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In Bataan, wine-maker coop tastes sweet success thanks to a DOLE livelihood aid
CITY OF BALANGA - The Tanato Multi-Purpose Cooperative (MPC) is now tasting sweet success as reputable wine makers thanks to a livelihood assistance from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).
 
DOLE Regional Director Atty. Ana Dione reported the good news on the cooperative’s success in transforming its livelihood project to a sustainable business to Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III.
 
“We have heard different stories of success in the field of business but they do not happen overnight, especially without the involvement and cooperation of every member of a cooperative. The story of the Tanato MPC proves that nothing is hard to accomplish when people do their share of roles and execute their plans together,” Dione said.
 
The Tanato MPC Chairperson Guillerma Desepeda said that the group was organized in 2001 by an initial membership of 20 resident-farmers of Brgy. Tanato, Balanga City, Bataan.
 
“Nabuo po ang aming samahaan sa layuning magkaroon ng pagkakakitaan para sa aming miyembro at magsama-sama po kami sa pag-unlad para sa kinabukasan ng aming pamilya at komunidad,” Desepeda said. 
 
The cooperative, which was registered with the Cooperative Development Authority or CDA in 2002, started a sari-sari store business with a capital of P6,000.00.
 
“Nagumpisa po kami sa isang maliit na puhunan na pinag-ambagan ng bawat miyembro ng samahan para magtayo ng isang sari-sari store o mini grocery. Ipinagkaloob din sa amin ng namayapang Kongresista at dating Gubernador ng Bataan na si Tet Garcia ang karagdagang puhunan para sa rice-trading business,” Desepeda said.
 
Even with early earning success, Desepeda said that the cooperative soon faced challenges and hurdles that compelled them to “start all over again.”
 
“Noong una, kami po ay kumikita sa aming negosyo, ngunit kinalaunan, napansin po namin na wala nang pumapasok na kita, nalugi po kami, at ito po ay nagdulot ng matinding pagsubok sa amin at kinailangan naming magsimula muli,” Desepeda said.
 
Despite the hardships, the cooperative was resilient and was able to secure a production loan from an agri-bank and ventured to selling agricultural products at low interest to its members.
 
Earnings from the new business however was not enough as farmers from Tanato had nothing to do during the lean seasons according to Desepeda.
 
“Nakita po namin na ang aming mga kasapi ay walang ginagawa sa panahon ng walang bukid. Nakita po namin na kailangan naming magkaroon ng ibang pagkakakitaan,” Desepeda said.
 
The cooperative was then provided with a capacity-building on wine-processing and other food-processing products by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
 
With their newly-acquired knowledge, the cooperative started to produce their own products using their harvested crops, particularly, “Bignay” wine, which the cooperative was eventually known for.
 
The timing was right for the cooperative’s new-found venture because Bignay or while cherry bore by Currant trees found within and nearby areas of Barangay Tanato, are abundant.
 
Though the cooperative is already skilled in wine-making, Desepeda said that they needed the necessary additional production materials to produce more “Bignay” wine.
 
“Ang isang malaking hamon para sa amin ay kung paano po kami magkakaroon ng mga sapat na kagamitan para aming paggawa at pag-proseso ng wine. Buti nalang, nalaman po namin mula sa Public Employment Service Office (PESO) ng Pamahalaang Panglunsod ng Balanga na ang DOLE ay namamahagi ng livelihood assistance sa mga kooperatibang tulad namin,” Desepeda said.
 
In 2013, the cooperative was a recipient of a DOLE livelihood assistance amounting to P100,000.00 in form of two 300-liter capacity stainless containers for wine fermenting.
 
Aside from this, other production materials such as grinder and squeezer for coco jam, virgin coconut oil, and tamarind candy processing, were also provided.
 
DOLE Bataan Field Office head Leilani Reynoso said that the livelihood assistance was sourced from the DOLE Integrated Livelihood and Emergency Employment Program or DILEEP.
 
For Desepeda, the provision of additional material for their wine-processing and other food production enabled the cooperative in producing more output while earning more.
 
“Sa tulong ng DOLE, naging madali po ang pag-proseso ng wine gawa sa Bignay, Cashew, at Duhat, gayun din ang tulong ng grinder sa halip na kayurin ng manual ang niyog. Mas nagkaroon po kami ng kapasidad na gumawa ng wine at iba’t ibang produkto na gawa sa coco jam, virgin coconut oil, at tamarind candy, dahil sa mga bago naming mga kagamitan” Desepeda said, adding:
 
“Noong simula, kumikita lang po kami ng P5,000.00 kada buwan, pero noong nagkaroon kami ng konting kagamitan, tumaas po ito ng P10,000.00 – P15,000.00 kada buwan, pero noong dumating po ang mga tanke na galling sa DOLE, nakapag-imbak po kami ng maraming wine at dahil dyan, tumaas po ang aming kita, at sa kasalukuyan, kami po ay kumikita na ng P20,000.00 – P25,000.00 kada buwan.”
 
Desepeda also noted the impact of the livelihood assistance and how it has improved the lives of its members and families of the cooperative as well as the entire community.
 
“Nagpapasalamat po kami sa DOLE dahil malaking tulong po ang livelihood assistance na ipinagkaloob nila sa amin dahil ang aming mga miyembro ay nagkaroon ng karagadagang kita sa Bignay wine at iba pang mga produktong nagagawa namin. Mas natutugunan na po nila ang pangangailangan ng kanilang mga anak sa pag-aaral at gastusin sa bahay,” Desepeda said, adding:
 
“Sa katunayan, meron narin pong nakapag-tapos sa kanilang pag-aaral dahil sa tulong ng pangkabuhayang ipinagkaloob ng DOLE sa amin. Darating rin ang araw na sila din ay maaari mabigyan naming ng trabaho bilang clerk o bookkeeper sa aming kooperatiba.”
 
The cooperative was also able to permanently employ Margie Valencia, a mother of 3 and also a member of the cooperative, as its marketer and merchandiser.
 
 “Ako po ay nagpapasalamat  sa DOLE dahil lumago ang aming pinagkakabuyahan. Dito ko na po kinukuha ang karagdagang pang-tuition at pangangailangan ng aking mga anak. Hindi ko na po kailangang i-asa lahat sa sahod ng aking mister,” Valencia said.
 
At present, the cooperative, which now has 67 active members, established itself as a known wine-maker in the province and raised its assets to P1,624,314.99 as of CY 2015.
 
The cooperative’s active participation to various trade fairs at the national and regional level, as well as having its market place at “pasalubong” centers contributed to its success.
 
Aside from this, because of its good credit record, the cooperative was also awarded with a multi-purpose center through the help of the Daan sa Pag-Unlad, Inc. (DSPI).
 
Other government offices such as the DTI, Departments of Agriculture and Agrarian Reform, Provincial Government of Bataan, City Government of Balanga, and other agencies have also assisted the cooperative.
 
Indeed, the cooperative’s willingness to uplift the lives of its members and community, through the help of the DOLE and other agencies, can make a difference in achieving success.
 
END/Jerry Borja with reporting from Arah Sumang

 

 

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2017-04-08
ANA C. DIONE
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