Vol. 9 No. 3, Third Quarter 2007


KIN recently embarked on a Rapid Socio-Economic Survey to get a general picture of the socio-economic situation obtaining in Mt. Kitanglad communities. The respondents, selected at random, are predominantly indigenous inhabitants of six of 28 barangays encircling the protected area. Specifically, these are barangays Imbayao, Mapayag, Kapitan Angel and Dalwangan in Malaybalay City, and Capt. Juan and Kaatoan in Lantapan town. A number of people’s organizations in the same areas are partners of a current project supported by Broederlijk Delen. Those in Dalwangan also are also receiving some assistance from Oxfam Hong Kong and recently from the World Bank Grants Facility for Indigenous Peoples.

The survey basically aimed to determine whether there has been an improvement in the standard of living in these communities a few years after the implementation of livelihood projects in conjunction with a major biodiversity conservation project managed by the World Bank. It also sought to make the findings a basis for determining and/or refining eventual interventions which will keep the programs and policies of the protected area management apace with the timeframe of achieving the Millennium Development Goals.

The survey focused its data-gathering activity on the following: average income of occupants; sources of livelihood; main crops; and average size of area cultivated. KIN’s local community organizers, who are also tribal leaders of the barangays covered by the survey, served as the main data gatherers or interviewers.

In 1998 and 1999, prior to the implementation of a livelihood program under the WB-managed project, KIN undertook two similar surveys in Mt. Kitanglad – the Census of Protected Area Occupants done through the Research Institute on Mindanao Cultures, and an income survey in barangays selected at random. The results of those surveys were featured in a previous issue of Talamdan.

Based on generally accepted social and economic indicators, the findings of those two earlier surveys suggest that buffer zone occupants are living in extreme poverty. Their average income was one U.S. dollar or less per day. In addition, social services like potable water, health and public schools [were] practically absent. The lack of access to education, or the inability to obtain it due to financial difficulties, was evident in the low average level of educational attainment. The same surveys revealed the dependence of PA residents on forest resources like rattan, timber and wild game for their survival.

B. Data Gathering and Methodology

a. Questionnaires

KIN’s Local Community Organizers assigned in every barangay acted as the enumerators for the survey. Each of them conducted house-to-house interviews and asked the respondents through the aid of a 1-page questionnaire prepared by KIN. Questionnaires were written in the vernacular (Visayan) to be clearly understood by the respondents.

b. Sampling Procedure & Subject Respondents

Respondents are all residents of either in the buffer zone (sitio or villages) or in the center of the abovementioned barangays. A number of them (like in the case of Dalwangan) maintained at least two houses—one near the Poblacion or the highway, for the convenience of their children who to go to school, and another one in the buffer zone itself where they do farming. In such cases, they are not double-counted as respondents.

c. Data Processes & Analysis

All data gathered or questionnaires filled up by the enumerators were compiled and processed at the Protected Area Superintendent’s Office. Number codes were established to correspond to all responses as each of the reply was treated as a statistic. For instance, a code was assigned to information declared by the occupants (e.g. 1 – Farmer, 2 – Laborer, 3 – employee, etc). These codes were transferred and encoded in the computer to facilitate statistical analysis using SPSS 11.0 for Windows program.

Quantitative data were summarized through descriptive statistics. Thus, the report focuses on finding the average from a range of individual incomes among the various types of respondents. It also covers the relationship of the individual income to the average by changing the raw income to a standard income to give it more sense. From here, we can illustrate how an individual income in the group stands in reference to the others (Downie and Heath, 1983:4)

The analysis goes further by describing the incomes of the respondents across the six barangays. It also shows the correlation of the income with the occupation of respondents and the area they are presently cultivating to determine whether their occupation and land utilization practice affects their income status.

d. Constraints and Accuracy of Information

The census questionnaire does not contain data on the material belongings (e.g., electronic appliances, farm tools/equipment) of respondents which could serve as bases of their standard of living. Instead, information on income is based on respondents’ oral pronouncement of their estimated earnings. Likewise, respondents have no Income Tax Return forms that could be referred to during the interviews. Moreover, the data on area planted reported by claimants were not based on actual measurements but on their estimates. But the engagement of the LCOs, who are all tribal leaders in the locality, was a mechanism to ensure that the survey captured a more realistic account of their respondents most of whom they have known personally for a long time. In this manner, we assume that the research data stemmed from honest accounts and are not an exaggeration of their situation.

