The Department of Trade and Industry Region 12 (DTI 12) as the chair of the newly created Region 12 Bamboo Industry Development Council or Kawayan Dose., Mahintana Foundation, Inc. as co-chair, and PLGU Sarangani as the vice-chairperson, conducted the first Regional Bamboo Council Meeting on September 2, 2021 through an online platform and physical meeting.
Organizing and strengthening the council was done through the discussion of the following agendas: Identification and finalization of membership (Government Sector Representatives: DENR, DA, DA-ADPO, DOST, DAR, PLGUs, DepEd, NHA, DOLE, TESDA, ATI, NCIP and MinDA, Private Sector Representatives: Cotabato Province – Central Mindanao Green Workers Assoc. & Green Workers Corporation, Sultan Kudarat – Bamboo Crafters Association (Tacurong), Sarangani: Conrado Ladislawa Alcantara Foundation, Inc. (CLAFI), South Cotabato: Mahintana & SCBIDC, Financing Institutions: DBP and LBP, Academe: South Cotabato State College, Mindanao State University, Sultan Kudarat State University and University of Southern Mindanao (Kabacan and Kidapawan), creation of relevant committees, discussion on establishing a quorum during meetings, identification of Secretariat (DTI 12 Industry Development Division), activities for the World Bamboo Day 202 with the theme “Alay ng Bayan sa Inang Kalikasan, Kawayan!“
Mahintana as the co-chairperson delivered the closing message highlighting “Building networks among those working in the field of research and information services, on policy development and implementers for the council and in moving forward to the development of the regional bamboo roadmap, are part of the important mission for the council. Like a bamboo, “The first year it sleeps, the second year it creeps, the third year it leaps.” Let the council continually cultivate one another and build strong roots for our region.”
Mahintana Foundation Inc., through the GCERF – funded Promoting Peace Engagements and Community Empowerment (ProPEACE) Programme supported the local government unit (LGU) of Polomolok in celebration of the Linggo ng Kabataan (Week of the Youth) in Lumakil, Polomolok last August 24-26, 2021. Dole Philippines, Inc. (Dolefil) and the 10th Special Forces Company of the 5th Special Forces Battalion (Philippine Army) extended their support to the event, which was launched in the presence of local authorities, mayors, and councilors.
During the launching, Hon. Efren Cordon Lumakil Punong Barangay, welcomed stakeholders and beneficiaries, with reminders on observing health protocols. Hon. Honey Lumayag-Matti, municipal mayor of Polomolok, expressed the commitment of the local government to restore the barangay through social services support. With the recent security concerns, Mayor Matti encouraged the constituents assuring that the local government and its stakeholders’ support are in place: “Ibalik natin ang dating sigla ng Lumakil.” (Let us collectively regain Lumakil.) Ms. Daren Talahuron, Lumakil Sangguniang Kabataan chairperson, expressed her gratitude for the support as this year’s Linggo ng Kabataan is themed Transforming Food System: Youth Innovation for Human and Planetary Sustainability. They showcased local delicacies to promote acceptance of diversity in Lumakil while also empowering youth as leaders in their communities.
Mahintana Foundation, Inc. turned over a wheelchair to a Lumakil beneficiary at the program, represented by his parent, who expressed gratitude to the foundation and its partners for realizing her wish for her son’s mobility. Mr. Martiniano Magdolot, President, and Ms. Liza Hora, Executive Director, demonstrated the customized wheelchair and mentioned the ongoing wheelchair caravan in South Cotabato. The caravan will benefit 200 persons with disabilities. Mr. Roel Ian Blanker, ProPEACE Programme Manager, concluded the program by sharing the ProPEACE programme, emphasizing the need for collaboration with and among the community and to assist them in addressing peace and development concerns resulting in the multi-stakeholder support for Lumakil.
After, the local government unit organized a medical-dental mission and outreach program in Purok Maguindanao, Brgy. Lumakil. Around 79 children were enrolled in the LGU’s feeding program. Meanwhile, Mahintana and the Municipal Health Office team educated the youth and children about appropriate sanitation and hygiene at the barangay-covered court. Following the orientation, the team distributed a total of 100 hygiene packs to the participants. Continuing the activity, youth session named Healthy Young Ones composed a series of anti-smoking, anti-drug abuse, and adolescent reproductive health campaigns for 100 adolescents was conducted. The activity was facilitated with the assistance of the Polomolok Task Force Kalusugan (PTFK), a task force established by the LGU through a public-private partnership with Dole Philippines, Mahintana as secretariat, and the Municipal Cooperative Development Council. The task force assists the municipality in addressing emerging health concerns.
