Archive | Sustainable Livelihood Program

The Inspiring Ride of Mighty Mc Dommel: Student-Turned-Instructor of San Teodoro

“Noong bata ako, hindi ko napapansin na may kapansanan ako. Noon na lamang po na lumalaki ako hindi na ako sinasali sa mga field demonstration. Nakikita ko ‘yung mga kaklase ko sumasali sa street dancing,” narrated the 34-year old Mc Dommel Aldaba of San Teodoro, Oriental Mindoro.

Mc Dommel was stricken by poliomyelitis or polio, an infectious viral disease that can cause foot deformities or worse permanent paralysis, at nine months old. Being the firstborn of the family, his parents feared for his condition. They were clueless how it happened and why it had to be their son to be affected. They weren’t prepared for the medication. More than that, they were never emotionally prepared for the possibility of their son being bullied in the future. “Hindi naman po ako nakaranas ng sobrang pambu-bully. Noon na lamang po na nag-highschool ako, hatid sundo ako ng tatay ko. ‘Dun ako nakaranas na ma-bully. Kaya ‘dun ako nag-aral magbike. ‘Yung tatay ko kasi laging nasasangkot sa gulo dahil nawi-witness niya ‘yung pambu-bully sa akin. Nakakapanakit siya ng estudyante kaya nagpursigi talaga ako mag-aral magbike,” said Mc Dommel.

Mc Dommel started to feel the effect of polio during his adolescence period. “Hindi na po kinakaya ng binti ko ‘yung upper body weight kaya nananakit na mga tuhod ko ‘nun,” he narrated. He consulted a doctor if he needed to use crutches, but his doctor did not allow him since it may cause muscle buildup, leading to heavier upper body weight. Instead, he was advised to continue biking as a form of leg exercise. He has already traveled using his bike from San Teodoro to Puerto Galera, which has a distance of approximately 21 kilometers. “Sinet ko na sa isip ko na kelangan patuloy ko gamitin ‘yung binti ko. Na-res earch ko na ‘yung mga nalulumpo dahil sa aksidente kaya lumiliit mga binti nila kasi hindi nila nagagamit. Nagkakaroon ng muscle loss. Para ma-delay ang process, kelangan mag-exercise. Biking lang talaga hanggang maaari every three days na long ride. Malaking bagay. Dati nakakarami ako ng pahinga then eventually nakayanan ko na derecho na walang pahinga dahan-dahan lang para ‘di mabigla,” he said.

Mc Dommel completed a two-year course in Calapan City, an associate degree in Technology major in Electronics. “After gumraduate, nasimulan naman po itong aming negosyo kaya kulang po ang maghapon para makapag-entertain pa ako ng mga repairs,” he narrated. “Actually hindi po ako aware na may ganyang program [skills training] dahil abala po ako dito sa kabuhayan namin, sa paggawa ng pork barbecue. From morning to evening, gawa lang po kami ng gawa dito. Bukas po ang tindahan namin sa hapon,” he shared. Then one day, the secretary of the focal person of Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) in San Teodoro informed him that there was an opening of training on electronics. He applied for it and successfully became a trainee.

Mc Dommel, along with 26 other participants in the first batch, trained for 33 days under the Wellcare Institute of Science and Technology (WIST), the official partner and service provider of SLP. His skills expanded when he became a trainee of SLP. He learned product assembly, power supply, troubleshooting, and CCTV installation. “Nung nag-aaral po kasi ako more on troubleshooting lang kami. ‘Nung nag-EPAS ako, dun lang po ako na-expose. Mas nahimay po sakin ‘yung detalye. Although may background po ako sa electronics bago sumali sa SLP, marami pa din ang naging bago sa aking experience dahil matagal din akong hindi nakapag-practice,” he shared.

