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ANNOUNCEMENT

In the recently held Annual Membership Meeting (AMM) of the Partnership for Development Assistance in the Philippines Inc. (PDAP), the following were elected in as members of the Board of Trustees for another two-year term:

  • Francis Lucas – Asian NGO Coalition for Agrarian Reform and Rural Development (ANGOC);
  • Florinda Lacanlalay – Assisi Development Foundation, Inc. (ADFI);
  • Daniel Urquico – Association of Foundations (AF); and,
  • Wilfredo Homicillada – Philippine Partnerhsip for the Development of Human Resources in Rural Areas (PhilDHRRA).

They will join Ms. Grace Pedragosa (Philippine Business for Social Progress), Ms. Susan Biteng (National Council of Social Development) and Ms. Ma. Aurora Francisco-Tolentino (Independent Trustee) who will complete their two-year terms next year.

In the Organizational Meeting of the Board of Trustees held after the AMM, Fr. Francis Lucas, Mr. Wilfredo Homicillada and Ms. Florinda Lacanlalay were re-elected as Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson and Treasurer, respectively.  Ms. Grace Pedragosa was elected Secretary.

The board of Trustees in the same meeting re-appointed members of the Resource Mobilization and Investments Committee and the Programs and Financial Services Committee.  Ms. Lacanlalay chairs the Resource Mobilization and Investments Committee with Mr. Daniel Urquico and Ms. Ma. Aurora Francisco-Tolentino as members.  The Program and Financial Services Committee is chaired by Mr. Wilfredo Homicillada with Ms. Susan Biteng and Ms. Grace Pedragosa as members.  Fr. Francis Lucas sits in both committees as ex-officio member.

Status Update on Assisi Funded Project

Second Quarter Update (April 2015 to June 2015)

clip_image002_0007For the 2nd quarter of 2015, harvests were minimal due to the decrease in the number of farmers planting seaweeds and low seaweeds production caused by relatively high water temperature. As of June 2015, only 15 farmers out of the 22 farmers (as of March 2015) in Brgy.Binocyahan continued planting seaweeds. Farmers who stopped planting in April and May 2015 lost interest in seaweeds farming due to lack of available markets.

Total production for the quarter in BrgyBinocyahan is 141kgs of raw dried seaweeds (RDS), 13kg. of which were brought to Guiuan on May 22, 2015 in exchange for seaweeds cultivars. The remaining 128kgs RDS are still in the possession of the farmers as they wait for a consolidated delivery to Guiuan.

In BrgySalvacion, Basey, farmers showed lack of interests in seaweeds farming despite efforts by the project due to the distance of the farms which are located 1.5kms away from the barangay proper. Other farmers also preferred to work in the on-going shelter project of the NCCP-ACT Alliance in which they get paid daily.

Seaweed dryers were installed in BrgyBinocyahan and BrgySalvacion. The dryers may be detached in case of typhoons or when not in use.

As of June 2015, total savings of three (3) POs is at PhP74,420 (i.e. WISFA (Binocyahan)-PhP36,160; BAWA (Amantillo)- PhP26,410.00; and, JISFA (Salvacion)-PhP9,850).

Fish processing and preservation was identified as an alternative enterprise for PO members in BrgySalvacion and BrgyAmantillo to help increase their income. Construction of two (2) fish processing buildings (bahaytapahan) in both barangays started on July 8, 2015 and is expected to be completed in the 2nd week of July 2015 excluding painting and electrical works.

Status Update as of March 2015

 As of March 2015, a total of 81 farmers (i.e. 43 in Brgy.Salvacion, Basey and 38 in Brgy.Binocyahan, Marabut) are benefitting from the Seaweeds and Fish Processing Project for Rural Households in Typhoon-Yolanda affected areas in Western Samar funded by Assisi Development Foundation, Inc. (ADFI) through TabangVisayas.  Out of the 38 farmer beneficiaries in Brgy.Binocyahan, five (5) of them are beneficiaries of the First Church of Christ Scientist Manila.