On August 25-26, the 10th Special Forces Company, led by Capt. Harold Layan provided tuli (circumcision operation) and haircut services together with the Lumakil Barangay Health Center. 85 children benefitted from the Operation Tuli. Parents of the children also received Vitamin C supplements through Mahintana’s Lakbay Buhay Kalusugan Program, a health promotion caravan conducted through Health Plus Project, a social enterprise pharmacy that provides safe and affordable medicines and supplies where the hygiene kits, as well as the medicines and supplies needed for Operation Tuli were obtained.
The community responded with the activity, indicating that it helped restore the locality’s sense of community. Lumakil is one of the areas in Polomolok affected by security concerns.
The support extended during the Linggo ng Kabataan celebration resulted from community consultation visits conducted in July with Mahintana, the local government unit, and security forces through the ProPEACE Programme.
With the assistance and commitment of stakeholders, the adopted community will continue to benefit from the recovery efforts on a regular basis.
Other notable guests were Governor Reynaldo Tamayo Jr. of South Cotabato and Hon. Eamon Gabriel Matti, South Cotabato,1st District Board Member.
The SK continues the week-long celebration with tree-growing activities as a commitment of the youths to the environment.
In partnership with Dole Philippines, Inc. with funding support from Tarami Corporation, the Chairs-for-Trees Community Reciprocating Project of Mahintana Foundation, Inc. successfully turned over 50 armchairs to Klowil Ampan Elementary School on August 20, 2021. As part of the reciprocating action to increase student awareness on environmental advocacy and vegetate the surrounding area, the school committed to plant the donated 1,750 fruit and forest seedlings within school grounds and riverbank areas.
The official turnover activity included guests such as Hon. Ronnie L. Dela Peña, Vice Mayor of LGU Tboli; Mr. Danilo Dan, Sitio Leader of Lemlago; Ms. Mizpah Sunshine Ming, Tboli Tribal Affairs Unit Officer; Mr. Geffrey Anthony Potenciano, Klowil Ampan Elementary School Head Teacher; Mr. Jeremiah Diana, Communications Office Corporate Communications Department of Dolefil; and Mr. Jade Gatdula, project coordinator from Mahintana.
Mr. Dan spoke of his appreciation for the chairs; Mr. Potenciano emphasized the armchairs will be put to good use for setting up the extension school which greatly benefits the school and the community. Mr. Diana also shared that the project started and implemented through the help of Tarami Corporation.
The signing of the memorandum of agreement included Hon. Dela Peña representing LGU Tboli and Mr. Potenciano representing the school. The ceremonial turnover of the chairs for Klowil Ampan Elementary School followed.
Klowil Ampan Elementary School was established in 2020 with 60 enrollees from Grade 1 to 6. They were in need of armchairs to aid the learning of their students and improve the facility of the makeshift classroom.
In Tboli, ProPEACE programme local sub-recipient Tribal Leaders Development Foundation supported a three-day Barangay Development Planning (BDP) Workshop on April 21-13, 2021. One of the beneficiaries, Geraldine Lambong is a community day-care worker from Sitio Bakngeb, Brgy. Laconon, Tboli, South Cotabato. Ms. Lambong expressed her concern with the underwhelming actions by local officials in her experience of 20-year service. Despite her willingness to serve, she faced setbacks: lack of funding and structural support.
Now, with the programme’s support, she has shifted her perspective on local governance. Through the workshop, she was able to participate in the crafting of the programs and projects to address her community’s prevailing issues. Ms. Lambong shared, “I am grateful because, with my 20 years of service as a daycare worker, this is my first time to join a BDP workshop. It helped me understand clearly what BDP is, how the budget is allocated, and where to lobby our concern for guided actions.”
More guided and motivated, her attitude towards local officials improved. “Through this BDP workshop our situation was discussed and taken into consideration, I hope that within five years our concerns will be addressed,” she said.
The five-year Barangay Development Plan (BDP) sets strategic activities that should be implemented to address relevant issues and concerns within a barangay and provide direction for its growth. During its sectoral planning, the sub-recipient seeks to identify areas of complementation with the programme’s framework.
