Jose Venancio Batiquin, COO of Therma Marine, Inc. and President of Aboitiz Power Oil Group and Director Priscilla N. Razon of DSWD sign the Memorandum of Agreement for the implementation of Organic Red Creole ‘Bombay’ Production.

Maco, Compostela Valley –With the newly forged partnership between the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), LGU Maco and Aboitiz Foundation, Inc., at least 100 Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries in Barangays Mapaang and Manipongol here will soon engage into Organic Red Creole ‘Bombay’ Production through the DSWD Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP).

Under this latest venture, DSWD is providing Php 405,500.00, Aboitiz Foundation, Inc. shares Php 182,700.00 and LGU Maco through its Municipal Agriculture Office will teach the technology and takes charge of project monitoring.

DSWD Project Development Officer Ronnel L. Terante said project participants will be trained on land preparation, soil mixing, seedling preparation, water management, fertilization, topping, harvesting and curing. The ‘bombay’ will be grown within 110-120 days, he added.

At the recent signing of the Memorandum of Agreement at Barangay San Roque, Director Priscilla N. Razon of DSWD shared, “This is an opportunity for us to provide livelihood to our 100 family-beneficiaries in the two barangays. We are happy that for capability building alone, we have extended Php 8 million so far here in Maco. We have to raise their capacity through microenterprise development or through employment facilitation. We desire to see our program participants really improving their level of well-being, hence we are preparing them for economic activity. We are grateful that we have more partners so that more will benefit from the 6216 Pantawid recipients here.

Director Razon also stressed the constant support of the local government, adding, “Together, we hope to be able to saturate all Pantawid families so they can become progressive and engaging in economic activities that would sustain their livelihood and promote improved quality of their life for their families.

Jose Venancio Batiquin, COO of Therma Marine, Inc. and President, Aboitiz Power Oil Group said, “We are helping these families because we want them to have a better life. We all know that Pantawid assistance will never be enough. We are targeting families who are willing to sacrifice, willing to learn. When the beneficiary learns and understands the technology then he can move on. We are very happy to be part of this endeavor. We have long wanted to reach out to our neighbors.”

Mayor Alvera Veronica R. Rimando expressed her all-out support. “All DSWD projects in Maco are well implemented. We have created a team that will monitor all livelihood projects. This ‘bombay’ production will be successful with our assistance. You have our full support.”

According to Elizabeth D. Uy, Municipal Social Welfare and Development Officer, the LGU has installed a municipal livelihood focal and even a livelihood focal in each of the 37 barangays to assist the DSWD project development officer assigned in the area. “The LGU has even assigned a motorcycle service to the DSWD staff for prompt coordination with other workers in the town and so that he can easily move around to check on project progress,” she added.

Paquita T. Rafols, AVP for Corporate Services emphasized, “We will not just put food on the table today but really a livelihood that will send their children to school. We are happy to have found our partners. We wanted to implement livelihood projects in the past but we were looking for partners then and now we have just found the right partner in DSWD.”

We always welcome the support of CSOs (civil society organizations) which are pro-development and we appreciate their commitment and sincerity to partner with the public sector especially with DSWD, Director Razon added.

Benefiting 993 families at a cost of Php 7.2 million, other livelihood projects recently initiated by DSWD here are Crab Fattening, Computer Hardware Servicing NC II, Automotive Servicing NC II, Organic Corn Production, Kalabasa Production, Kamatis Production, Visual Graphic Design NC II, Native Chicken Production, and Swine Production. (DSWD)