Technical trainings and on-site coaching and mentoring were conducted from March to May 2014.  Farmer beneficiaries were introduced to new seaweed farming technology specifically on proper site identification, mooring blocks construction, farm installation and cultivar lines preparation. Techniques on seaweeds planting using the ambian or “spider web” method were also introduced to the farmer beneficiaries. Pest and disease control as well as disaster risk reduction measures especially during typhoons were imparted to the farmer beneficiaries.

Materials preparation and frame installation were done from June to July 2014. The project provided initial material inputs (i.e. ropes, nylon, floaters, softies, cement and seedlings) while the farmers took responsibility for the labor as part of their counterpart.

Planting of seaweeds started only in August 2014. A total of 4,000 kgs.of seaweed cultivars were bought from Barobo, Surigao del Sur as there were no available cultivars in the Samar Provinces during that period. Farmers in Brgy.Binocyahan were able to harvest in October 2014. However, farmers in Brgy.Salvacion were affected by the low pressure area (LPA) which hit the area in September. Recovery efforts were done and harvest was expected in December 2014; however, they were once again affected by Typhoon Ruby on the 1st week of December.

Seaweeds nurseries were installed in the two barangays in January 2015. In February 2015, 500 kgs.ofseaweed cultivars were planted.

As of March 2015, 22 farmers in Brgy.Binocyahan were able to harvest a total of 1,091kgs. of seaweeds giving them a gross income of Php41,458.00 computed at an average buying price of Php38.00/kg. of raw dried seaweeds (RDS). Since consolidation was not started yet, the local government of Marabut facilitated the selling of the RDS to a local buyer in Guiuan. The seaweed nursery also generated Php1,500 income from sales of cultivars procured by the GEM-USAID initiated project in Tacloban City.

A savings mobilization program was implemented to provide farmer beneficiaries access to credit for their immediate expenses. Thirty-four (34) farmers in Brgy.Binocyahan started on July 4, 2014 while 24 farmers in Brgy. Salvacion only started on January 29, 2015 with Php20.00 weekly savings per farmer.  As of March 2015, total savings in both barangays is at Php41, 524 (i.e. Php36, 306 in Brgy. Binocyahan and Php5,218 in Brgy. Salvacion).

Through the project intervention and farmers’ initiatives, two People’s Organizations (POs) were formed namely, JINAMOC Island Seaweeds Farmers Association (JISFA) in BrgySalvacion and Women Integrated Seaweeds Farmers Association (WISFA) in BrgyBinocyahan. WISFA is now registered with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) while JISFA is still in the process of registration. The two POs are actively participating in the savings mobilization program.

Status Update On OMF-SAFE Project

1st Quarter Update (February 2015 to April 2015)

OMF-SAFW1In February 2015, PDAP started implementing the “Enhancing Coastal Communities’ Recovery and Resiliency from Disaster through Seaweeds Farming Project” in four (4) barangays (i.e. Logero, Binocyahan, Pinalangga and Amambucale) in Marabut, Western Samar.  It is a one-year project (February 2015 to 2016) funded by the Overseas Missionary Fellowship (OMF) International Philippines through the Serving Affected Families Effectively (SAFE) which aims to revive the seaweeds industry in the said municipality.  As of April 30, 2015, a total of 73 farmers are benefiting from the project.

Hands-on technical trainings were conducted from site identification, construction of the mooring blocks, installation of the farms, preparation of the cultivar lines and planting. Farmers were also introduced to the ambian or “spider web” planting method.  Initial material inputs (i.e. ropes, nylon, floaters, softies, cement and seedlings) were provided by the project.As a counterpart, farmer beneficiaries provided the human resources support to these activities.    Planting for the 1st batch and 2nd batch were completed on March 17, 2015 and April 29, 2015, respectively with a total of 2,266 kgs of seaweed cultivars planted.

OMF-SAFW

As of April 30, 2015, five (5) frames were installed in Brgy Pinalangga with an area of 50m x 120m each, one (1) in Brgy Binocyahan at 50m x 125m, four (4) in Brgy Logero at 50m x
100m and one (1) in Brgy Amabucale at 50m x 120m. Plantation sites established by the project as of to date consists of a total area of 62,250 sqm or 6.2 hectares.

