SOLARES visits Kalamansig and Lebak: Coordination Meeting & Sanitation Supplies

Clockwise: Hon. Rolando Garcia, Mayor of Kalamansig; SOLARES with Hon. Garcia, SB Member Felicisimo Opiña, and William Saratao; SOLARES with LGU Lebak, Hon. Fredrick Celestial, Mayor.

On June 18 to 19, SOLARES project staff Engr. Jay Amiel Ajoc, Project Coordinator, Engr. Dhan Jaycle Diolanto, Project Officer, and Ms. Grace Miguel, Project Bookkeeper, visited Kalamansig for coordination meetings to LGUs and monitoring at livelihood partners in the area.

On Thursday, the team sat with Hon. Rolando Garcia, mayor of Kalamansig regarding the resumption of project activities such as social marketing in the area. Engr. Ajoc shared project status and updates. Social marketing is projected to be conducted in 8 barangays and towards the end of June. The project team was permitted to conduct the social marketing, as long as protocols are being followed: coordination with barangays, secure the mayor’s permit, and only a maximum of 10 participants all with masks per gathering.

In the same day, the project team visited livelihood partners Bacbacan Multi-Purpose Cooperative for monitoring. Bacbacan Multi-Purpose Cooperative received the sanitation supplies: sprayer, disinfectant, masks, and alcohol. Supplies for Kalamansig Farmers Agricultural Development and Marketing Association (KFADMA) and Kalamansig Coffee Growers Association (KCGA) were also provided.

SOLARES project staff with Bacbacan Multi-Purpose Cooperative and KIMEMCO

On Friday, the team visited LGU Lebak for brief updates. They also visited KIMEMCO for the monitoring. During the 2-day activity, LGU Kalamansig and LGU Lebak received alcohol, disinfectants, sprayer, and cloth masks. KIMEMCO and Sta. Cruz Multi-Purpose Cooperative having been previously visited, received alcohol.

SOLARES visits Maitum: Social Marketing LGU Coordination & Sanitation Supplies for Livelihood Partners

(Upper right) Coordination Meeting: Mr. Ruben Balanag; Maitum Municipal Administrator, Mr. Roel Albellar, KPS-SEED Branch Manager and Engr. Tayactac | (Counter-clockwise) Distribution of sprayers and other supplies: Engr. Amanoddin with Mr. Joel Acas of KPS-SEED; Engr. Tayactac with Mr. Nicholson Tagum from KIMEMCO; Mr. Rodolfo Dela Torre, Jr., General Manager of Sta. Cruz MPC with Engr. Amanoddin

On Wednesday, June 17 SOLARES project staff Engr. Jose Jerry Tayactac and Engr. Mohammad Alver Amanoddin visited Maitum for a coordination meeting with KPS-SEED Microfinance, Inc. regarding the upcoming SOLARES project activities in the area. Engrs. Tayactac and Amanoddin also coordinated with LGU Maitum for social marketing activities with Mr. Ruben Balanag, Municipal Administrator. As Sarangani is under Moderate General Community Quarantine (MGCQ), Mr. Balanag permitted the team for the 1-week conduct of Social Marketing provided that safety protocols will be observed and necessary documents will be secured by the team.

      During the visit, project staff also distributed a total of 3 sprayers, 3 disinfectants, 300 reusable masks to project partners in the livelihood component of SOLARES. Sta. Cruz Multipurpose Cooperative, KPS-SEED Microfinance, Inc., and Kiamba Micro Entrepreneurs Multipurpose Cooperative each received 1 sprayer and disinfectant and 100 washable masks.

       

     

Dolefil and Mahintana assist SoCot communities amid COVID-19 quarantine

Amidst the enhanced community quarantine in South Cotabato, Dole Philippines, Inc. and Mahintana Foundation, Inc. sustains its cooperative efforts to support the community. On March 24, 2020, the local government unit of Polomolok received 250 hygiene kits—each kit included 1 bar of soap, 1 small towel, 2 reusable masks, and 1 500ml bottle of isopropyl alcohol for their COVID-19 frontliners. In the same week, 45 hygiene kits were distributed to barangay health workers of Brgy. Cannery. Dole Philippines, Inc. through Mahintana provided 10 sprayers and 10 1L disinfectants to the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office of South Cotabato. Through the help of Brgy. Cannery, TIBUD, Dole Gawad Pag-ibig, and Elmer’s Tailoring, as of March 27, 23,293 face masks are being produced and distributed to employees of Dole Philippines, Inc.

Mask production at Elmer’s Tailoring

SOLARES holds Social Marketing and SUKELCO Member Consumer Sign-Up at Lebak

Lebak: one of seven municipalities included in the SOLARES project

After completing profiling and validation in Lebak, the SOLARES project staff marketed the solar home system (SHS) units to barangays in the area. Consistently, SUKELCO conducted a membership consumer (MC) orientation and application.

Households gained knowledge on the use of the SHS unit, including minor standard operating procedures. Through the activity, the team addressed a common misconception regarding the project: Once they are signed up for the SHS unit, they are no longer eligible for the grid connection.