With support from the Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund, the Promoting Peace Engagements and Community Empowerment (ProPEACE) programme is currently being implemented in the provinces of South Cotabato and Sarangani by the Mahintana Foundation, Inc. through a consortium with Kasilak Development Foundation, OND Hesed, Maguindanaon Development Foundation, and the Tribal Leaders Development Foundation.
Mahintana Foundation, Inc. (MFI) through its Dolefil-assisted Ridge-to-Reef (R2R) Program supported the tree growing activity and environmental advocacy of the barangay local government unit of Poblacion (BLGU Poblacion) on August 9, 2021 along Prk. Ma. Rosa (6°13’59.95″N, 125° 3’59.97″E) to San Agustin (6°13’1.03″N, 125° 4’20.63″E) riverside, Brgy. Poblacion, Polomolok.
BLGU Poblacion planted 300 bamboo seedlings as part of their flood mitigation and riverbanks erosion prevention measures in celebration of the National Disaster Resilience Month (NDRM).
The Landan People’s Multi-Purpose Cooperative (LPMPC) successfully launched their Decorticated Pineapple Fiber Project on August 9, 2021 at the Landan People’s Multi-Purpose Cooperative Grounds, Brgy. Landan, Polomolok, South Cotabato. LPMPC is exploring new businesses for additional source of income while promoting value-adding and waste upcycling of pineapple production. The cooperative’s pineapple fiber production is supported by Dole Philippines Inc. and Mahintana Foundation, Inc. in partnership with the Philippine Fiber Industry Development Authority (PhilFIDA) and the local government unit of Polomolok.
Notable guests include Hon. Honey Lumayag-Matti, Municipal Mayor of Polomolok; Mr. Kennedy Costales, Executive Director of PhilFIDA; Ms. Milagros Laburada, ROXI OIC-PhilFIDA; Mr. Harlan Sunada, Vice President of Dole Packaged Foods Asia Technical Services of Dole Philippines Inc.; Mr. Tristan Sotto, Director of Engineering Services Division of Dolefil; Mr. Edgar Trazo, Director of Strategic Projects, Dole Philippines, Inc.; Mr. Martiniano Magdolot, President of Mahintana Foundation, Inc.; Ms. Liza Hora, Executive Director of Mahintana Foundation, Inc.; and Mr. Jobe Tubigon, Operations Manager of Mahintana Foundation Inc. Staff from PhilFIDA, Dolefil, and LPMPC joined the launching event.
Mayor Honey Lumayag-Matti expressed her support to LPMPC’s new venture. The cooperative is to send their proposal to the LGU to further help fund the project. Mr. Sunada, Mr. Magdolot, and Mr. Costales also expressed their support and continuing partnership with the cooperative.
Ms. Edilyn Pabicon, the General Manager of LPMPC, closed the program with a warm expression of their gratitude for the support that LPMPC has received. An actual demonstration of decorticating pineapple leaves to pineapple fiber was conducted with the assistance of Mr. Renato Amistad of PhilFIDA ROXI and the LPMPC decorticating machine operator.
In support to the local government unit of Polomolok, the Municipal Cooperative Development Council (MCDC) and the Polomolok Task Force Kalusugan (PTFK) conducted simultaneous recorida and distribution of IEC materials to different barangays in Polomolok to help increase awareness of and encourage the community on the local COVID-19 vaccination program. The following cooperatives joined the Resbakuna recorida (and their assigned areas): AMCOOP – Brgy. Magsaysay, CAMPCO- Brgy. Poblacion, TIBUD- Brgy. Lamcaliaf, Crossing Palkan, Palkan, DARBC – Brgy. Cannery, PoloSN – Brgy. Polo, Landan PMPC- Brgy. Landan, Maligo.
After the recorida, a luncheon meeting was conducted among cooperatives and Ms. Bianca Buaron, Dr. Grace Salazar and Dr. Edwin Dipus from the Municipal Health Office (MHO) discussing vaccination schedules, protocols, and next steps.
