Rural Resettlement, Community Satisfaction and Migration: A case study of the Narra Settlement Project

by Aurora E. Perez, Master of Arts in Demography (1984)

An analysis of statistics on usual residence from the censuses during the period 1960 to 1975 allowed a historical review of the general trends and patterns of internal migration in the Philippines. The more focused study of population movements between the rural; and urban sectors presented substantial evidence on the significant role of government-sponsored intra-rural movements in the sixties. Furthermore, resettlement migration was shown to be relatively effective in averting urbanward migration, most often viewed as a prominent source of an uneven spatial distribution of population.

In combination with data from the Bureau of Rural Resettlement, the net contribution of the rural-rural resettlement migration to population change at the national and regional level. When viewed against total migration, the volume of resettlement migration appeared of no consequence.

An in-depth survey of settlers in Narra Resettlement Project located in the province of Palawan provided information on the determinants and consequences of rural resettlement as well as on the retaining capacity of the resettlement, measured by migration satisfaction. The study indicated that no more than anything, the prospects of land ownership fueled most of the migrants to Narra. It likewise upheld that officially-sponsored migrant settlers are more successful than spontaneous migrant settlers attracted to the area.

Factor analysis of the survey data underscored the importance of community facilities as the lead factor in the individual settlers’ feeling of satisfaction with his residential location at the time of the survey. Most of the settlers did not have any migration plans since most of them were generally satisfied. It appears reasonable then to attribute to the rural resettlement program the capacity to keep people in the countryside which can, in the long run, result to a more desirable pattern of spatial distribution of population.

All in all, the study presents statistical basis for a fairly uncontroversial thesis that migration, a dynamic demographic process, is closely intertwined with rural development. The attempt to sort out linkages between population and development set out by the study clearly produced additional knowledge about the complicated interrelationship between population parameters and human well-being.