Once electric grid distribution is available in their area, there will be a recall of SHS units to be transferred to an off-grid community.

The SHS package includes an ERC mandated tariff of Php 7.40 a day. Replacement of worn out or damaged parts will be covered by the maintenance fee. After the project duration of 3 years, the units will be turned over to SUKELCO as part of their sustainability mechanism.

MC sign up will continue until the end of March 2020. Community members are required to submit accomplished PVM membership forms to their barangay secretary along with the one-time membership fee of Php 255.

Membership orientation by SUKELCO at Pansud, Lebak, Sultan Kudarat

In line with the livelihood component, Mr. Stefan Babera, project officer from Peace and Equity Foundation, visited to monitor partner MFIs/people’s organizations/associations. Mr. Babera assisted Keytodac Coffee Growers Association (KCGA) with possible partnerships and preparation of a consolidated financial statement. He also visited Kalamansig Farmers Agricultural Development Marketing Association (KFADMA) and Bacbacan Multi-Purpose Cooperative (BMPC) for a possible partnership as well. As a result of the monitoring, the project organized a financial systems installation training in support of partner MFIs/POs/associations.

SOLARES conducts Accounting for Non-Accountants: A Financial System Installation Workshop

Keytodac Coffee Growers Association (KCGA) and Kalamansig Farmers Agricultural Development and Marketing Association (KFADMA) participated in the Financial System Installation Workshop conducted through the SOLARES project. Ms. Phoebe Montefalcon, CPA assisted by Ms. Donna Funticha both from the PP Montefalcon Accounting Service shared their expertise to the associations in terms of improving their financial documentation in the 2-day workshop last February 27-28, 2020 at the Q Citi Park Hotel, General Santos City.

Sessions consisted of lectures, exercises, and workshop. Ms. Montefalcon discussed introduction of accounting, accounting elements, books of accounts, and the accounting cycle. The participants accomplished sample source documents and posted in book of accounts. The participants prepared trial balances, worksheets and a financial statement. Ms. Montefalcon and Ms. Funticha assisted and assessed their outputs and offered guidance in the preparation.

Regardless of their educational attainment and work experience, participants shared the ease of learning because of how the workshop was packaged specific to operations of their associations, and examples of application in their context.

Mr. Stefan Babera from Peace and Equity Foundation (PEF) facilitated the workshop. Mr. Jobe Tubigon, SOLARES project manager, provided insight in his opening remarks on the need for and advantages of proper financial documentation. Ms. Shunie Palacios (PEF) provided clarification and assistance to the associations and thanked both resource speakers and participants to a successful workshop.

People in Need Philippines (PIN) Benchmarks SOLARES & ASEP-PVM Window 1 Projects

As one of the seven (7) awardees &/or implementers of EU ASEP-CfP, the People in Need Philippines (PIN), together with its partner Entrepreneurs du Monde, benchmarked SOLARES & ASEP-PVM Window 1 projects (under SOCOTECO II) on 3 February 2020 for a learning exchanges on project operations, financial and procurement, especially approaches to off-grid lighting solutions and livelihood support (RE or agri-based).

Upon coordination with SOCOTECO II, PVM-W1 Site Sitio New Antique was the area being visited. Along with 4 other colleagues, Mr. Diosdado Mendoza, PIN Project Manager, visited and interviewed several beneficiaries of the Window 1 PVM Site. SOCOTECO II and SOLARES project team assisted the PIN team to the site.

Ms. Khristin Hunter, Mr. Karol Skalowski, and Mr. Mendoza took turns interviewing the residents of New Antique regarding their experience with the Solar Home System (SHS) Units of the Window 1 PVM. A few residents welcomed the team into their home and shared about using the unit for 2 years. They were thankful and noticed how they could use power for 24 hours compared to using kerosene, and mentioned their children could study and do homework in the evening. New Antique sitio leader also shared the differences in experiences and preferences of residents. She herself used personal solar equipment for power like others; she did not answer on behalf of the community, instead recognized it was up to the residents whether they wanted to avail. She added if there were another project that would open to avail SHS units, she is positive there would some who would request to be included.

The PIN team went around the sitio before proceeding to another venue for a brief exchange of experience over coffee and snacks. Ms. Hunter and Mr. Skalowski gave their questions to SOCOTECO II, Mr. John Tindoy and Mr. Angelico Boiser. Their queries revolved around the system and process used by SOCOTECO II other queries related to their line of work and experience.

For the livelihood component of the project, Mr. Mendoza, Ms. Hunter, and Mr. Skalowski openly asked regarding the arrangement between the project and Peace and Equity Foundation from Mr. Stefan Babera, PEF project officer. Mr. Babera shared the process of how PEF assisted microfinance institutions, people organizations, and associations included in SOLARES.