Student-Turned-Instructor in an Instant

Mc Dommel recounted how he felt before graduating. “Noong matatapos na po ang training namin, ibinalita na po sa amin na lahat ng trainees after makalusot sa medical exam ay made-deploy as OJTs sa Laguna. Nalungkot po ako noon dahil ‘yung mga classmates ko made-deploy as OJT tapos ako balik dito,” shared Mc Dommel.

Right after receiving his Electronics and Product Assembly Servicing National Certificate II (EPAS NC II), WIST offered him a teaching position as an assistant instructor for the succeeding batches of EPAS which he gladly accepted. He did not expect this kind of opportunity to come his way. “Naging napakabilis ng flow of events kasi trainee biglang naging instructor. ‘Nung una may kasamang kaba dahil first time ko po made-deploy sa malayo. Sa Mansalay. Bale mga 100 kilometers po ang layo mula sa San Teodoro. Ang training period ay 33 days,” he narrated. His first teaching class included out-of-school youths, undergraduates, and housewives. After this batch, WIST offered another assignment to him in Pangasinan where he worked for almost four months.

Mc Dommel expressed his sincerest gratitude for giving him the opportunity to grow in his chosen career. “Napakalaking bagay po as experience aside po sa nagkaroon ako ng additional skills ay nagkaroon din po ako ng pagkakataon na makapagturo sa mga bata, mga out-of-school youth, nagkaroon po ng mga bagong kaibigan sa ibat-ibang lugar, at higit sa lahat ay nakatulong sa pamilya,” he said when asked on the impact of the program to his life.

More that these, he became more involved in the community. He has explored his leadership skills. “Hindi ako aware sa samahan, hindi talaga ako mahilig maki-involve sa mga community activities hanggang sa na-appoint ako na president ng PWD dito sa barangay namin. Lately lang ako nagiging active. Nayaya ako ng focal person namin na umattend sa Calapan sa assembly ng mga PWD sa kapitolyo,” he said.

This opportunity helped Mc Dommel to save some amount of money. Also, he was able to buy things he needed for his condition such as cane. “Yung tungkod na ginagamit ko po ay pahiram lang sa’kin ni Madam Makiss [DSWD staff]. ‘Nung nakaipon-ipon po nakabili na din ako ng sarili kong tungkod,” Mc Dommel narrated. He was also able to save some money since he started as an instructor.

Sustainable Livelihood Program provides access to employment opportunities to people like Mc Dommel who belongs to the disadvantaged sector of the society. Mc Dommel represents people with disabilities who do not succumb to their condition, rather push their limits to become better at what they do. ###

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DSWD Beneficiaries Conduct Product Display on ‘Semana Santa’

Gasan, Marinduque – In line with the celebration of the Holy Week, beneficiaries of the Department of Social Welfare and Development in MIMAROPA, particularly Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program and Sustainable Livelihood Program, put up a booth for the conduct of product display in the municipality. Through the help of the local government unit and Municipal Action Team of Gasan, they were able to showcase their handmade products. They have targeted the tourists who came to experience and witness the famous Moriones Lenten Rites.

All products were consolidated and displayed on April 15, 2019, the opening ceremony of various booths across the municipality. SLP and 4Ps staff worked together to make this activity possible. This has also been assessed as an opportunity to showcase the skills and creativity of the beneficiaries.

Some of the items which have been displayed in the booth are products from the previous activity of 4Ps in relation to saving the environment. These include recycled bags, throw pillows made of plastic, and flowers made of plastic bottles. This initiative provides a possible market for their products to be noticed by potential buyers and partners. There were also nito and bamboo products such as placemats, kitchen utensil holders, food cover, and baskets which can be personalized upon request to the beneficiaries.

