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.

PEF and Mahintana conduct SOLARES Financial Management Assessment and Monitoring

The SOLARES team composed of Ms. Grace B. Miguel, SOLARES Project Bookkeeper and Mr. Stefan H. Babera, PEF Livelihood Project Officer visited the partner MFIs and POs in the SOLARES covered municipalities in Sultan Kudarat and Sarangani Province to conduct a financial management assessment and monitoring on December 17-19, 2019.

The first partner visited was the Kalamansig Farmers Agricultural Development and Marketing Association (KFADMA), formerly the Kalamansig Coffee Industry Development Council (KCOINDECO), located in Brgy. Sta Clara, Kalamansig, Sultan Kudarat. The team discussed with key officers headed by Mr. Fernando Saycon, KFADMA President. As of today, the association has registered with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).

On December 18, the team visited the office of Ms. Maria Magdalena Ruiz, Loan Officer of Bacbacan Multi-purpose Cooperative located in Poblacion, Lebak, Sultan Kudarat. The team gathered information regarding the financial management system of the cooperative which was fairly established and were closely monitored by MICOOP Area Officers. The system can generate updated financial reports which makes their credit and saving operation easier. With regards to the training needs of the cooperative, they want an in depth analysis and understanding of the financial reports so as to capacitate their staff in interpreting the figures in the report for faster decision making.

The team proceeded to Brgy. Keytodac in Lebak, Sultan Kudarat. The team was welcomed by the association officers headed by Mr. Arnel Butron, the association’s president. They are practicing the traditional financial recording but is maintaining a revolving fund with a higher amount because their geographic setting is far from the bank and it is costly for them to regularly go.

The following day, December 19, the team proceeded to Kiamba in Sarangani Province to visit Kiamba Micro Entrepreneurs Multi-purpose Cooperative (KIMEMCO). The team talked with Mrs. Jane Rojas, BOD Chairperson, Ms. Amaya Albaran, Bookkeeper. The cooperative also maintains a financial recording and reporting system for their credit and savings. Ms. Albaran also gave a demo on how to use the existing system particularly on updating of financial reports and status of credit of borrowers. The team went to Maasim, Sarangani Province to visit Sta. Cruz Multi-purpose Cooperative and they met with Mrs. Juvelyn Besin, Loan Officer of the cooperative.

Overall, the MFIs/cooperatives’ financial recording and management is in place with the help of installed systems in operations and report generation are easier for them. However, cooperatives will have to further improve their skills in interpreting and analyzing financial reports to aid in their decision-making.

SOLARES Project wraps up its first year with the Annual Review and Planning Workshop

SOLARES Year 1 officially concludes on December 13, 2019. The SOLARES project management and project implementation team were invited to participate in the Year 1 Annual Review and Planning Workshop cum Project Management Meeting. Together with Mahintana Foundation, Inc., representatives from Peace and Equity Foundation, Dole Philippines, Inc., SOCOTECO II, SUKELCO, Bacbacan MPC, KCOINDECO/KFADMA, Keytodac CGA, KIMEMCO, KPS-SEED, Sta. Cruz MPC participated in the workshop last December 10, 2019 which was held at Dolefil Clubhouse Kalsangi, Kalsangi, Polomolok, South Cotabato.

In order to assess project performance in terms of implementation and fund utilization, Year 1 project accomplishments and challenges were presented for assessments and action and financial plans for Year 2 and 3 were updated. Mr. Martiniano Magdolot, SOLARES Project Director and Mahintana Foundation, Inc. President & CEO welcomed the team with a brief background on how the project started up to the latest updates regarding SOLARES. Mr. Jobe Tubigon followed with an expectation check and workshop overview for the participants. Representing Dole Philippines, Inc. and on behalf of Mr. Nick Yiannakis, Dolefil Vice President and Managing Director, a message from SOLARES partners was delivered by Engr. Wilson Peria, Dolefil plant utility manager. Engr. Peria congratulated the team for its first year and recognized how through the project, Dolefil gained knowledge and experience in solar power. Mr. Tubigon proceeded to discuss the presentation of Year 1 Project Accomplishments and Challenges through the different components: social preparation and community mobilization, capacity building and technical assistance, SHS electrification support, and Mr. Stefan Babera, project officer of Peace and Equity Foundation presented for livelihood and financing support. Ms. Grace Miguel, project bookkeeper updated the team regarding the SOLARES Year 1 project financial performance and budget performance report.