II. Brief Description of the Area

The Mt. Kitanglad Range Natural Park (MKRNP) has been declared as one of the most important biodiversity reserves in the country. It falls within the political jurisdiction of the Municipalities of Lantapan, Impasugong, Sumilao, Libona, Manolo Fortich, Baungon, and Talakag and the City of Malaybalay. These eight share boundaries at the summit. With an area of 47,270 hectares covering the north-central portion of the Province of Bukidnon, the protected area supports the best known vertebrate fauna and is a habitat of many endangered and economically important species of plants and animals. In addition, the site’s landscape has potentials for eco-tourism.


Likewise, Mt. Kitanglad is the headwater source of three major river systems, namely: Cagayan, Tagoloan and Pulangi Rivers, which support irrigation, hydropower and potable water systems.


On November 09, 2000, MKRNP became a full-fledged protected area through Republic Act 8978 otherwise known as the Mt. Kitanglad Protected Area Act of 2000. The park is managed by a multi-sectoral Protected Area Management Board (PAMB) and technical support is provided by the Office of the Protected Area Superintendent (PASu).

A. The Census Site

Four of the surveyed areas namely Dalwangan, Capitan Anghel, Imbayao and Mapayag are among the 46 barangays in the City of Malaybalay. This city occupies 108,259 hectares which is equivalent to 13.5% of the total land area of the province (KIN-CPPAP Handbook 1997). It sits on the eastern side of Bukidnon within the grid coordinates between 80 and 90 North Latitude and 1250 East Longitude. It is bounded in the north by Impasugong, south by San Fernando town and the City of Valencia, west by Lantapan and Mt. Kitanglad, and in the east by the Pantaron Ranges separating Bukidnon from the Provinces of Agusan del Sur and Davao del Norte. Malaybalay City is 91 kilometers south of Cagayan de Oro City. As of 2002, its total population is estimated at 123,672 individuals or 23,522 households (NSO Census 2002).

The two other areas are located in Lantapan which lies between Malaybalay and Valencia. It can be reached via barangay Aglayan, where the Sayre Highway intersects with the Bukidnon-Iligan Road. It is bounded in the north by Sumilao and Impasug-ong, East by Malaybalay, South by Valencia, and west by Talakag. Lantapan has a total area of 35,465 hectares comprising 14 barangays seven of which have portions within MKRNP’s buffer zones. It has a population of 42,383 or 7,880 households. Its land use is predominantly agricultural followed by forest and built-up areas and plantations. (Profile of Malaybalay City and Lantapan Municipality)

Below is a description of the surveyed barangays:

A. Malaybalay City Areas (4)

A.1 Barangay Dalwangan

Existing since 1913, Barangay Dalwangan is one of the barangays established during the American occupation. It has a total land area of 6, 825 hectares. Half of it is forest lands and the other parts are agricultural areas. Dalwangan can be accessed passing through National Sayre Highway. Based on the barangay profile, the present infrastructure and services available include solar drier, barangay office, barangay road, public comfort room, day care center, classroom benches, waiting shed, basketball court, barangay stage and multi-ride swing. All these facilities are located within the barangay proper.

The population of Dalwangan is composed of 4,172 individuals comprising 871 households. Of the total individual population, 2,192 are males and 1,920 are females (CRMF & NSO).

A.2 Barangay Capitan Angel

Barangay Capitan Angel is located at the foot of Mt. Kitanglad. The barangay was established in 1963. Its land area covers 3,500 hectares about 50% of which is classified as forestland and the rest are alienable and disposable lands. Population is pegged at 1,012 individuals or 192 households (NSO Census 2002). Moreover, it has an existing 18-kilometer road. Six kilometers is classified as city road, thus, its maintenance is shouldered by the city government. The barangay is maintaining the remaining 12 kilometers.

Residents make use of four motorcycles locally known as habal-habal as their means of transportation. A sole double-tired public utility jeepney is available only on Wednesdays and Fridays.

The presence of one public elementary school and a day care center helps to cater to the education needs of the community. Meanwhile, two health workers, one barangay nutrition scholar and one midwife provide basic health services to the residents. (Barangay Development Plan 2004-2008)

A.3 Barangay Imbayao

By virtue of RA 2370, Barangay Imbayao was established in 1955. It can be reached by using single motorcycles passing through gravel and dirt roads. It has an area of 2,465 hectares, most of which are agricultural and formerly dominated by corn and vegetables. At present, however, the area has been transformed into a landscape of agroforestry sites with various crops planted using contour farming methods. It is now one of the model sites in MKRNP showcasing conservation farming that balances economic security and ecological integrity.