Holy Week celebration, having a high-foot traffic, is a strategic opportunity for the marketing of products of the beneficiaries. For the past few years, this has been a week to capacitate them so they can be ready for the whole business operation in the future. ###



Pamela Ligas, Project Development Officer II, Marinduque

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Massage on the Beach: A Sustainable Livelihood for a Working Mom

“Dito kasi sa trabaho ko, hawak ko ang oras ko. Hindi naman kasi lahat ng gustong magtrabaho ay applicable sa kanila ‘yung sabihin mong normal na office hours. Tulad ko na mayroong tatlong anak, hindi kakayanin ng oras ko na magfull-time lalo at nagtatrabaho din ang asawa ko. Walang mag-aasikaso sa mga anak namin. Kailangang gumawa ako ng paraan kung paano ako kikita na hindi napapabayaan ang mga anak ko. Naging posible ‘yan nang makapag-training ako sa SLP,” said Daisy Masendo, a Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) beneficiary and a massage therapist in Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro.Despite the fact that a large number of Filipinos out-migrate to earn for a living, many Filipinos like Daisy still choose to settle in the country to seek for job opportunities even if the income is way lower, sometimes do not offer enough compensation. This manifests that priorities and considerations vary among individuals. In Daisy’s case, she has to find a job that has flextime and near her house so she can still take good care of her children. Wish granted for her when she entered SLP.

Daisy, 36 years old, works as a massage therapist for more than a year in White Beach Resort, a modest beach front in Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro. Back in January 2018, she was given an opportunity to be a trainee on massage therapy through the intervention of SLP. Even before getting her National Certificate (NC) II, she was already accepting massage services along with her sisters who are also therapists. “May araw talaga na kahit maraming tao wala talagang gustong magpamasahe. Pag walang massage, nagbe-braid na lang,” she narrated.

“Dito sa Puerto [Galera], mayroon kaming asosasyon ng lahat ng masahista. Dati higit sa isandaan kami pero ‘yung iba tumigil na kaya 80 na lang kami ngayon,” narrated Daisy. “Isang requirement ng asosasyon ay ‘yung magsuot kami ng uniform, may color coding bawat araw para makilala kami na kapag nakasuot kami ng ganitong uniform eh malaman na lehitimong masahista kami dito. Pagkakakilanlan kumbaga,” she added. They apply for business permit worth Php 550.00 in the barangay yearly. They are also required to have sets of uniform for a week.

Daisy starts her day at six o’clock in the morning. She walks around the beach yelling “Sir, Ma’am, pa-massage na po kayo. Pa-braid po kayo,” while holding a piece of laminated catalog of various braided hairstyles where customers can choose from. This is her everyday script to ask for customers to avail the massage and braid services she offers. She usually wraps up the day at five in the afternoon and rushes her way home to prepare for dinner. “Pag peak season at maraming nagpapamasahe e 12 am na ako umuuwi. Sinasamantala ko lang yung pagkakataon na maraming customer at bibihira lang naman ito. Kelangan kumayod,” she said. During this season, she can accommodate ten customers for the whole day. The hourly rate of massage for Filipinos is 300.00 and 500.00 for foreigners since they have bigger body built. She provides for the beach towel, scrub suit, massage oil, alcohol, and sphygmomanometer for the customer.

“Hawak ko oras ko. Pupunta ako ng umaga [sa beach] tapos uuwi ng gabi. Malapit lang naman bahay namin dito. May time ako makapag-asikaso ng anak kaysa aalis pa para mag-abroad. Mas pinili ko ito dahil walang amo. Sakin lang ang kita ko,” she answered when asked about her reasons for choosing a job with a flexible schedule. “May araw na hindi ako pwede lumabas dahil kelangan ko mag-alaga ng bata, mag-asikaso. Tapos ‘pag may tumawag eh isa o dalawang oras lang naman, ihahabilin ko muna ang bata. Kung may amo ako eh hindi pwede. Ang nag-aalaga ay ‘yung anak kong panganay na 13 years old. Naturuan ko naman paano mag-alaga. Papakainin lang naman basta may luto na kaya na nila,” she added. Daisy stressed the importance of instilling independence to her children at a very young age especially that they are working parents. “Yung asawa ko naman eh ang trabaho niya nasa malapit lang. kapag break sinisilip-silip niya. Sanay sanay lang kelangan matuto at nagtatrabaho parehas kaming mag-asawa,” she explained.

