The Samahan ng Nagkakaisang Kababaihan at Mangingisda (SNKMB) ng Sitio Bucana was established on June 19, 2016, in Sitio Bucana, Brgy. San Jose, Roxas, Oriental Mindoro. It was duly registered in the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) almost a year later. The association composed of 30 members whose primary income is fishing, opted for an alternative source of income since fishing is a seasonal activity. Hence, they engaged themselves in training and seminars on food processing such as longganisa, embotido, tinapa, salted egg, boneless bangus, and kamias candy. Participating in these training activities has helped them greatly in providing the needs of their families.
It was in 2018 when the SLPA received a livelihood grant of Php450.000.00 from the DSWD SLP. The Sustainable Livelihood Program Association (SLPA) utilized the capital fund following their proposed project – poultry raising. Since then, the SLPA solely focused on poultry raising.
During its first year of operation under SLP, the enterprise ran smoothly and was earning well. Unexpectedly, the pandemic weakened all means of income sources of the SLPA – poultry raising, fishing, and food processing.
Fueled by the eagerness to sustain the operation of the enterprise while hungrily eyeing continuous learning and improvement, some of the members focused more on managing and monitoring their poultry-raising project while others attended training and seminars in goods processing facilitated by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
Maximizing the opportunity to participate in various training activities to further enhance their knowledge, skills, and abilities that would be relevant in sustaining their current livelihood or even establishing a new venture, the SLPA was provided financial assistance worth Php221,850.00 from the DOLE in January 2020. It was also intended to rehabilitate the poultry project and start broiler raising. With the commitment to sustain the said projects, desire for continuous learning, and as a registered association, the SLPA was then selected as the beneficiary of the Provincial Tourism, Investment, and Enterprise Development Office (PTIEDO) and the Provincial Government of Oriental Mindoro (PGOM). They were granted funds amounting to Php65,000.00 as initial capital for a floating cottage or kayak.
For the past years, the members of the SLPA actively participated in various training and seminars, such as Business Proposal Workshop, School-on-the-Air (SOA) Program on Dairy Farming, Digital Farmers, Livelihood Training Program, Aquatecture or Aquaprenuership under entrepreneurial skills development, Quality System Principles, Virtual Training for Molobicus Tilapia, and Biodiversity Friendly Enterprises Workshop. These were facilitated by the DOLE, Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Agricultural Training Institute (ATI), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Offices (PENRO), AGRITEKTURA, and Gender and Development (GAD) Program. Because of this active participation, the SLPA was recognized for their outstanding cooperation and magnanimous contribution to furthering the purposes and principles of Workers’ Organization Development Program (WODP) Training under the DOLE Oriental Mindoro Field Office in 2019.
It also received a “Community-based Sustainable Tourism Organization Local Tourism Stakeholders Excellence Award” in 2021, which was presented by the Provincial Government of Oriental Mindoro.
Last July 13, 2021, the SNKMB SLPA was provided with livelihood financial assistance from the collaborative efforts of DOST MIMAROPA and Agritektura to initiate a community-based smart aquaculture project. This intensive fish and shrimp production technology would provide a sustainable source of income for the members for the three harvesting seasons per year. It would benefit the members through direct selling of fresh seafood or value-adding.
A year later, the SLPA was selected as a supplier of fish and meat to the DSWD MIMAROPA Youth Center (MYC) located at Bansud, Oriental Mindoro. The SNKMB SLPA has successfully provided an amount of more than a hundred thousand worth of fish and meat to MYC. Until now, it continuously provides and sells 45-day chickens and fresh seafood to their identified “suki”. Considering all the implemented livelihood programs supported by the DSWD SLP and other partnered agencies, they had a profit sharing of almost Php20,000.00 from the start of their SLP project.
SNKMB SLPA greatly expresses its gratitude to DSWD SLP as it serves as the foundation of all livelihood assistance provided to them. In return, the members ensure to optimize all the available resources to elevate their socio-economic status. They also commit to helping the community. They participated in the recycling of plastic wastes, mangrove assessment, Sitio Bucana feeding program, clean up coastal drive, and even initiated community services. ##
Written by Mary Rose Aguado (DSWD-SLP Oriental Mindoro Project Development Officer II), 4th Place in the Sibol Story: SLP Feature Writing Contest