The barangay’s topography is a combination of plain, hilly and mountainous areas. It is bounded in the north by Capt. Angel, in the north by Sitio Calabasahon of Mapayag, in the east by Malaybalay and in the west by MKRNP particularly Mounts Apolang and Lunayon. The average elevation is 622 meters above sea level (masl). The soil types are Adtuyon clay and clay loam. In terms of surface water, Barangay Imbayao is surrounded by the Imbayao and Kalabasahon Creeks. NSO’s 2000 census says the barangay had a total population of 987 individuals or 174 households. (Barangay Profile).

A.4 Barangay Mapayag

The word Mapayag means “several small houses.” (Historical Background, Barangay Dev’t. Plan 2004-2008) It was established in 1960 through Provincial Board Resolution 300-60. It has a total land area of 2,782 hectares, mostly forest lands. The total land area devoted to agriculture is 385 hectares. It is bounded in the north by Imbayao, in the south by Capitan Juan, in the east by Barangay Magsaysay (Malaybalay) and in the west by Kaatuan.

The barangay has a total population of 894 individuals or 169 households. There is one public elementary school.

Barangay Mapayag is generally peaceful even if there is no police presence. Civilian volunteers are the ones maintaining peace and order. The Lupon Tagapayapa recorded from 1998 to 2002 only 3 cases of criminal charges (Barangay Dev’t. Plan 2004-2008)

B. Lantapan Areas (2)

B.1 Barangay Capitan Juan

Republic Act 4787 created Barangay Capitan Juan on June 18, 1968. The barangay has six puroks with a total land area of 1,798 hectares, all classified as alienable and disposable. The area’s average elevation is 2,150 masl, its terrain comprising mountains (25%), hills (40%) and plains (35%). It is bounded in the north by Malaybalay, south by Barangay Bantuanon of Lantapan, east by Barangay Bugcaon, Lantapan and west by Kaatoan.

Dialects predominantly used in the area are Binukid and Cebuano considering that 50% of its residents belong to the Talaandig tribe and the rest are migrants. There are 284 households or 1,574 individuals based on NSO’s 2000 Census. They plant corn, potatoes and leafy vegetables. There are no agricultural facilities in the area.

Barangay Capitan Juan is 16 kilometers away from the national highway and 22 kilometers from Malaybalay City (Barangay Development Plan 2006-2010).

B.2 Barangay Kaatuan

Aside from its watershed status, Barangay Kaatoan is also famous for its Cinchona Forest Reserve where a nesting site of the Philippine eagle is often sighted. This spot is one of the sites monitored since 1997 for its rich biodiversity. It is 43 kilometers away from the provincial capital and has a land area of 3,265 hectares divided into four sitios predominantly inhabited by the Bukidnon and Talaandig tribes. It is endowed with rich clay loam planted with corn, coffee, abaca and potatoes. The barangay is 28 kilometers away from the Sayre Highway and can be reached through a graveled road that passes through Crossing Alanib. It is bounded in the north by Aglayan River, south and west by Barangay Alanib and East by Lantapan proper. The barangay’s population is 1,404 individuals or 272 households (NSO Census 2002).

III. Socio Economic Profile

A. Respondents

A total of 166 households were surveyed in the six barangays. Imbayao and Capitan Juan have the highest number of HH interviewed (32 HH or 19.3%).

Based on the 1998 census there were no actual occupants in several barangays of MKRNP including Kaatoan. The claimants there were called either absentee or transient. This survey, however, revealed that Kaatoan ranks second in terms of the number of HH interviewed (31 HH) followed by Mapayag (30 HH), Dalwangan (28 HH) and Capt. Angel (13 HH).

B. Family Size

Majority of the HHs have family members of 4 (16.9%) and 8 (16.3%). Apparently, very few of the households can be considered as small-sized (1-3 members) as most of them have between 4 (16.9%) and 10 (10.8%) members.

The average HH size is 6.27 persons with a minimum of 1 member (2.4%) and a maximum of 11 members (1.8%) in a family. Using the census data obtained eight years ago by RIMCU as baseline, there is an increase of population in Mt. Kitanglad’s buffer zone. The previous average of 5.57 persons per HH has increased to 6.27 persons at present.

C. Range of Income

Among the 166 HH, the highest monthly income reported is 12,000.00 (0.6%). This is found in Dalwangan. The lowest income reported is 500 (0.6%) and coming from Capt. Angel. The mean income is PhP2,732.172.

The recorded highest and lowest monthly incomes are PhP12,000.00 (1 HH or 0.6%) and PhP500.00 (1 HH), respectively, with a mean of PhP2,732.172. By percentage ranking, 27 HH or 16.3% declared that they earned P3,000.00/month, followed by 18 HH (10.8%) who said that they earned only P1,000.00/month; 10.2% of them or 17 HH earned PhP2,000.00/month and 16 HH or 9.6% earned P2,500.00/month. On the other hand, there are three data gaps labeled as “missing system”, which means that three HH did not declare their income.