“Yung kita nagagamit sa pagkain, baon ng estudyante, bayarin tulad ng kuryente at tubig, pati hulog sa card. Kapag mahirap ka, doon lang naman talaga umiikot ang kita mo eh,” Daisy enumerated where she uses her income from massage. Having another source of income helped the family provide for their daily expenses.

Daisy also explained the importance of resource allotment for a job like hers with no fixed income per month. “Ang sistema eh ‘yung araw na marami kang kinita e titipirin mo ‘yun para sa mga araw na wala kang kita. Sariling pagtitipid. Ikaw na lang ang magba-budget. Hindi ‘yung ubos-ubos biyaya. Kunyari kumita ka ng malaki ngayon, bibilhin ko na lahat ng pangangailangan tulad ng grocery, pagkain, mga basic needs. Tapos kunyari kinabukasan eh kumita ulit ako, ilalaan ko naman para sa school ng bata. Sa gantong paraan, hindi na ako mamomroblema kasi may bigas na, may pang-ulam na,” she expounded.

Also, Daisy and her co-workers make sure to contribute to the maintenance of the beach. Their association, along with the barangay officials, signed a resolution pertaining to the cleanliness of the beach. “Para makatulong sa kalinisan ng beach, yung asosasyon namin eh may regulation na dapat lahat ng masahista ay mag-contribute ng 100.00 sa loob ng tatlong buwan para magbayad sa tagalinis ng beach. Ito ay usapan kasama ang barangay, tulong sa pagpapanatili ng linis ng lugar,” she explained.

The story of Daisy proves that the program is true to its objective to create an enabling environment for accessing income-generating opportunities to address basic needs, thereby improving the socio-economic well-being of its participants. “Malaking tulong ang SLP dahil napagkakakitaan ko talaga lahat ng natutunan ko sa training. Hindi nasayang ang ginastos sa akin ng gobyerno,” Daisy said. ###

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DSWD MAT Boac participates in Marinduque Expo 2019

As part of convergence initiatives, the Municipal Action Team of Boac is currently participating in Marinduque Expo 2019 held on April 14-21, 2019 in Moriones Arena in Boac. The provincial government, along with the Department of Trade and Industry, conducts the exposition as part of the yearly celebration of Moriones Festival. The expo, which started in 1998, aims to promote the products of Marinduque during Lent.

During the Parent Leaders’ meeting, MAT Boac conducted an initial consultation with Pantawid beneficiaries for the consolidation of data on existing products in the municipality. Bangbangalon Consumers Cooperative, the leading Sustainable Livelihood Program Association in Boac, attended and gave their full commitment to the initiative. They consolidated all the products of the beneficiaries and manned the booth during the expo. Other associations that participated were the Federation of Marinduque Agriculture Cooperatives (FEMACO) and Tanikala ng Pagkakaisa Multi-Purpose Cooperative.

According to Ezra Mae Reforma, MAT BOAC member, initiatives like this provide an avenue for Pantawid beneficiaries to showcase their skills in cooking, handicraft making, and others. Also, the activity has provided a market for the products, contributing to the objective to attain sustainability. “One of the problems encountered in this livelihood project is the lack of market opportunity and advertising skills to market their products. Because of this initiative, beneficiaries will have an access to market for their products and provide additional income to the members. The Bangbangalon Consumers Cooperative plans to establish this kind of initiative as their primary business and be the first SLP Association to consolidate different DSWD-assisted products in Marinduque. This will be more possible with the aid of different government agencies such as DTI, Marinduque State College, Department of Agrarian and Reform, and Local Government Units.” she added.

“It is tiring but indeed joyful to do this kind of business. It is our first time engaging in retail business, selling not only our products but also the products of other beneficiaries. We also learned how to deal with different type of customers,” shared Annielor Lamoc, Chairperson of Bangbangalon Consumers Cooperative.

