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Recipe for Success: Innovation

Gipangandoy gyud namong tanan nga maka uswag sa kinabuhi.  Sa higayon nga gihatag sa amoa sa DSWD og SLP, among pangandoy hinay-hinay na namong maabot. Sauna, mag lisod mi og gasto para sa among farm saka lisod sa kinabuhi, karun naa nami ika-supporta sa among individual livelihood. Dakong tabang jud ang grant nga among nadawat,”

SLPA President Agustin Vilvestre.

Pagadian City, known as the “Little Hongkong of the South” for its mountainous terrain, is the capital of the Province of Zamboanga del Sur and the regional center of Zamboanga Peninsula. And located in this mountainous province is Barangay Balintawak, home to several informal settlers who make ends meet by farming.

Wherever country you are from, or what city, farmers play an important role in society, they are the backbone that keeps everyone going, preventing them from starvation. Just like the farmers living in Barangay Balintawak who are engaged in raising livestock and poultry, as well as planting vegetables, and field crops, these farmers focus on herbaceous plants like the turmeric plant as means to try to keep their stomachs full.

Through the intervention of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) – Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) that aims to help and contributes to improve the economic sufficiency of poor families especially the 4Ps beneficiaries in securing gainful enterprise, earning steady and sufficient income. The farmers from Barangay Balintawak, Pagadian City became one of the livelihood participants, organized as an association named Balintawak SLPA in 2018 and implemented in 2019 with an approved project proposal which is General Merchandise amounting to Four Hundred Fifty Thousand Pesos (PHP 450,000.00).

Balintawak SLPA identified Turmeric Tea Production as an additional enterprise because the turmeric plant is abundant in the barangay and the members are knowledgeable in the production of turmeric tea. A daily cup of the golden spice has proven to have incredible health benefits. It has anti-inflammatory properties, prevents cancer, arthritis, controls diabetes, improves digestion, boosts immune system, detoxifies the liver, promotes weight loss, improves skin health, and helps in wound healing. The members of the association were encouraged to plant more turmeric in order to sustain the production of turmeric tea and to answer the demand of orders from their repeating customers.

Currently, the association processes turmeric tea manually as a group. They make turmeric tea through a “Bayanihan” system and it serves as their team-building activity. The association earns a net profit of PHP 291,811.00 for eighteen months (September 2019–March 2021) from the enterprises. They have a total savings of PHP 559,558.07 as of December 28, 2020. They are planning to purchase equipment used for Turmeric Tea processing. The association also generates funds from their monthly dues for other expenses such as transportation and office supplies.

In more than a year of working together, the association has built a strong interpersonal relationship and have consistently practiced camaraderie and teamwork in all their activities. During monthly meetings, birthday celebrants will sponsor the food for the meeting, in this way they will be able to get to know each other and bond more, as these things are also vital for a healthy relationship as an association. One of the good practices of this association is being transparent; they maintain a detailed reporting of their monthly financial status which builds trust and confidence among them. The SLPA have also addressed community issues through accepting new members and help these people gain additional livelihood activity. Indeed, they are self-governing, proving that their governance and style of management is effective.

The matter of profit sharing is not in the picture yet because they ventured their profit into credit and savings facility among members to support their individual livelihood as farmers and small entrepreneurs. Through this initiative, the SLPA members will become more productive citizens and be able to contribute to their community.

This post was written by:

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