In barangay Guilawa, Malangas, Zamboanga Sibugay Province, a small family struggles to get through every day. Maribel Emia Abanggan and her husband, Andrewnilo, try to exhaust every possible means to provide for their family, especially for their two children. Andrewnilo works for a copra farm, while Maribel stays at home to care for their children. In her free time, and whenever possible, she sells snacks, like peanuts and “butbot”, at a nearby public school.
In 2010, a census was held in their barangay. During the census, families were interviewed about their way of living and how much they needed help. Those families, who will qualify, will later on become possible beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program. This, was a very significant opportunity for the Abanggan family, to be able to possibly uplift their lives. Unfortunately, Maribel was not able to attend because she was out trying to make a living. Luckily, when she got home, her concerned neighbours informed her about what had happened. She rushed after the personnel who conducted the census, and was fortunate enough to catch up with them at the next barangay, in Dansulaw. She eventually was able to speak to their head, and asked that she be interviewed. She was told that the team was scheduled to return to their barangay, to cater to those who were not available during their first visit. Soon enough, she was interviewed.
Several months have passed and life went on like it used to. Maribel no longer expected that she was going to qualify as a Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4 P’s) beneficiary. But just as hope was almost lost, she was informed that she now, is a beneficiary of 4 P’s and was later named as a Parent Leader.
After several years, in 2013, microenterprise development was introduced to their community by DSWD’s Sustainable Livelihood Program. After meetings and assessments, their community was approved to be participants. Abangga together with one hundred forty nine (149) members decided to pursue poultry production. Members immediately looked for an area where they can build their farm. They were lucky enough that their president was able to find a place and was able to convince the owner to give them permission to use the place and start construction.
It was on April of 2015 when they received their starter kit. They were given 1,000 egg-laying hens, limestone, cages, feeds, vitamins as well as hoses and pumps for their operation.
In their first harvest, they were able to collect 315 eggs. Today, however, they can harvest as many as 820-830 eggs a day. This quantity is equivalent to roughly 4,000 pesos, but may vary depending on the size of the eggs produced. They regularly make around 26,000 pesos a month after deducting necessary expenses like, feeds, vitamins, caretaker’s salary and other operating expenses. Among the needs of the farm, Abanggan ensures that they have enough vitamins for their hens, so that their egg productions will never have to be delayed.
Apart from the income they receive from the eggs they sell, they also sold chicken droppings gathered from their farm. They sold the dried droppings for 130-150 pesos per sack to customers who used them as fertilizers for their farms and gardens. This was a small, but very significant addition to their monthly income. Since gathering and drying of the droppings was not an easy task, the caretakers received extra compensation and a share of the income collected from the droppings’ sales.
As production and operation of this project was doing well, Abanggan eventually stopped selling snacks at the school. Instead, she bought eggs from their own farm for their regular price, and sold them elsewhere with a slightly higher price. The money she acquired from the sales, she used to cover for their daily expenses. Through her hardwork and persistence, things, especially financially, became a lot better for her and her family. Abanggan is currently the group’s treasurer.
“Para sa akoa ma’am maingon nako nga mas, mas, mas okay karon kaysa sa una. Sa una nga mangita pa ka, ug unsa angay nga ibaligya nga anang adlawa makabaligya ka o sunod adlaw kay para naa kay income. So karon, sa akoa gyud, sa pagkakaron dako gyud syang kalainan. Kay sure naman kada adlaw naay produkto ang manok so didto nako mokuha aniya, makaginansya.”
“Akoang ika istorya sa DSWD o sa SLP, daghang kaayong salamat sa inyuhang pagsupport sa brgy. namo. Daghang salamat sa inyuhang pagsuporta namo na mga pobre, sana kanang kung kame natabangan ninyu naa pay laing mga barangay nga gakinahanglan sa tabang pod. Sana tanang barangay sa lungsod sa Malangas inyuha pang suportahan.” – Maribel Emia Abanggan
“For me, I can really say my life is a lot better than how it was before. In the past, we had to think of what we could sell for the day, or what else we could sell for the next day, just to acquire income. Now, I can say that it is totally different, because we are now sure that we can profit from the eggs produced by the hens.”
“What I can say to DSWD or SLP is, thank you for the support you have given to our barangay, thank you for supporting poor like us. I hope that as much as you helped us, you may be able to help other barangays who are in need of your help, I hope you may be able to support all of the barangays here in Malangas.”###Bernely Sheilaine Nemil