This activity aims to promote the products and showcase the stories behind. Through their participation in similar activities, they show that they are proactive and not dependent on the grant received by the program.



John Paul Abaincia, Project Development Officer, Marinduque

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Ang Wonder Nanay ng Torrijos

Sa bayan ng Torrijos sa Marinduque ay payak na naninirahan ang pamilya ni Aida Rogelio. Si Aida, 52 taong gulang, ay mayroong limang anak sa asawang si Angelito, 57 taong gulang. Ang kanyang pamilya ay kasama sa bilang ng mga maituturing na mahihirap sa probinsya ng Marinduque. Si Aida ay mayroong kondisyon na tinatawag na orthopedic disability o kapansanan sa buto dulot ng pagkahulog sa tulay noong taong 2006 na nagresulta sa isang seryosong operasyon. Si Angelito naman ay mayroon Retrograde Amnesia o pagkawala ng memorya sa mga pangyayaring naganap na dulot ng stroke noong 2014.

Sa kalagayan ng kalusugan ng mag-asawa, hindi maikakaila na nakararanas ng labis na kahirapan ang pamilya. Dagdag pa sa gastusin ng pamilya ang gamot. Wala ng kakayahan si Angelito na maghanapbuhay kung kaya’t si Aida na ang tumayong haligi ng tahanan. Bagama’t mayroon ding iniindang kapansanan, hindi ito naging hadlang upang makapagbanat ng buto ang masigasig na ina. Siya ay nagtatrabaho bilang kasambahay, labandera, magsasaka, at tagapag-alaga ng hayop na ibebenta sa palengke. “Palagi na sumasakit yung opera ko sa hips. Nung nagpadoktor ako, kelangan ko na daw ulit magpaopera. Pero sabi ko sa sarili ko e nakakalakad pa naman ako kaya dinidisregard ko na lang ang sakit hangga’t kaya pa namang tiisin. Yung pera imbis na sa gamot e sa pag-aaral na lang ng mga anak ko. Sila talaga ang priority ko,” ani Aida.

Simula nang magkasakit si Angelito, nagkaroon ng malaking pagbabago sa pag-uugali nito. “Pag galit yan, hindi mo talaga mapigilan. Lahat damay. Nung nagkasakit, naging sobrang tigas ng ulo. Nakukuha pang mag-bisyo, mag-inom at manigarilyo kahit na bawal sa kanya,” kwento ni Aida. “Nagpapakahirap ako magtrabaho, lahat ng pwede pasukin na trabaho sinusubukan ko para lang makaipon ng pampagamot sa kanya tapos ipangbibisyo lang. Basta ngayon, ang mga anak ko talaga ang priority ko. Kung ano kailangan nila dapat maibigay ko,” dagdag niya.

Katuwang ni Aida sa paghahanapbuhay ang kanyang panganay na anak na si Gizelle, 23 taong gulang, nagtatrabaho bilang production operator sa Maynila. Ang ikalawa naman na si Ghieanamae, isang Expanded Students’ Grants-in-Aid Program for Poverty Alleviation (ESGPPA) scholar ng Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, ay graduating student sa kursong Education. Ang tatlong anak na sina Gladys, Ghielyn, at Gellian ay nasa ika-labindalawa, ika-siyam, at ika-anim na baitang. Ang lahat ng kanyang mga anak ay kanyang itinataguyod na makatapos ng pag aaral sapagkat naniniwala siya na ito ang daan upang magkaroon sila ng maayos na buhay. “Ayoko na maranasan ng mga magiging apo ko ang kahirapan na dinanas ng mga anak ko kaya ako nagsusumikap na mapagtapos sila,” sambit niya.

Lubos naman ang paghanga ng kanyang mga anak sa kanya dahil sa kabila ng kanyang kapansanan, naitataguyod pa din niya ang kanyang malaking pamilya. Nagpapasalamat din ang mga kapatid ni Aida sapagkat nagkaroon sila ng ate na tumatayong ama’t ina sa kanila. Ayon sa kanyang kapatid, inuuwi pa ni Aida ang kanyang pagkain mula sa dinaluhang training upang ibigay sa kanilang magkakapatid.

