Two women indigenous people’s organizations (POs) in Malapatan, Sarangani Province recently received financial assistance amounting to one million pesos from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) after two years of capacitation to start-up a 𝐁𝐢𝐨𝐝𝐢𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐬𝐢𝐭𝐲-𝐅𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐧𝐝𝐥𝐲 𝐄𝐧𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐩𝐫𝐢𝐬𝐞 (𝐁𝐃𝐅𝐄) – economic activities and practices of enterprises (micro, small, and medium), local government units (LGUs), and people’s organizations (POs) that promote the sustainable use of biological resources, create wealth and value, and open opportunities for the equitable sharing of benefits among shareholders.
After a thorough evaluation of the proposals and capacitation of Jolohano Women's Association (PJWA) and Ded Libon de Lasang Association (DLDLA), the financial assistance for the physical and capital build-up for the provision of equipment and infrastructure needed for production was finally awarded by the DENR Biodiversity Management Bureau.
The beneficiaries, PJWA (special occasions services) and DLDLA (workshop and display center for the indigenous woven products) which are both based in Barangay Sapu Masla, have been receiving technical assistance from the DENR on enterprise planning and marketing strategies in the past two years through the Upscaling of Coastal and Marine Ecosystem Subprogram.
DLDLA has been weaving mats made from locally abundant Romblon and Buri since 2004. Their products were popularized both in the local and international market when one of its members was awarded the National Living Treasures or the Gawad sa Manlilikha ng Bayan (GaMaBa) in 2016. PO president Judith Bantilan and its members wanted to upscale the production of Herbanig through the enhancement of their Workshop and Display Center amounting to Php 509,410.00.
In 2021, Jolohano Women's Association (PJWA) engaged in a "rent a tent" enterprise to different POs and customers in the municipality. The business continuously grow and its members wanted to enhance their services and reach more clients through the addition of tents, tables and chairs, and utensils for rent with an estimated budget of Php 490,590.00.
DENR Sarangani Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer (PENRO) Maria Elvira V. Lumayag emphasized in her message during the ceremonial signing of contracts the important roles of the women-beneficiaries in their organizations.
“This assistance granted by the government through the DENR will help you, as mothers and guide of your respective organizations, to improve your livelihood and standard of living. We ask you to grow and develop this investment while continuously protecting our environment and natural resources, especially the protected areas,” PENRO Lumayag said.
The ceremony was also attended by DENR PENRO Sarangani Bids and Awards Committee Chair and Management Services Division Chief Forester Helen E. Villame, DENR-BMB BDFE Core Group and BDFE focal persons from PENRO Sarangani and DENR-12 Coastal Resource and Foreshore Management Section. | With report and photos from SRCabildo, PENRO Sarangani IO Designate