Income per Barangay. Below are the income data per barangay, to wit:

Ø Out of the total 28 HH respondents in Dalwangan, the highest and lowest incomes are P1,500.00 and P12,000.00 per month, respectively. The mean income is P3,310.00.

Ø In Mapayag the lowest income is P1,000.00 and the highest is P10,000.00. The mean income among the 30 respondent HH is P2,446.67.

Ø In Imbayao the lowest and highest incomes of the surveyed 32 HH are P1,150.00 and P5,700.00, respectively with a mean of P2,786.38.

Ø Barangay Capitan Anghel has 13 HH respondents only with a mean income of P1,053.85. The lowest and highest incomes are P500.00 and P2,500.00, respectively.

Ø Among the 32 respondent HH in Kapitan Juan, the lowest and highest incomes are P1,200.00 and P4,000.00, respectively. The mean income is P2,921.88. Meanwhile, in Kaatoan (31 HH respondents) the lowest income is P875.00, the highest is P10,650.00 and the mean income is P2,674.19.

D. Occupation and Productivity

The occupants of Mt. Kitanglad’s buffer zone are engaged in various economic activities as sources of their material needs and subsistence. Of the 166 HH, 123 (74.1%) declared that their main source of income is farming, 30 HH (18.1%) depend on being laborers, 9 HH (5.4%) are receiving salary as employees, 2 HH (1.2%) earn by working as drivers, and 1 HH (0.6 %) declared that they get their income from sewing and selling goods (sari sari store).

Area Claimed

As stated in the early part of this document, data on land claims declared by respondents are based not on actual measurements but on their estimates. The data revealed that 34 HH (20.5%) claimed having a 1-hectare area, 7 HH (16.3%) claimed 2 hectares each and 15 HH (9%) claimed 6 hectares. Only one household declared 50 hectares of land, the biggest area claimed, and 7 HH (4.2%) said that they have only one-fourth hectare, the smallest size of area declared. The average area claimed is 3.2190 hectares.

There is a missing system of 16 HH (9.6%). This is due to the pronouncement of some respondents that they have no area claimed; instead, they leased the land for a short period of time.

a. Area Cultivated

Most of the cultivated areas are smaller than the area claimed. The average size of cultivation is 1.4897 hectares. Forty-four HH (26.5%) cultivated one hectare each, followed by 23 HH (13.9%) who cultivated one-half hectare each and 18 HH (10.8%) who cultivated 2 hectares each. The smallest land area cultivated is one-fourth hectare (12 HH or 7.2%) and the biggest is 9 hectares declared by only 1 HH (0.6%). Analogous to the information on area claimed, there are data on cultivated lands constituting 15.1% or 25 HH labeled as missing system. Such result may be attributed to the non-pronouncement of respondents regarding the size of area cultivated, although they declared that their main source of income is farming.

Summary & Conclusion

The main goal of the survey (RSES) is to determine changes in the standard of living of Mt. Kitanglad’s communities since the implementation of several external assistance projects facilitated by KIN and PASu from 1999-2006. (On the part of KIN there was a lull of three years, 2002-2004.) These projects include the World Bank’s non-destructive livelihood projects that were implemented from 1999-2002; these were followed by some initiatives of local government units (like in Barangay Imbayao and Kaatuan) which were solely facilitated by the PASu. KIN revived its operations with a successor project through Broederlijk Delen starting in 2005 and implemented in the same barangays covered by the survey.

The survey results revealed considerable differences in data. Barangay Kaatoan ranks second in terms of having the highest number of HH ((31 HH or 18.7%) interviewed in contrast to the 1998 census that reported “there was no actual occupant in several barangays of MKRNP including Kaatoan, Lantapan; its claimants were called absentee/transient.” Likewise, there is an increase of population in Mt. Kitanglad bufferzone from an average HH size of 5.57 persons to 6.27 persons at present.

The average monthly income also increased compared to what was reported in the previous census. The average monthly income is PhP 2, 732.172.

Farming activity ranks as the primary source of income and subsistence. As stated earlier, data on land claims declared by respondents were based not on actual measurements but on their estimates. Data gaps labeled as missing system on land claims (16 HH or 9.6%) and cultivated areas (15.1% or 25 HH) are recognized. The logical assumption for these missing entries is that they may be due to the pronouncement of respondents that they have no area claimed and the non-pronouncement of respondents regarding the size of area cultivated although they declared that their main source of income is farming.