Si Aida ang tumatayong sekretarya ng Magandang Buhay SLP Association sa ilalim ng proyektong Chicken Broiler Production na nagsimula noong Marso 2018. “Masaya ako na makita na nagagamit sa dapat paglaanan ang pondong ibinigay sa akin ng SLP. Meron kasing iba dyan na sa tindi ng pangangailangan ay ginagamit sa ibang bagay. Ang mapapayo ko sa mga kasapi ng asosasyon, pilitin niyo na maging productive ang proyekto na mayroon kayo kasi doon kayo kikita,” ani Aida.

Bukod sa posisyon sa nabanggit na SLPA, si Aida ay nagsisilbi ring Barangay Focal Person para sa mga Persons With Disabilities (PWD), Public Information Officer ng Municipal Federation for PWD, at auditor ng Farmers Association. Siya din ay dating Parent Leader ng Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program at KALAHI volunteer. “Sa kabila ng kapansanan at kahirapan, hindi dapat sumuko sa buhay sapagkat kung tayo ay nagsisikap ay may matatamo tayong tagumpay. Nandyan ang Panginoon upang sa atin ay gumabay,” ani niya. Ang mga katagang ito ang pinanghahawakan ni Aida upang magsumikap at mapagtagumpayan ang hamon ng buhay. ###



Fatima Concepcion Pelaez, Project Development Officer II, Marinduque

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Positibong Pananaw, Pagtahak sa Hamon ng Buhay

Sa kabila ng lahat ng hamon sa buhay na kanyang pinagdaanan, si Mercedita Oracion ay masasabing isang huwaran at ehemplo sa mga kababaihan upang magkaroon ng positibong pananaw sa buhay. Si Ditas, 43 taong gulang, may asawa, ay lakas-loob na itinataguyod ang kanyang anim na anak.

Taong 2011 nang magsimula ang kalbaryo ni Ditas dulot ng pagkakasakit ni Anulfo, ang kanyang katuwang sa buhay. Ang sakit na diabetes ni Anulfo ay nagkaroon pa ng ibang komplikasyon na gout na nagresulta sa kanyang pagkalumpo. Lubos na naapektuhan ang pamilya Oracion sapagkat hindi na kaya pang maghanapbuhay ng kanilang haligi ng tahanan.

Simula noon, si Ditas at ang kanyang panganay na anak na nakapagtapos sa kolehiyo, ang magkatuwang na nagtaguyod sa kanilang pamilya. Kahit anong maaaring pagkakitaan ay kanyang tinatanggap magkaroon lamang ng pantustos sa pang-araw araw na gastusin ng pamilya.

Dumagdag pa sa kanyang pasanin ang problema ng kanyang anak sa habitwal na pangingialam at pagkuha ng gamit sa iba. Ilang mga kamag-anak na ang nawalan ng gamit dahil sa kanyang anak. Dahil dito, isinangguni ni Ditas sa Department of Social Welfare and Development o DSWD ang kaso ng anak. Kinupkop ng DSWD ang kanyang anak sa loob ng anim na buwan at sa pamamagitan ng pagbibigay ng trabaho ay unti-unting nakita ang magandang dulot nito sa kanya. Ngayon ay nagtatrabaho na siya bilang laborer sa Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

Naranasan na din niya na mawalan ng bahay dulot ng bagyo noong 2016. Walang natira sa kanilang munting tahanan. Sa kabutihang palad ng kanyang mga kapatid na nag-aruga sa kanilang pamilya ay muling nakabangon ang pamilyang Oracion. Nakatulong din ang halagang ipinagkaloob ng DSWD mula sa Emergency Shelter Assistance (ESA) Fund.

