4.29.2009

PIA News Service - Thursday, April 30, 2009

A Success Story: “Nong Eling: the Man and his Field of Dreams”

Born on September 20, 1939 to poor parents in the backwaters of Barangay Pamosaingan, Socorro, Surigao del Norte, Felix Alatraca saw the light of day in dire surroundings. Due to poverty and inaccessibility of their school at that time, and fresh from the ruins of World war II, Nong Eling as he is fondly called, only reached Grade III.

In 1963 he got married to Florida Comon, a native of Barangay Esperanza, Del Carmen, Surigao del Norte, where he now permanently resides. The quaint, little village of Esperanza is part of the ESLA ARC where the full implementation of Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program [CARP’s] support services delivery is yet to be realized.
In 1987 the DAR awarded him with the following landholdings: EP # 053972-74 lot 1742-A, 1742-C and 1742-D which has a total area of 1.1171 hectares and A-010961 lot 1746-A with an area of 2.9274 hectares. Total area of the four lots is four hectares.

These patches of land became a field of dream coming true for Nong Eling because he is now transformed into a new landowner. Encouraged by this blessing, he doubled his efforts in making the land productive. His 4-hectare awarded land yielded a total of 180 cavans of rice per year for 2 cropping seasons. However, since the land is not irrigated, after harvesting the rice and the land is now dry and suited for other crops, Nong Eling planted it with corn. With this, he is able to harvest 10 sacks of corn every harvesting time.

Every year, there were an increase of 20 % Nong Eling’s income from rice and corn production amounting to Php 176,250.00 and deducted with operating expenses amounted to Php 43,750.00 he earns a net income of P132,500.00. His desire for progress did not stop with the money on hand, because he used it in making the land more productive. To rationalized the farm production cost, he bought farm implements such as mechanized turtle to make the land preparation easier, post harvest facilities such as thresher and “sulpot” to ensure that harvest would be immediately threshed out . He was also raising livestock such as: (carabaos, cows and pigs) and poultry (chickens and geese) to augment household income.

As the saying goes, “when it rains it really pours”, because at this time, the wife of Nong Eling had inherited 1 ¼ hectares of coconut land from her parents. It would mean additional net income for the family in the amount of P19,556.40 per year. But the desire for progress remains enkindled in the heart of Nong Eling and his wife by enabling to earn an extra income of P1,000.00 per month from vending assorted foods and delicacies. Consequently, spouses have an accumulated income of 187,156.00 for the whole year.

The following computation are as follows:

WET/RAINY SEASON:

1. 4 HECTARES RICELAND, 2 CROPPINGS
COMPUTATION PER HECTARE

Gross Sales [ 40 to 50 cavans] assumed at 45 cavans per hectare

Item Qty. Unit of Measurement Unit Price Amount
Gross Income:
45 cavans 2250 Kls. 13.20/kl 29,700.00
Less: Expenses
Good seeds 50 kls 15.00/kl. 750.00
Labor Pakyaw system ibot,semilya & planting 5 JO 1,500.00 7,000.00
Labor Harvesting 5 JO 1,250.00 6,250.00
Total Expenses 14,000.00
Net Income from Rice Production/ hectare/cropping 15,700.00
Net Income from Production 4 hectare per cropping Php 62,800.00

DRY SEASON
2. 1 HECTARE OF CORN PRODUCTION PER YEAR

Item Qty Unit of Measurement Unit Price Amount
Gross Income:
10 sacks Milled Corn 500 Kls. 10.00/kl. 10,000.00
Less: Expenses
Cost Corn Milling 500 Kls. 2.50/kl. 1,250.00
Transportation Cost 500.00
Total Expenses 1,750.00

Net Income from Corn Production/year PHP 8,250.00

3. 1 ½ HECTARE OF CAMOTE PRODUCTION PER YEAR

Item Qty. Unit of Measurement Unit Price Amount
Gross Income:
50 sacks of Camote 2,500 Kls. 10.00/kl. 10,000.00
Less: Expenses
Transportation Cost 500.00
Labor Cost 2,000.00
Total Expenses 2,500.00
Net Income from Camote Production/year Php22,500.00

4. 1 ¼ INHERITED COCONUT LAND

Item Qty. Unit of Measurement Unit Price Amount
Gross Income:
COPRA 328.125 Kls. 21.30/kl. 6,989.10
Less: Expenses
Labor Cost 1,800.00
Transportation Cost 300.00
Total Expenses 2,100.00
Net Income from COPRA /harvest 4,889.10
Net Income from COPRA/year Php19,556.40

