The NCI-SRD is a government strategy of the DA-DAR-DENR-DILG as the four main rural development agencies operating under Joint Administrative Order No. 01, series of 2020, “Revised DA-DAR-DENR-DILG JAO No. 1, series of 2015 (Strengthening the Implementation Framework for the DA-DAR-DENR-DILG NCI-SRD)”. It is a response to the fragmented delivery of rural development services towards improved governance and optimized use of resources through a watershed and major river basin management and rehabilitation.

The convergence initiative is operationalized in convergence areas through a Convergence Area Development Plan (CADP). Interventions shall focus on smallholder farmers (both agrarian reform beneficiaries or non-ARBS), fisherfolk, upland dwellers, and indigenous peoples (IPs) using the ridge-to-reef approach as the framework for its interventions.

Ridge-to-reef approach is defined as holistic, collaborative, multiple-use, and sustainable management of all resources within the watershed. It takes into account the human interventions in the forest and upland areas and their impact on lowland areas as well as coastal and marine areas.

A convergence area is a physical area where the convergence initiative is implemented. It is identified based on selection criteria, proposed by the LGU, and approved by the National Steering Committee (NSC).

The NCI-SRD has a defined constituency which are the smallholder farmers (both ARBs and non-ARBs), fisherfolk, upland dwellers and IPs.

NCI-SRD as a government strategy (and not program) does not have a dedicated budget but instead utilizes existing funds of the programs or projects of the four (4) Departments. The accomplishments, both physical and financial targets, are based on attribution.

The National Convergence Strategy (NCS) SRD Bill is currently being deliberated in the lower house to institutionalize the convergence strategy. The NCS-SRD bill is yet to have a Senate version for it to be deliberated in the upper house.

Projects are proposed through the Convergence Area Development Plan (CADP) of the LGUs in the approved convergence area. The CADP is a five-year development plan that outlines the proposed complementation of Programs/ Activities/ Projects among the DA-DAR-DENR-DILG and other partner agencies. The interventions in the convergence areas are based on the framework of ridge-to-reef approach / watershed management.

You may directly coordinate with your respective Regional Convergence Initiative Technical Working Group (DA-DAR-DENR-DILG Regional Offices) to know more.

The following are the model convergence areas per island groups:

Island GroupRegionConvergence AreaWatershed coveredAreas covered
LuzonBicolPili Watershed Convergence AreaPili WatershedCastilla, Sorsogon
VisayasCentral VisayasCarood Watershed Convergence AreaCarood WatershedAnda, Ubay, Alicia, Candijay, Guindulman, Pilar, and Mabini, Bohol
MindanaoDavaoSuawan Kulafu Subwatershed Convergence AreaSuawan-Kulafu SubwatershedMarilog District, Davao City

Among the felt impacts of the convergence projects are:

  1. Decrease in poverty incidence in Pili Watershed Convergence Area from 41.3% (before convergence) to 32.4% (during convergence).
  2. Increase in rice production in Carood Watershed Convergence Area from 80 cavans per ha (before convergence) to 180 cavans per ha  (during convergence).
  3. Increase in cacao production in Suawan Kulafu Subwatershed Convergence Area from 342 kg per ha (before convergence) to 440 kg per ha (during convergence).