Sa kabila ng lahat ng nangyari, nabatid ni Ditas, “Kung isang katulad ko na mahina-hina sa problema ay bumigay na o iniwan na ang yung asawa. Kapit lang talaga sa taas (Diyos), palakasan lang ng loob”. Hindi naging dahilan ang mga problemang kanyang naranasan upang siya ay sumuko at mawalan ng panahon sa ibang bagay. Bagkus siya ay gumawa ng makabuluhan at aktibo pa ring nakikiisa sa mga gawaing pangkomunidad sa kanilang barangay. Sa katunayan, siya ang itinalagang Business Operations Manager sa catering service ng kanilang kooperatiba, ang Bangbangalon Consumers Cooperative. Siya ang cook at regular na nag-a-asikaso at nagsasaayos ng ilan pang mga papeles ukol sa negosyo tulad ng feeds retailing at renta ng mga gamit. Siya din ay dumadalo sa iba’t ibang pa-training ng mga ahensya tulad ng Cooperative Development Authority, Department of Trade and Industry, at Deparrtment of Agriculture. Masasabi na isa si Ditas sa nagkaroon ng malaking ambag sa natatamasang pag-unlad ng kanilang samahan ngayon.

Sa kasalukuyan ay hamon pa din sa kanya na tustusan ang gamot ng kanyang asawa na aabot ng mahigit Php 3,000.00 kada buwan. Nakakahingi din siya ng tulong sa munisipyo ng Boac subalit sa tuwing nauubusan ng pondo ay kailangan na maghanap pa ng mapagkukunan ng pera upang masuportahan ng tuloy-tuloy ang gamutan. “Laging tumawag lang sa Itaas at wag bumitaw. Kung ano mang problema ay wag masyado dibdibin, at kung kayang ihingi ng tulong sa ibang tao ay ihingi ng tulong, at sa ibang mga ahensya ng gobyerno ay may mga taong handa ding tumulong sa nangangailangan. Para mga katulad ko na dumadanas din ng mga mabibigat problema ay relax at positive lang at wag makinig sa mga masasamang sasabihing ng iba.” ###



John Paul Abaincia, Project Development Officer II, Marinduque

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Ambulong SLP Association: The Extra in the Ordinary Banana Chips

In line with the objective of the Sustainable Livelihood Program to create an enabling environment for accessing income-generating opportunities to address basic needs, the scheme of the program is to create a group called SLP Association that will manage a microenterprise. One of the major challenges the program faces is the sustainability of operation of the SLPA itself. In the project implementation stage, beneficiaries are challenged to be continuously capacitated towards self-governance and sustain the operations since there is a limited access to technical assistance, which can be associated to the geographical location and terrain of MIMAROPA. Technical experts and resource persons are challenged to reach beneficiaries from far-flung areas which affects the timely and efficient delivery of services.

In the aspect of marketing the products, most of the microenterprises have no appropriate branding and packaging for their products. Thus, there is a challenge in meeting the standards of the competitive market nowadays. Thus, the Ambulong SLP Association of Brgy. Limon Sur, Looc, Romblon focused on addressing this concern.

Womenpreneurs of Ambulong

Ambulong SLPA is a 100% women-owned business composed of 20 members engaged in banana chips processing. It was funded in November 2017 under the Seed Capital Fund and Cash for Building Livelihood Assets amounting to a total of PHP 245,000.00. Before the implementation of the program, most of the members worked as vegetable vendors and housemaids earning PHP 3,500.00 to PHP 4,000.00 a month. There were also housewives who wanted to earn extra income to support their families.

Upon market analysis, the SLPA identified banana chips processing as a viable livelihood considering the abundant resource of banana in the municipality. They built a small processing center along highway where they sell their products.

To further improve their skills in the chosen microenterprise, members enrolled in series of trainings involving techniques in banana chips processing. After a few months of operation, they have already acquired assets including additional tables and kitchen utensils. They can also afford to purchase bigger quantity of raw ingredients such as sacks of sugar and liters of oil.