5. PIG PRODUCTION

Item Qty. Unit of Measurement Unit Price Amount
Gross Income:
Sow 4 heads 6,000.00 24,000.00
Piglets 10 heads 1,500.00 15,000.00
Less: Expenses
Commercial Feeds 10 sacks 900.00/sack 9,000.00
Rice Bran 5 sacks 200.00/sack 1,000.00
Total Expenses 10,000.00
Net Income from Sow/Piglets/year Php29,000.00

As a proof of his diligence and industry, he was able to sent his nine children to school. Two of his children are now with the DAR as Agrarian Reform Program Technologists, one is a criminology graduate, another is connected with Department of National Defense, while the other five finished Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education. No small feat for a Grade School farmer.

In thanksgiving for the blessings given him by Divine Providence, Nong Eling continually strives to gain new knowledge especially if it pertains to increasing farm productivity. He applied all his learnings from the various training programs he had attended concerning the enhancement of productivity income.

He is also a born leader.

Way back in the 70’s and 80’s, he had been the President of the Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Association of Siargao Island, a federation of Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Association (ARBA) covering 9 municipalities. Unfortunately, the ARBA was dismantled by the DAR as an assisted organization with the advent of CARP. With this, he became the Barangay Agrarian Reform Committee (BARC) Chairman in his barangay in 1989 to 1992, when it was organized by DAR throughout the country. He was a former Vice Chairman of Esperanza Farmers Credit Cooperative (ESFARCRECO), a DAR assisted cooperative. For his unselfish and untiring dedication and support for the success of the agrarian Reform Program, he was given a plaque of recognition by the Department in 1984.

Nong Eling, now already 69 years old, has reminiscences of the time when he dreamed to have a piece of land he can call his own. Now, he can say that success does not depend on how others can help you but it depends on how your indolent hands do for you. (Melencio C. Migullas,Jr., DAR-Province of Surigao del Norte/ PIA-Caraga)

A Success Story: The inevitable rise of DAR’s pride, ALMUCO (Alipao Multipurpose Cooperative)

ALIPAO MULTI-PURPOSE COOPERATIVE [ALMUCO] is already fourteen years of existence, which is a proof of great resiliency. The rise of ALMUCO is a hallmark of a successful peoples’ organization in the community when full support is being provided by the Department of Agrarian Reform. The watchful eyes of the DAR regional officials have gained a remarkable support from the national and foreign partners quickly emerged, putting ALMUCO in the limelight of the cooperative movement who would have thought that a lovely cooperative with only 21 members and a Capital Build Up of Five Thousand Pesos Only would be this big, today?

Cooperative remained but also struggled for survival. The coop on its way to bankruptcy. It was on June 1993 that DAR came into the scene by reorganizing and revitalizing the coop through the Farmers Cooperative Development Exchange Program [FCDEP] in partnership with MASS-SPECC. The Samahang Nayon Organization that has an existing capital of Php 16,000.00 merged with ALMUCO and the total paid up capital amounted to Php 21,000.00. It was quite an amount to start a modest consumers’ business in a barangay setting. The Department of Agrarian Reform did not stop giving technical assistance to the coop and its members. A series of trainings/seminars for capability building given to all members and officials were conducted to strengthen the coop’s viability. The following are the seminars:

1. Training on Basic Information and Communication Technology
2. Business Planning Workshop- 2006
3. Conduct of Information and Communication Technology II
4. Training on Farmers Trade School IPM-KASAKALIKASAN
5. Hands-on training on the use of ICT-Based materials for farmers, a convergence activity by Philrice, DAR-Development Academy of the Philippines, DOST, PCARRD/Local Government Unit-Alegria- September 2007
6. Cooperative Information System [CIS] training workshop- November 2007
7. Learning session on strengthening governance for e-AGRIkultura Center Operation & Management- April 2008
8. Local Study Mission, Davao City - April 29, 2008
9. One delegate for International Study Mission to India- September 11-17,2008

In the year 2000, the members quadrupled and the total CBU reached to Php 115,000.00. Thereon, there’s no turning back for ALMUCO. The coop has accessed funds from the Jose De Venecia [JDV] amounting to Php 40,000.00 which was added to the working capital for the consumers business. To date the consumer store has a gross income of Php 554,723.29. The coop was chosen as ARC-wide coop and they become recipient of the Agri-Support Project of DAR-ARISP II.

