence of flash floods in the downstream communities of Catbalogan City and 3. the improvement of the living conditions of 150 families in the five upstream communities of Catbalogan City.

Project description

The Catbalogan Watershed and Forest Reserve Rehabilitation and Protection Project (CWFR) seeks to develop eco-friendly livelihood options and plans for the rehabilitation and protection of CWFR, to reforest 40 hectares or 10% of the 400 hectares of the denuded areas within the watershed with indigenous forest trees and to convert 50 hectares of the upland farms into an agroforestry with soil and water conservation measures. Forest rehabilitation and protection efforts will be sustained by five community-based organizations and the Catbalogan Watershed Management Committee which will be organized as part of the project.

Country / Region

Catbalogan in the Western Samar Province of the Central Philippines

Information about local context

Catbalogan City in Western Samar province in Central Philippines is the centre of trade and commerce for the entire island of Samar. Development has been geared towards economic development rather than the protection of its mountains, the source of its water. Many establishments and industries have emerged, attracted investors such as operators of wood-based businesses who have abused the forest. Currently, 80% of the Catbalogan Watershed and Forest Reserve (CWFR) are denuded and its soil is severely eroded. Catbalogan City is increasingly faced with environmental risks such as water shortage and major hazards such as flash floods.

Participation of the communities

To achieve the above, the project will actively engage the communities living in the CWFR in all stages of the project to ensure that they are able to continue the efforts after the project ends. An information campaign will be conducted among their leaders as champions to help improve behaviour towards conserving CWFR.

Long term viability

To sustain the effort, PBSP will implement a “payment for environmental services” scheme. It is planned that water users and businesses in particular that are major users of water, will pay the community that will rehabilitate and take care of CWFR. The project will work with city/village-level officials to develop a local ordinance that will require payment for services even after the end of the project and change of leadership.

Status of project November 2011

The project is in its 2nd year of implementation in 5 municipalities surrounding Maqueda Bay in Western Samar. To date, the project has conducted a series of discussions with the city, village-level officials and community groups in planning the interventions to rehabilitate CWFR.

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Philippine Business for Social Progress
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Catbalogan in Western Samar Province in Central Philippines
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Philippine Business for Social Progress
Magallanes cor. Real Sts. Intramuros
1002  Manila
Mrs. Leilani Mc Donough