Good Practices Leading to Improvement 

Product Enhancement

  • The banana chips became thinner and crispier. They replaced the existing cooking oil they use with the one of a better quality. Though the replacement is a little expensive, customers’ feedback on banana chips is more favorable.
  • After the training, the number of flavors of banana chips increased from two to five. Flavors include Original, Sweet, Salted, Sour Cream, and Pandan.
  • Based on the customers’ feedback, the use of wood than LPG in cooking results to better and tastier banana chips.

Product Packaging

  • The association outsourced a graphic artist to create the official logo of the product.
  • To maintain the crispiness of banana chips, the association sought the technical assistance of DTI to improve the packaging from the ordinary clear plastic sealed through heat sealer machine to resealable plastic pouch.
  • The packaging has label that includes the (1) manufactured and expiration dates, (2) ingredients, (3) weight, and (4) promotional ad of the product.
  • The SLPA has already secured barangay, mayor’s, and sanitary permits. It has also been a CSO-accredited association since 2017. DTI has shown its unwavering support through the provision of packaging and labeling of banana chips that is product-appropriate and bear relevant information about the product.

Lessons Learned

  • The quality of a product is critical in satisfying the customers, thus a business should always maintain the highest possible standards.
  • Always consider the feedback of customers. This will help improve the quality of a product.
  • Food safety and sanitation in a food industry should not be underestimated.
  • Having the right marketing strategy is important to promote and sell the products.

Implications for Replication 

The initiative of the SLPA to seek for technical assistance form external partners/agencies that can potentially contribute to the development of a product is very commendable. Members should find experts who can help provide new knowledge and skills to the project participants.

Microenterprises should prioritize product development and product packaging. Other associations can also outsource an expert to create their own logo and packaging. Also, associations must secure all the important documents to avoid inconvenience in business transactions.  These include business permits, Memorandum of Agreement/Understanding, Constitutions and By-Laws, and many more. ###









Posted in #SibolKabuhayan, #SibolNegosyo, Good Practice, Sustainable Livelihood ProgramComments (0)

Making Melody in the Life of a Single Mom

Retail industry is a thriving business nationwide, particularly in rural areas. One type of retail is the convenience store, usually put up in or near the owner’s house, that proves the ‘convenience’ and practicality of working at home.

The PPMC Women’s SLP Association is an organized microenterprise managing a convenience store in the municipality of Sta. Fe, Romblon. The women-led association is composed of 20 members from four barangays – Pandan, Poblacion, Mat-I, and Canyayo hence the acronym PPMC.

Melody F. Ocampo, 20 years old, is the youngest member of the association. She is married and blessed with three children. Her husband has an irregular job while Melody tried her luck in business as she lent capital from the lending service amounting to PHP 10,000.00 that she used to put up a convenience store beside her small nipa house. 

After few years of living together, Melody and her husband separated. She was left alone to raise the kids as her husband did not provide any support. An opportunity opened to her when the association was organized. She received a Seed Capital Fund which she used as an additional capital in her existing store.

Later on, Melody put up another store along the highway. She rented the lot for PHP 250.00 a month. Years passed and her store gave her a profitable income. Aside from paying her debts from the lending company, she decided to expand her store by selling vegetables such as squash, eggplant, sitaw, and okra.

Business expansion did not end here as Melody ventured in retailing of feeds where she saw the demand for it. She even sold gallon of purified water. “Lahat ng pwedeng ibenta at pagkakitaan ay susubukan ko makaraos lang,” she stated.

At present, Melody has already invested in many things including her concrete house, motorcycle, and tuition fee of her kids. Melody is very thankful for the opportunity given by SLP. She has proven that the capital given by the government can be effectively utilized through proper planning, hard work, and perseverance. Melody, a versatile business woman, is an inspiration to other solo parents out there not to give up easily.  ###


Lina Phie Macatubal, Project Development Officer II, Romblon

Posted in #SibolKabuhayan, #SibolNegosyo, Sustainable Livelihood ProgramComments (0)

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