The package was Post Harvest Facilities amounting to 647,478.30 which was utilized for the construction of a 700 cavans capacity warehouse , a solar dryer and agri-development support funds for rice production, palay trading, farm inputs trading and swine raising amounting to Php 313,478.00.

The coop was able to generate a total of Php 39,000.00 from the operation of this business. ALMUCO does not only operate purely on business, but also service to its members, thus they agreed to be the partner institution of IFAD-NMCIREMP to handle the livelihood project, Self Help Group [SHGs].

They managed the Php 49,000.00 seed fund without gaining income just purely services. In 2004, The KALAHI Farmers center through K-Agrinet has a total income of Php 12,439.79.

The latest project is the e-AGRIkultura Center through information and knowledge networking. The beneficiaries of this are the following: Coop leaders and officers, Fisherfolk coop, Agribusiness owners and entrepreneurs and other net users. But being an awardee of the e-AGRIK Center did not just come like a gift. It was earned. Hard work on the part of the coop has paid off because they were not the only coop that was screened to qualify as beneficiary of said knowledge networking. There were other two coops. Series of tests were given, validations were conducted.

They passed the following tests: Technical feasibility, organizational management, financial sustainability and market potential. True enough, ALMUCO has proven that they stand out and lived up to the expectations of many and finally said e-AGRIKultura Center has been awarded to them with the following ICT Hardwares and softwares which are very much of help to the beneficiaries mentioned above:

*three desktop computers installed with XP, Microsoft Office and Norton anti-Virus 2005
*computer table and chair for each computer set
*one ink jet printer
*one web camera
*one scanner
*one digital camera
*one desktop photocopier
*one photocopying machine

And the said center offers the following services:
- encoding
- CD writing/burning
- Scanning
- Photocopying
- Video coverage for:
*wedding, birthday, graduation/closing exercises
- tutorial session for farmers

All those services are regularly patronized/availed of by the farmers and students and non farmers thereby, adding income to the cooperative. To date the operational income amounts to Php 12,439.79.

In 2007, the ALMUCO was awarded the MOST PROGRESSIVE COOPERATIVE in Surigao del Norte and in 2008 the MOST OUTSTANDING AGRARIAN REFORM BENEFICIARY ORGANIZATION in CARAGA. These awards prove how ALMUCO, as an ordinary farmer’s cooperative has risen to the top and reached the standards of an outstanding cooperative.
To date the ALMUCO has 165 members. 83 of which are Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries [ARBs] , 37 non ARBs and 4 associates and with an asset of almost 2.5 Million and still counting!

Members are availing services for livelihood programs and are receiving dividends, patronage refunds and they are enjoying trainings relative to the improvement of the cooperative as well.

The officers and members of the cooperative however do not just attribute the success to themselves but to the Department of Agrarian Reform which initiated the coop and which have all the way supported the same through its programs, special projects and trainings and moral support. According to them: “Had it not been for the Department of Agrarian Reform, ALMUCO would not have been this successful.” (Melencio “Dodong” Migullas,Jr., DAR-Province of Surigao del Norte

A Success Story: “WARFARE AGAINST POVERTY”

“A Couple That Works Together, Wins together”

Many people say that the best way to escape poverty is to marry, which is of course not true. But to the hardworking couple Petronilo Montante Beltran and Brenda Dagangan , poverty opened the gate for them towards prosperity.

Brenda, having been deprived of a comfortable life at an early age started helping her parents in generating honestly earned income to meet the entire family’s needs. And she has proven that poverty is not a hindrance to achieve her dreams. She finished her elementary grade by selling various kinds of “kakanins” she personally cooked before retiring at night. Amidst life adversities, she was able to carry on and was able to finish her secondary education. However, she realized that enrolling in college is no longer possible with the meager income she and her family are earning.

Common adage to baranganic society “ kung di kaeskuela, magminyo” (If you cannot go to school, you marry). This happened to Brenda who found her prince charming Petronilo Montante Beltran and settled down in May, 1984.

