Happiness radiates from the faces of the members of the Women’s Unity for Progress and Farmers Multi-Purpose Cooperative of Mapandan, Pangasinan during the awarding ceremony of the Small Livelihood Project (SLP) - Farm Mechanization Service Facility held at the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist, Sta. Barbara, Pangasinan on January24, 2017.
The Cooperative is the first to receive SLP in the entire Ilocos Region. Under the SLP – Farm Mechanization Service Facility, the Women’s Unity received a four-wheel tractor, rotavator, trailer, and cage roller. The SLP proposal aims to reduce the plowing cost per hectare from the prevailing price of P4,500 to P2,500 and hauling cost for farmers from P1,300 to P975. The enterprise is also projected to increase farmer’s income by 5 percent or P2,411 per hectare.
Women’s Unity Manager Ms. Anabel Meneses inspired other farmer organizations who attended the awarding ceremony: “Hindi po kakulangan sa ating grupo iyong wala kang pinag-aralan, wala kang diploma na nakasabit sa dingding. Hindi po iyon kakulangan para ma-reach natin iyong gusto nating mangyari para sa ikakaganda ng ating grupo.” (It is not a shortcoming to be not college graduates, to have no diplomas hanging on our walls. Those are not hindrances to achieve what we want to happen for the progress of our group.”)
Twenty-three farmer organizations from all over Pangasinan also attended the awarding ceremony. They all have SLP proposals pending NOL 1 or under procurement. Pangasinan Governor Amado “Pogi” I. Espino III committed to facilitate the procurement of the SLP and reminded the farmers to diligently comply with the Project’s requirements.
The Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP) started accepting SLP proposals after the onslaught of Typhoon Lando in the Luzon Island in October 2015. The typhoon destroyed hundreds of hectares of crops ready for harvest. To mitigate the detrimental effects of the typhoon and for the immediate access of the farmers to government assistance, SLP proposals have been exempted from inclusion in the value chain analysis (VCA) report and Provincial Commodity Investment Plan (PCIP). SLP has shorter approval process compared to regular enterprise subprojects awarded by PRDP.
After the award of the SLP to farmer organizations, they will undergo regular monitoring and evaluation by the Provincial Government of Pangasinan and the Regional Project Coordination Office 1. This is to assure the sustainability of the subproject and the attainment of the 30 percent increase in income of farmers by 2021. ###
Dessa U. Estrada and Vida V. Cacal, Ilocos InfoACE