The exchange continued at General Santos City wherein Mr. Jobe Tubigon, SOLARES project manager properly introduced the SOLARES project to PIN, along with Mr. Martiniano Magdolot, project director, and Ms. Liza Hora, admin and finance officer. The PIN team was able to expand their queries on specifics on the project, such as database, process of data collection, electric coops participation, sustainability, co-financing, beneficiaries, and updates on SOLARES.

The PIN team expressed their gratitude towards SOLARES project staff and Mahintana Foundation, Inc., for the learning experience and prompt, useful advice for their approach to the REACH project.

Other than their visit with the SOLARES & SOCOTECO II Projects, PIN is set to visit DASURECO’s franchise areas in Brgy. Baluntaya, Don Marcelino and Brgy. Little Baguio, Malita, Davao Occidental for the Productive Use of Renewable Energy (PURE) technologies.

SOLARES conducts Factory Acceptance Test Training

Part of the SOLARES Project bidding and procurement process is the Factory Acceptance Test (FAT) and before the contract signing, a successful conduct of FAT must take place first. For a successful FAT, it is important that the project’s FAT team is equipped with technical know-how on how FAT is done. To do this, the SOLARES project requested the technical assistance of ASEP-TA/GIZ, through Mr. David Balleza as technical consultant, for the FAT training and actual conduct of FAT.

The FAT training was aimed at equipping the FAT team/TWG on how to conduct FAT, especially in preparation of actual conduct of FAT in China. The 5-member FAT team is composed of key technical persons from SOCOTECO II (1), SUKELCO (1), Mahintana (2) and ASEP-TA/GIZ (1). Aside from the FAT team, the training was also participated by the key project staff of the SOLARES project as part of building local capacities in FAT, PSI, O&M and other related activities. The 2-day activity was conducted on 30-31 January 2020 at Q CitiPark Hotel, General Santos City with Mr. Balleza of ASEP-TA/GIZ as technical resource person given his experience and expertise in solar/renewable energy.

Key results of the training include sharing and demonstrating the FAT process, protocol, steps, test procedures and FAT requirements per major Solar Home System (SHS) component – the device under inspection (DUI). During demo, visual screening as part of the test procedure was conducted on PV module, battery and battery management system, charge controller, LED lamps, and vending machine/management system (VMS) of the sample SHS unit of PVM Window 1. The demo was based on the draft FAT manual/ guidelines designed by the project (part of the bid documents). Accomplishing sample FAT forms and report by the FAT team was also part of the key results.

Meanwhile, the actual conduct of FAT which was originally scheduled on 10-15 February 2020 in China was postponed due to travel restrictions brought about by the novel Corona virus outbreak.

SOLARES conducts Training on Leadership and Financial Management to Partner Coops/POs

In order to empower and enhance capacity and skills of microfinance institutions (MFIs)/coops/people’s organizations (POs), Mahintana Foundation, Inc. through the SOLARES project and its livelihood component conducted the 3-day Training on Leadership and Financial Management, facilitated by Peace and Equity Foundation. Two resource speakers shared their expertise on their respective topics; Ms. Mary Luzviminda ‘Dayluz’ Herezo for leadership, and Ms. Phoebe Montefalcon on financial management. Keytodac Coffee Growers Association (KCGA), KFADMA, KIMEMCO, KPS-SEED, Sta. Cruz MPC actively participated in the training.

For the first day, Ms. Dayluz covered various topics on leadership, mainly starting with the self and gradually progressing to roles, leadership, and management. She engaged the participants with different activities involving situational problems solving, group dynamics, as well as pre- and post-tests for participants to self-evaluate and be aware of their progress throughout the training. Such activities prompted the participants to reveal their innate leadership skills, and also improve and develop them from then on.

On the second day of the training, Ms. Montefalcon discussed the module entitled Accounting for Non-Accountants which covered most topics that would be expected of a personnel assigned in finance. For the participant MFIs/coops/POs, it was most helpful for them to identify ways and means to improve their overall financial management. The financial management assessment tool became one of the highlights for the participants. Mahintana Foundation, Inc., Peace and Equity Foundation, and Ms. Montefalcon and her staff were present to directly assist in their checklist and output. The participants made and presented their action plans and Ms. Montefalcon was generous with her professional advice regarding improving the current situation, to any questions, and with implementation hurdles the participants may face after taking home their learnings to their respective MFIs/coops/POs.

Ms. Liza Hora, Admin and Finance Officer of Mahintana Foundation Inc., Mr. Dennis Oman Salvo, PPU Manager of Peace & Equity Foundation, and Mr. Martiniano L. Magdolot, President & CEO of Mahintana Foundation, Inc. were present to warmly welcome and give recognition to the participants from several areas such as Lebak, Kalamansig, Kiamba, and Maasim.

 

URGENT HIRING

Mahintana is looking for a Registered Pharmacist to be assigned at the South Cotabato Provincial Hospital with the following qualifications:

Interested applicants may submit their application letter, resume, Transcript of Records and other pertinent documents to mahintana_mfi@yahoo.com or to healthplusppf@gmail.com addressed to:

Mr. Martiniano L. Magdolot
President and CEO
Mahintana Foundation, Inc.