Life has always been difficult, but it was incomparable when in September, 1984, typhoon Nitang hit barangay Canaway, Kitcharao, Agusan Del Norte where they stayed for almost 4 months after their wedding. Houses, coconuts, banana trees and all other trees were destroyed by this typhoon leaving almost all of the residents with nothing to eat and homeless.

Using guts and driven by determination, they came to a decision to engage in peddling, the only way to sustain the needs of the family. Without penny in their pocket for their start-up capital, Petronilo, the husband, one day woke up at 2:00 o’clock in the morning, hitched-ride with the passing-by vehicle, dropped in the bakery and negotiated with the proprietor and was entrusted to peddle various baked products including bread in consignment agreement. For the couple during this time, every single centavo they earned counts, and that a portion of this earnings went to their piggy bank. While Petronilo was busy peddling, Brenda, the wife, was also busy cooking “kakanins” like: camote candies, “suman” and other pastries to help augment the husband’s income. Later, they ventured into rice trading through barter trade and inspired with the result, they engaged in copra buying. Lacking the required knowledge and experience, the couple experienced losses in their first 2 operations. They almost gave-up, but with faith and grace of the God Almighty, they persevered, not long after their labor produced abundant fruits.

In 2000, the Department of Agrarian Reform awarded to them, the cocoland they were tilling for years under Government Owned Land (GOL) scheme. With the regular coco harvest from their newly awarded land they were able to establish a “suki”, a chinese copra buyer in Surigao City who entrusted them a capital of P5,000. 00 as start-up capital. From this small amount, they were able to transform their impoverished life into a more comfortable one, meeting not only needs but including their wants and were able to acquire home appliances and a 2nd-hand Isuzu Elf.

In 2002, their faith was again tested when their Isuzu Elf met a road accident. Although most of the passengers were just hitchhikers and copra suppliers, they were obliged to shoulder all the expenses for hospitalization. Almost all of their savings was drained but it did not put off the fire in them to go onwards. The couple’s faith in God grew even stronger. Able to establish good rapport, their chinese “suki” trusted them again with P200,000.00 as capital to start again and replaced their damaged elf. To ensure success, they have applied the strategy of “division of labor”. The husband takes charge of the operation while the wife tackled the administrative matters of their now growing business.

Enabled to hire house helper, Brenda ran for candidacy and was elected number 1 Barangay Kagawad from 1999 to 2007, then received an award as Outstanding Barangay Kagawad during her term.

“What you sow you will reap”, and that’s what the Beltran couple and 2 sons are enjoying now, tasting the sweet aroma of their hard work. Their 2 sons are now studying in the best and only university in Butuan City. They acquired more assets like: House and Lot in Butuan City, 1 warehouse, 2 motorcycles, 1 Hino 6-Wheeler Elf, 1 Car, Livestocks (carabao-2, cattles, goats-20, chickens).

Their formula for success?

Brenda told us: “ Waking up at 12:00 midnight and pray with all humility and broken heart, and also faithfulness in “tithing” giving more than 10% of our earnings to God even during the hard times of our lives. Lastly, the discipline to live and spend within our means. (Josephine P. Ceniza, DAR-13/ PIA-Caraga)

DENR allocates P 82.88 m for ‘green collar’ jobs in Caraga Region

Butuan City -- The DENR in Caraga Region has allocated P 82.88 million for the implementation of the “green collar “ program which is being implemented by DENR Secretary Lito Atienza under the Comprehensive Livelihood and Emergency Employment Program ( CLEEP) of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

There are two components being implemented under the “green collar program”. The Bantay Gubat and the Upland Development program.

DENR Regional Executive Director Edilberto S. Buiser said the DENR is almost ready to hire the services of 362 qualified persons for the “bantay gubat” .

A total of 3,552 residents from the upland barangays in the different areas of the region will also be provided by the DENR with livelihood opportunities to plant fruit- bearing trees, high-value crops and forest tree seedlings.

“ The details of the guidelines and procedures of proper cash flow of funds for the bantay gubat and upland development program are almost done by the technical personnel of the Forest Management Services“ , director Buiser said.

Those who will be hired for the bantay gubat will receive a monthly allowance of P 3,000 per month. Their main task is to conduct regular foot patrol in the forest and immediately report any detection of timber poaching to the nearest DENR authorities. The other task is to monitor for any sign of forest fire and collect seeds while on patrol.

A total of 21,000 hectares of open lands within the country’s watershed areas have been allocated to be planted with fruit-bearing trees and high value crops beginning this March.

