Tuesday, March 31, 2009

MRDP-RPCO M&E Unit Caraga Conducts Series of CBMEG Training in ADS

by: Aurell P. Arais

Butuan City – To ensure sustainability of sub-projects of the Mindanao Rural Development Program Adaptable Program Loan 2 (MRDP-APL2) implemented on various local government units, the Regional Program Coordinating Office Monitoring and Evaluation Unit of the Department of Agriculture Regional Field Unit 13 conducted a series of Community Based Monitoring and Evaluation (CBMEG) training in several municipalities in Agusan del Sur.

The series of CBMEG trainings started in Esperanza, Agusan del Sur last March 4 and 5, 2009 held at Municipal Agricultural Training Center

The occasion was graced by the chief executive of the said municipality Honorable Leonida P. Manpatilan.

After Esperanza, the same training was conducted at Trento last last March 10 to 11 held at Hills View Inn Conference Room and followed by Bunawan last March 17 to 18, 2009 held at Kalahi Training Center.

Each CBMEG training were consist of two days and were jointly spearheaded by RPCO M&E Unit Head Rebecca R. Atega, Provincial Program Management and Implementing Unit (PPMIU) of Agusan del Sur headed by Engr. Cynthia Lumanta with PPMIU M&E Unit Head Edna Tongson and staff and the respective Municipal Program Management and Implementing Unit (MPMIU) with MPMIU M&E Unit.

Through CBMEG, the communities were empowered to participate on monitoring and evaluating the implementation of MRDP sub-projects on their locality and report their findings directly to the municipal level.

MRPDP has four sub-projects namely Investments for Governance Reform (IGR), Community Fund for Agricultural Development (CFAD), Natural Resources Management (NRM) and Rural Infrastructure (RI).

IGR aims to make more effective the devolution to complement the Local Government Code and further improve competitiveness of agricultural sector, RI focus on rehabilitation and construction of communal irrigation systems, farm to market roads, single lane bridges, potable water supplies an other agricultural infrastructure critical in enhancing farm productivity and access to markets, CFAD serves the disadvantaged sectors through livelihood projects to increase rural incomes and NRM mainstreams the protection and conservation of the environment.

Of the four components, majority of the LGU in Agusan del Sur who availed the program through a particular counter parting scheme embraced two subprojects such as CFAD and RI.

The series of CBMEG trainings serves as the output of the Training of Trainors (TOT) conducted through the Program Support Office based in Davao City last February 24 to 25 held at the Provincial Training Center, Patin-ay, Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur.

Similar CBMEG Trainings will be conducted in other municipalities and provinces in Caraga Region soon. (Aurell P. Arais/ rafid da caraga/Info Ace)



Brief Story of
A Cooperative as a Tool for Reform

Bislig City is not only the seat of the formerly largest wood and paper industry in Southeast Asia but also one of the fishing grounds in the province of Surigao del Sur hence majority of its inhabitants make a living out of fishing.

However, when the fishing regulations and local ordinances were strictly imposed by the LGU of Bislig, disallowing to fish within the 14 km. radius from the coastal area, majority of the small fishermen were dislocated and deprived of a living to sustain the daily needs of their families.

At this instance, a brilliant idea was born. Seventeen individual consisted of small fishermen, fish traders, marine products traders and ice distributors agreed to form a multi-purpose cooperative that on August 8, 1994, the group comes up with an initial paid-up capital of only P16,150.00.

Due to financial constraint, the group faced a subsequent difficulty in pursuing their first project in marketing of fish and marine products, thus they focused their attention in looking for somebody or entity for financial assistance.

Unfortunately the request for financial assistance to the Office of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan last November 17, 1994 had been denied due to the election ban imposed at that time. The first disappointment of the group did not stop them from pursuing its determination to exist and instead proceeded on acquiring the official recognition of the government by registering their group in its official name Mangagoy Fishermen Multi-Purpose Cooperative (MAFISCO) from the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA).

From then on, the group aggressively continues their quest to ask financial and technical assistance from different government offices and entities which includes the Department of Agriculture for bigger capital and for proper management of the cooperative. Their efforts were being paid off after raising a start off capital amounting to P200,000.00 that was invested for retail lending and marketing of fish and marine products.

In a matter of seven (7) months since its birth their initial capital has rose to P201,086.34 from P16,150.00 and P2,770,888.81 in 1999.

In 2002 with enough capitalization, MAFISCO has proudly launched a prototype mini banking operation under a project called Member Savings Operations which includes micro-lending with only 2% interest rate and eventually frees the borrowers from the hook of persons engaging in lending with higher interest rate ranging from 5-10%. Same year, a P10 million worth of Ice Plant Facility was established to stabilize the supply and price of ice in the locality.
October 3, 2006 a fire broke out in Mangagoy, Bislig City burning almost 5,000 houses wherein most of the coop members were affected including some important papers of the cooperative was turn into ashes. But the tragedy, never weaken the eagerness of the group to pursue its dreams, it still manages to stand and continue its business venture despite of its losses and the affected member-borrowers.

No matter what the crisis that beset the local economy; MAFISCO has consistently manifested a serious meaning to its area of business with added venture- rice trading particularly wholesale and retail, which in turn the whole operation helps to generate employment with 15 personnel who are mostly displaced workers from PICOP who ceased its operation.

Based on record the collection rate has never go beyond the minimum passing grade of 70% and instead made an average of 96% spread out in five years or an overall collection grade of 102%.

From year 2000 up to 2008, the capitalization from P2,983,959.80 now rose to P 6,316,137.47. Capital share from P 1,686,244.90 to P6,216,302.53 in the year 2008. Coop assets from P2,983,959.80 in 2000 steadfastly increased to P25,450,070.89 in the year 2008.

Due to good performance and success of the coop, from its 17 original members now rose to 747 including the associate members, garnering numerous honors, awards and recognition which include Outstanding Surigaonon Entrepinoy Award and Outstanding This is a great indication of the Power of COOPERATIVISM.

MAFISCO is also socially involved in the community. They are part of the Bundle of Joy, a gift-giving activity for the poor children of Bislig, also a benefactor of Adopt-a-Street Children program, actively participated in the Tree Planting and activities during celebration of the Cooperative Month every October.

This year 2009, MAFISCO is currently pushing for an expansion of its business venture such as Ice Plant and Cold Storage Facility, Purified Drinking Water Station and Rice Trading Wholesale and Retail.

With the Coop’s thrust toward self-reliance coupled with competent officers, nothing is impossible for MAFISCO to excel on its field of endeavor now and for the years to come.

MAFISCO is indeed a Cooperative, a tool for Reform.