A total of thirty two (32) seaweed farmers (i.e. 16 from Panagatan Islands and 16 from Brgy. Imba both in Caluya, Antique) attended a Pre-Membership Education Seminar (PMES) organized by the Partnership for Development Assistance in the Philippines Inc. (PDAP), in partnership with Ms. May Lim of PMLJ Trading with funding support from the Rotary Club of Manila Metro (RCMM) and the Foundation for a Sustainable Society, Inc. (FSSI) and conducted by the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA)-Region 6 on September 28-29, 2016 at the Best Western Boracay Tropics Resort Hotel in Boracay Island, Malay, Aklan.
The 32 seaweed farmers who participated in the PMES are PDAP’s beneficiaries in its ongoing conduct of seaweeds technical trainings and provision of technical assistance on cooperative development in Caluya, Antique. Part of the cooperative development component is assisting the seaweed farmers in securing their respective registration as cooperatives. One of the requirements of CDA prior to registration is a Certificate of PMES.
Two (2) CDA specialists, Atty. Roumelia Alpasan-Base and Ms. Lanelyn Belicena, conducted the PMES. Five main topics were discussed; namely, a) Reasons for PMES; b) Why Cooperative?; c) Cooperative as Social and Business Enterprise; d) Organization and Management Structures of Cooperatives; and, e) Mandatory Allocation and Distribution of Net Surplus.
After the seminar, Mr. Restie Male, PDAP Programs Manager and Ms. Lim co-facilitated a workshop where both seaweed farmer groups (i.e. Panagatan and Brgy. Imba) decided on what type of cooperative is best suited for them and at the same time discussed the next steps to be done in securing their respective registration.