From upper left, clockwise: Engr. Crisanto Sotelo, Mr. Stefan Babera, Mr. Martiniano Magdolot, Mr. Elmer Jay Seguma, Engr. Wilson Peria, Mr. Jobe Tubigon, and the SOLARES project.

Before proceeding to the open forum, a ceremonial turnover of livelihood assistance to Keytodac CGA was done. Mr. Elmer Jay Seguma, Keytodac CGA was present to participate in the turnover. In the afternoon, a planning workshop was done; different groups in the project developed their action plans and financial plans for Year 2 and 3. To officially conclude the workshop, Engr. Crisanto Sotelo, General Manager of SOCOTECO II expressed gratitude and congratulations to the SOLARES team for their first year.

SOLARES expresses support to coffee organizations in Sultan Kudarat

Mr. Arnel Butron, Mr. Stefan Babera, and Mr. Elmor Segume at the coffee processing site.

As a part of the livelihood component of SOLARES, Mr. Stefan Babera, project officer of Peace and Equity Foundation visited Brgy. Keytodac, Lebak, Sultan Kudarat on November 19, 2019.

Mr. Babera called a meeting on preparation for the next operation of the association, particularly for their coffee and corn consolidation and trading, and production loan support to officer-members. Mr. Arnel Butron, President and Mr. Arnold Colcolan, Business Manager participated in the meeting.

One of the agenda included setting up of financial management system. For coffee and corn operations, there were four (4) books of transaction presented to the association; inventory book (purchase of coffee), sales book (delivery), operating expense book and cash book. Discussion covered the content of these books and most importantly the division of work among Mr. Butron and Mr. Colancolan.

Participants also tackled documentation of operation flows. Constraints faced by the association were on the recording of transactions due to the voucher signatories which cause confusion, delays, and mixups of records. The association will implement the open-market marketing strategy for this year.

Mr. Babera assisted Keytodac for a few more days to guide the operation.

Mahintana Foundation, Inc. brainstorms for its Strategic Mid-Program Review and Planning

In order to review the foundation’s 5-year strategic plan (2017-2021), Mahintana Foundation Inc. conducted its Strategic Mid-Program Review and Planning on November 7-8, 2019 at Malagos Garden Resort, Davao City. The invited resource speaker Mr. Jaime “Bong” Antonio, Jr. facilitated the following segments to the 2-day activity: part 1, examining our influence and impact as a development partner through portfolio reports and the sense making workshop; part 2, defining our locus through examining Mindanao trends and Mahintana Situational Analysis and strategic plan review and updating; and part 3, the teambuilding retreat.

Clockwise from top left: Ms. Liza Hora, Admin and Finance Officer; Mr. Jaime Antonio, Jr. and Mr. Martiniano Magdolot, President and CEO; (lower right) Ms. Jea Roque, HealthPlus Supervising Pharmacist.

Each program was tasked to prepare and present portfolio and accomplishment reports to serve as an overview of the different programs: (1) Basic Social Services, (2) Environment, Disaster Risk Reduction Management and Climate Change Adaptation, (3) Institutional-Building and Governance, and (4) Social Enterprise. Before proceeding to the discussion on the outputs of the sense-making workshop, the group was halved and assigned to list Mindanao trends and another half was tasked to evaluate whether the previous situational analysis is consistent to the present or needs updating.

Despite the lengthy process on mapping out the activities of each program, the discussion proved to be fruitful and became a way to level the staff’s knowledge about the foundation’s programs. The most important segment of this activity was the review and update of the strategic plan. Based on their previous outputs (the sense making workshop, Mindanao trends, and situational analysis) the teams could incorporate changes based on these and as a result of further discussion and brainstorming.

Clockwise from top left: Mr. Jan Solomon Edrozo, RESOURCEGov2 Project Officer; Mr. Jeric Amparo, ZOD/HIMSOG-Tupi Project Officer; Mr. Jobe Tubigon, Operations Officer & SOLARES project manager; and Mr. Jay Amiel Ajoc, SOLARES project coordinator.

Bid Opening Session (IOB No. SOLARES-SHS-19-01)

Scheduled on 30 September 2019, Mr. Jobe Tubigon, Project Manager, opened and presided over the meeting for the bid opening session.