A savings mobilization program is being implemented to provide farmer beneficiaries access to credit for their immediate expenses (e.g. household, educational and health expenses).  Each member contributes Php10.00-20.00 per week as savings.  As of April 30, 2015, Brgys.Logero and Pinalangga have a total savings of PhP 2,400.00 and PhP 1,680.00, respectively.

 

 

SEAWEED Study Tour

SEAWEED Project

SEAWEED Convention

Jose Pangaronon of PSPFA

clip_image002_0002“I am Jose Panganoron Jr.,married with two children and residing at Brgy Manyayay, Lainga, Surigao del Sur. I am currently the president of the Pocto Seaweeds Planters and Farmers Association (PSPFA) with a total membership of 56 members. We are a growing organization receiving assistance from AECID, CODESPA and PDAP in their efforts to uplift individual lives through seaweeds farming. Among the projects implemented was the establishment of seaweeds nursery with a working area and solar dryer. However, these facilities were destroyed by the typhoon leaving only the working area which we are using until now to dry our seaweeds to ensure high quality of our products.

The PDAP project implementers have also imparted trainings aimed at improving the capacities of our organization concerning management, basic accounting and bookkeeping for our internal control systems. As of now, we already have a bank account and we continued to do our part as members by setting-up a capital build-up fund and paying our monthly dues. We have even agreed to volunteer ourselves to use our own money for fares and transportation expenses so the organizational funds could solely be used for other purposes like supplies and other needs.

We are so grateful with PDAP for helping us and we wish that more communities will benefit from their assistance.”

Ronalyn Madrazo of RCBRMPO

sw“I am Ronalyn Madrazo, married with four children and residing at Brgy Rizal, Barobo, Surigao del Sur. I am the current president of the peoples organization called the Rizal Community-Based Resource Management Peoples Organization (RCBRMPO).

My husband and I started planting seaweeds in 2008 with a capital of PhP2,000.00. After 15 days, we observed that the “ice-ice” (epiphytes) infected our seaweeds. To remedy the situation, we harvested our seaweeds pre-maturely and sold it to local traders. We lost our capital. The next cropping season, we spent another PhP2,000.00 for seaweeds and experienced the same failure. We tried again and that same year, we lost

PhP20,000 capital that made us decide to stop farming seaweeds. We were discouraged by our failures.

In 2011, the PDAP coordinators arrived in our barangay. They conducted a 3-day Seaweeds Training in Lianga, Surigao del Sur from September 19-21, 2011. In that training, I learned a lot about the modern ways of seaweeds farming. Compared to our traditional farming practices where we installed 200-meter cultivar lines, it is wise to divide the cultivar lines into four at 50 meters in length for easy monitoring, maintenance and cleaning of seaweed cultivars. I also learned that the proper distance of planting seaweed propagules is around 12 inches using a new pest-resilient, high yielding variety which we called “giant”. Before our traditional belief is that seaweed farming is seasonal and we could only harvest once to twice a year from the months of November to March, I discovered in the training that we could actually harvest 3 times a year every 45 days after planting. I gained self-confidence and to apply the knowledge and skills that I learned in the training, I persuaded my husband to invest again in seaweeds farming. We started with P15,000 capital. We were able to harvest 3 times from January to December 2012 where we earned a net income of Php 60,000.

Our organization was able to access assistance for the nursery project (of PDAP) on May 3, 2014 for the seedlings valued at PhP10,000.Since then, the nursery generated income from the sales of seedlings amounting to P16,800.00 posting an accumulated net sales of P6,800.00 apart from the standing crop which are still available in our nursery. With the assistance of the project, farmer members can access seedlings from the nursery and pay the organization later during harvest time. The project is a big help to the organization and to our community, in general.