Secretary Atienza said the UDP shall, as much as possible and as appropriate at the watershed landscape level, be 40 percent for agro-forestry development of upland farms in order to cushion the impact of the world economic slowdown by stimulating rural growth through job creation and food production while, at the same time, addressing global warming and climate change.

Secretary Atienza has also made it clear that the livelihood activities of forest-based communities in protected areas are highly regulated and planting of tree species are restricted to indigenous trees thriving in the area using a planting technique called “Assisted Natural Regeneration” (ANR).

The Assisted Natural Regeneration involves enhancing the growth into full maturity of tree wildlings that have already taken root on the forest floor through minimal human intervention like ring weeding or clearing of grasses or weeds from the immediate surrounding of a wildling, application of organic fertilizer, and planting of tree seedlings indigenous in the area being reforested.

Atienza said the 40-40-20 percent distribution will be applied either at the provincial level or watershed level to effectively monitor and bring out transparency in the implementation of the “green collar jobs” program with a funding of P 1.5 billion nationwide .

Atienza has mobilized 131 teams that will oversee the execution of the program from its pre-development stage to on-the-ground implementation of development activities specified in the individual contracts awarded to the beneficiaries, each of whom will be given one (1) hectare.
At the regional level, 15 Regional UDP Task Forces (RUTFs) will be formed, while two sets of provincial UDP task forces (PUTFs) will be created in each province.

The agroforestry approach commands the biggest investment at an average of P32,195 per hectare, while reforestation has an average cost of P10,347 per hectare. Average costing for revegetation of streambanks and reforestation in protected and mangrove areas using ANR is set at P9,145.

Atienza likewise ordered the establishment of tree seedling nurseries to produce high-quality seedlings for the program at one-nursery-per-100 hectare ratio with a budget of P50,000 per nursery to be operated by an accredited people’s organization recognized by the communities of the beneficiaries.

Estimates show that earnings from a hectare of an agro forestry farm can reach up to P23,270 plus a monthly allowance of P3,270 per farmer, while each beneficiary engaged in UDP’s reforestation activities stand to get as much as P19,400 to cover the cost and services for seedling production (P8,500), and planting and maintenance activities (P10,900). (Eric F. Gallego, DENR-13/ PIA-Caraga)

Farmers and Fisherfolk month to kick off on May 6

Butuan City – The “Farmers and Fisherfolk Month” celebration will kick off this coming May 6, 2009, 9:00 o’clock in the morning in one of the hotels, here. The celebration aims to impart to the farmers abd fisherfolk their importance and major contribution to the economy.

The opening ceremony will highlight the installation of the Fisherfolk Regional Director who will assume the role of BFAR-13 Regional Director for the whole month of May. Different representatives from the Fisherfolk Sectors, City and Provincial Agriculture Office, and all BFAR-13 officials and staff will participate in the activity.

The “Farmers and Fisherfolk Month” celebration has been celebrated since 1999 based on Presidential Proclamation No. 57 dated December 11, 1998 declaring May as “Month of the Ocean”. In support to the proclamation, the Department of Agriculture mandated all its line bureau and agencies to celebrate the same as “Farmers and Fisherfolk Month”.

The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) as the lead bureau on the management, protection, conservation and wise utilization of the fisheries and aquatic resources will spearhead the activity. (Lovely Laudette Gamba, PIA-Caraga)

Fisherfolk RD, new BFAR-13 Regional Director

Butuan City – Isidro Pamonag, the fisherfolk Regional Director of Caraga is the new Regional Director of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR). For the whole month of May he will assume the duties and responsibilities of BFAR Regional Dircetor.

The installation of the fisherfolk Regional Director as BFAR Regional Director is one of the highlights of the month long celebration. This is to show to the fisherfolk their importance and major contribution to the fisheries sector as well as to the country’s economy.

The “Farmers and Fisherfolk Month” celebration has been celebrated since 1999 based on Presidential Proclamation No. 57 dated December 11, 1998 declaring May as “Month of the Ocean”. In support to the proclamation, the Department of Agriculture mandated all its line bureau and agencies to celebrate the same as “Farmers and Fisherfolk Month”.

BFAR being the lead bureau on the management, protection, conservation and wise utilization of the fisheries and aquatic resources will spearhead the celebration. (Lovely Laudette Gamba, PIA-Caraga)