50 participants from the Department of Education – Koronadal City Division, 45 schools from Koronadal City, Mahintana Foundation, Inc. and partner-organizations Dole Philippines, Inc. and Tibud sa Katibawasan Multi-Purpose Cooperative (TSKMPC) celebrated the Virtual Culmination activity on July 28, 2021 via Zoom of the 60-day school-based feeding program (SBFP), successfully implemented through Mahintana’s Nutripan project benefitting 7,788 school-age children funded by DepEd National.
Mr. Danilo C. Abanil, DepEd School Governance Operations Division (SGOD), opened the event emphasizing the importance of partnerships with private organizations and CSOs to efficiently and effectively implement the SBFP while adopting the “new normal”. Ms. Margie S. Managuit, Mahintana Nutripan Project Manager, presented accomplishments of the SBFP. Dr. Gertrudes Dajay, DepEd Medical Officer III, acknowledged 45 school heads and health coordinators for their significant effort in distributing the Nutripan breads and Tibud fruit juices to beneficiaries.
Messages of support were given by Ms. Liza D. Hora, Mahintana Executive Director, Ms. Julieta Burgos, Dolefil HR Director, and Mr. Crispin Soliven, CESE III, DepEd’s Schools Division Superintendent (SDS). The SBFP was implemented in partnership with 3 of Mahintana-established Nutripan bakeries: Polomolok, Surallah, and Koronadal National Comprehensive High School, an adopted school-bakery, Silway-8 Elementary School, and the local cooperative TSKMPC supplying calamansi juice and other variants (with passion fruit, orange, pineapple, or guyabano). Through the SBFP, 7,788 beneficiaries of 45 schools received Nutripan vegetable/fruit-filled breads and fruit juices, 28,949 cans of Dole pineapple products as Vitamin C supplementation. Mahintana assisted 16 Nutripan bakery staff and 37 IPs and women of a local cooperative by increasing their income by at least P10,000/month. Nutripan generated net savings for 4 assisted bakeshops and assisted Silway-8 Elementary School in the renovation of their moringga production facility.
In time for the foundation’s anniversary, a new Nutripan Bakery will be opening at the Mahintana Business Resource Center, Dahlia St., Poblacion, Polomolok, South Cotabato this coming August 12, 2021.
The Department of Trade and Industry-Region 12 (DTI 12) led the creation of the SOCCSKSARGEN Regional Bamboo Council through a blended session on August 5, participated by provincial bamboo council officers and members, national government agencies, and non-government organizations such as Mahintana Foundation, Inc. The organizational meeting gathered bamboo stakeholders of the region to form a body responsible for consolidating the interests and concerns of its members, plan for the regional direction of the industry, and raise industry concerns to specific agencies. The organizational meeting resulted with DTI 12 as the chair and Mahintana Foundation Inc. as co-chair along with the provincial government of Sarangani as the vice-chair for the Region 12 Bamboo Council.Part of the council’s next steps include small group meetings to consult stakeholders for the synchronization of inter-agency plans and to localize the bamboo roadmap. The Department of Environment and Natural Resource – Region 12 expressed support for the endeavor. “Rest assured that DENR will support our partner non-government agencies (NGA’s) on their bamboo initiatives for sustainable development,” said DENR Conservation Development Chief Ali M. Hadjinasser. The council prepares for a series of activities for the World Bamboo Day on 18th of September 2021.
The Chairs-for-Trees reciprocating project of Mahintana Foundation, Inc. with the funding support of Dole Philippines, Inc. turned over 50 armchairs to the Salacafe Elementary School – Blo Extension located at Sitio Blo, Tboli, South Cotabato on July 6, 2021.
Notable guests include Hon. Dibu S. Tuan, Municipal Mayor; Mizpah Sunshine Ming, Tribal Affairs Unit Head; Nicholaos Yiannakis, Dole Philippines, Inc. VP and Managing Director; Carlos Rodriguez, Dolefil AgriOperations Director; Leamor Bañaga, Dolefil Community Relations Manager and Mahintana Executive Director, Liza D. Hora. Around 22 LGU and school staff/officers joined to celebrate the event.
A MOA signing was conducted to signify the acceptance of the armchairs and the responsibility of the school in growing at least 80% of the donated 1,750 fruit and forest tree seedlings (equivalent to 10% of the total cost of armchairs which is Php 350.00/chair) for two years.
At the end of the program, teacher-in-charge Kervee Jastien Aberde thanked the donation as it is a great help to advance the learning facility of the extension school. The school can only be accessed through horseback riding or walking.