As of now, we have access to the market for our dried seaweed products like DAFO which act as the local market consolidator. Unlike before, there was only one local trader who controls the price of seaweeds. The intervention of the LMC buying our dried seaweed products at fair market prices is of great help to us farmers.

As president of RCBRMPO, PDAP has done so much for us in terms of organizational development improving our leadership and management and as well the installation of our internal control systems where all our financial transactions are properly recorded.”

Felipe Condolon of KEMMAKK

s“I am Felipe Condolon, married with 5 children and residing at Brgy Liatimco, Lianga, Surigao del Sur. I am the current president of Kaliwatan sa EsCon nga mga Mag uuma ug Magingisda Kahugpungan alang sa Kalambuan (KEMMAKK) which was organized in 2003. Before, we have 40 members but now, the remaining active members are only 24 because the senior members have died while other members became inactive.

PDAP has helped our organization through the seaweeds technical trainings and the establishment of seaweeds nursery as well as, the fish coral structure. We are so grateful with the implementation of the project that’s why we volunteered our time and free labor as local counterpart to support these projects. We are happy because we are already harvesting the fruits of our labor. We have improved our seaweeds production and marketing. This has increased the income of our members. Our organization is doing well because of the education and trainings we have received from the PDAP project. Thank you PDAP and CODESPA for all your support. We hope you continue helping other seaweed farmers’ organizations.”

WOMEN OF SUBSTANCE

MALAHUTAYONG KAHIUSAHAN SA MGA KABABAYEN-AN SA BUKI DNON

Sometimes, the best man for the job is a woman.

In the case of the MalahutayongKahiusahansamgaKababayen-an saBukidnon (Makakabus), which literally means “for the Sometimes, the best man for the job is a woman. In the case of the MalahutayongKahiusahansamgaKababayen-an saBukidnon (Makakabus), which literally means “for the poor” in Cebuano, it is the women farmers who dared to practice sustainable agriculture at a time when other farmers were still into saturating their rice fields with chemical fertilizers and insecticides.

The women were originally members of the BukidnonMasipag Farmers Multi-Purpose Cooperative (BMF-MPC). The co-op was based in Barangay Sinayawan, Valencia, Bukidnon, one of the 10 sites of the concluded Promoting Participation in Sustainable Enterprises (PPSE) program of the Philippine Development Assistant Programme. But because they had felt they weren’t being given the freedom and the funds to implement projects they were committed to doing, they decided to put up their own group in 1998. The Bukidnon Center for Sustainable Agriculture turned over farm equipment in 2001 and the women started various enterprises – farm equipment rental, food catering service and rice trading. At first, they bought and sold rice even if the suppliers were using conventional, inorganic methods. Membership exploded to more than a hundred but when MAKAKABUS enforced a “purely organic” policy, only eight women held on. poor” in Cebuano, it is the women farmers who dared to practice sustainable agriculture at a time when other farmers were still into saturating their rice fields with chemical fertilizers and insecticides. The women were originally members of the BukidnonMasipag Farmers Multi-Purpose Cooperative (BMF-MPC). The co-op was based in Barangay Sinayawan, Valencia, Bukidnon, one of the 10 sites of the concluded Promoting Participation in Sustainable Enterprises (PPSE) program of the Philippine Development Assistant Programme.

PDAPBut because they had felt they weren’t being given the freedom and the funds to implement projects they were committed to doing, they decided to put up their own group in 1998. The Bukidnon Center for Sustainable Agriculture turned over farm equipment in 2001 and the women started various enterprises – farm equipment rental, food catering service and rice trading. At first, they bought and sold rice even if the suppliers were using conventional, inorganic methods. Membership exploded to more than a hundred but when MAKAKABUS enforced a “purely organic” policy, only eight women held on.

The move was necessary as one of MAKAKABUS’ objectives was to “implement sustainable / organic agriculture to alleviate poverty in Bukidnon province.” And since Valencia was being positioned as the organic rice capital of the Philippines, MAKAKABUS felt that it was in the best position to take advantage of increasing awareness of organic products. MAKAKABUS quickly realized, however, that it was up against human behavior, poverty and centuries of programming using unsustainable agriculture based on destructive practices inherited from the green revolution.

The move was necessary as one of MAKAKABUS’ objectives was to “implement sustainable /organic agriculture to alleviate poverty in Bukidnon province.” And since Valencia was being positioned as the organic rice capital of the Philippines, MAKAKABUS felt that it was in the best position to take advantage of increasing awareness of organic products. MAKAKABUS quickly realized, however, that it was up against human behavior, poverty and centuries of programming using unsustainable agriculture based on destructive practices inherited from the green revolution.

The women farmers, however, were not about to falter in their objective so they persevered. A production loan of Php 150,000 was acquired from PDAP and other NGOs, which was used to purchase palay.

One officer says, “There were members who quit because they could not commit to pure organic farming. They wanted three cropping cycles a year.”

While organic farming needs lesser farm inputs and is therefore, relatively less costly, small farmers still needed a fiancing scheme to support their decision to shift and continue sustaining their families.

The first year is particularly crucial because there is a slack in the harvest – two croppings instead of three are encouraged – to allow for a fallow period.

Daphne Frayco, MAKAKABUS’ Local Inspector, notes the early difficulties, “When we weren’t into organic farming yet, we could harvest up to 100 sacks but the costs were also expensive. When we went organic, we could only net up to 50 sacks.”

MAKAKABUS went through other painful growing pains, mainly problems with fiancing and also convincing the farmers to stay on the organic track. To encourage them to keep farming the organic way, MAKAKABUS presented itself as a market for the organic rice and become the right kind of middleman.

MAKAKABUS provided production loans to member-borrowers and bought their organic rice harvest at PhP 9 per kilo fild weight – 12.5 percent higher than the prevailing market price. The rice was processed using the group’s own post-harvest facilities because by then, MAKAKABUS had earned enough from farm equipment rental to buy more equipment.

Phasing into its new program, Promoting Rural Industries and Market Enhancement (PRIME), PDAP assisted MAKAKABUS in establishing an Internal Quality Control System (IQCS) to produce superior organic products.

Under PRIME, MAKAKABUS had developed another identity – as Local Market Consolidator (LMC) serving as intermediary between the market and farmers. This way, problems in the regularity of supply, high transaction cost, little bargaining power and transparency are addressed.

PDAP also guaranteed MAKAKABUS’ loans from MASS – SPECC of Php1 Million for trading capital and Php 4.5 Million for mortgaged land’s redemption project.

The farmers also knew that the profi margin is plowed directly to the organization. Every sack of palay merits 50 centavos for MAKAKABUS. So even if there are still ordinary rice traders that they can sell their produce to, farmers preferred MAKAKABUS. This trust made the organization what it is now.

In 2006, MAKAKABUS acquired an organic certifiate from the Organic Certifiation Center of the Philippines (OCCP) after it installed its IQCS. Then in the following year, it was able to buy commercial lot for its warehouse, solar dryer and rice mill exclusive for organic products MAKAKABUS also later found itself getting more land as because of poverty, many nonmembers were forced to mortgage their land to MAKAKABUS. Before acceptance, these farmers were screened and agreements were reached that the properties are to be used for organic production. An 80 to 20 percent sharing scheme was also forged providing the original owners the option to work their land while the organization provides training, inputs and helps manage the properties.

Some members who have mortgaged their lands to private individuals are assisted in the redemption and in the shifting to organic farming. The original owners gradually pay the mortgage until they are able to redeem the land from MAKAKABUS, preventing them from losing their properties.

The Land Acquisition and Management project has turned into the organization’s primary source of income with advocacy to non-organic believers as the value added in the scheme. In 2006, of the total 86 hectares devoted to organic farming, 20 hectares are mortgaged property. MAKAKABUS wants to bring the area of mortgaged property up to at least 25 hectares to fulfil its twin objectives of rescuing farmers from the tight grip of poverty and spreading the benefis of organic farming.

And MAKAKABUS is not about to stop growing, helping prove once again that women can lead, and lead well, indeed.

 

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