He informed the members of the Technical Working Group (TWG) that as of 1:00 PM, September 30, 2019, the deadline for the submission of bids, no one submitted a bid. This was despite the ample time given to the potential bidders.

Based on the bidding timetable, the invitation for bids was published on August 7, 2019 in the Philippine Daily Inquiry (PDI) and in Mahintana’s website (which includes the e-copy of bid documents). On August 9, 2019, PDI re-published the invitation for bids.  On August 22, 2019, the pre-bid meeting was conducted where in only one bidder participated, SINOSOAR represented by Mr. Phoenix Zhang. During the pre-bid meeting, Mr. Zhang raised concerns and clarifications on the (a) nationality rule, (b) origin of goods, (c) sealant, (d) source code, and (e) terms of payment. These clarifications were formally emailed by Mr. Zhang to Mahintana. On September 5, 2019, Mahintana consulted the European Commission (EC) for their feedback and recommendations on the said clarifications and on Mahintana’s draft response. It was also agreed that Mahintana should inform EC on the results of the bidding for them to provide corresponding recommendation or action. Integrating EC’s recommendations, the response to the clarifications was published on Mahintana’s website on September 16, 2019. Upon reading the official response, SINOSOAR officially informed Mahintana (through email) that they would not participate in the bid.

Since no bids were submitted, Mr. Tubigon, being the project manager of the procuring entity/ purchaser, declared a failure of bidding. The declaration was based on Mahintana’s manual of operations. He suggested and informed the Technical Working Group (TWG) members that there will be no re-bidding as there was ample time given to the potential bidders for submission of bids. He said re-bidding may compromise the bid timetable given the tight project implementation period. Mahintana will consult and request EC for flexible procedures (negotiated bidding) requesting them for the relaxation of the rules on nationality and origin. Mahintana would also try to relax the source code requirement.

There were at least three (3) other potential bidders but they also did not submit a bid.

For the bid opening process, Mr. Tubigon shared the bid opening record format below that would have been used and filled-up if there were bids submitted. The team reviewed the timetable and scheduling of expected activities given the failure of bidding.

The team discussed updates regarding the status of the livelihood component of the project. Mr. Stefan Babera of PEF announced that the livelihood project proposals of the five (5) partner coops/MFIs (Sta. Cruz MPC, KIMEMCO, Bacbacan MPC, KOINDECO, KPS-Seed) had been approved by the Program Committee (ProgCom) of PEF. These proposals would amount to at least PHP14M (PHP 3M/coop) which forms part as counterpart of the project.

SOLARES holds its 2nd Project Implementation Meeting

Representatives from microfinance institutions and electric cooperatives attended the 2nd Project Implementation Team (PIT) Meeting last July 26. The first PIT meeting was conducted on May 14. Mr. Jobe Tubigon, SOLARES project manager, facilitated the meeting as the presiding officer. Project director Mr Martiniano Magdolot opened the meeting with the welcoming message and partial updates on the project. He reminisced from the time when the funding for the project was approved (YAMOG Foundation received the grant as well) up to the recent changes occurring within Dolefil and eventually in Mahintana. YAMOG was invited to join and observe in the PIT meeting. Mr. Tubigon presented the agenda and asked to waive the reading of the previous minutes as so to give more time to updates. YAMOG was also called to speak; they shared about their similar concerns and experiences with where they are in their process. Mr. Tubigon continued to share about the project management chart: project management team and the project implementation team. For the benefit of the partner YAMOG and other coops who had no experience with Window 1, the larger framework was shared to the team; the link between ASEP-PVM (photovoltaiv mainstreaming) and SOLARES. Mr. Armel Adanza shared about the stark improvement from the experience they had with Window 1. ODK profiling and its paperless component has made household profiling more efficient.

Mr. Tubigon proceeded to discuss the schedules for the remainder of the year, giving emphasis on the bidding and procurement process as its evaluation is crucial. He continued to the project coordinator Mr. Jay Amiel Ajoc’s updates in Sarangani and Sultan Kudarat regarding meeting target of profiled households, conduct of enumerators trainings and mock surveys, actual profiling, user’s training among other things. The concern with existing programs like the one from the Department of Energy (DOE) and other concerns were raised during the report. Mr. Stefan Babera, project officer of Peace and Equity Foundation reported on the livelihood aspects of the project. His report covered on initial assessment profiling and project proposal writing workshop outputs of microfinance institutions. Finally, Ms. Grace B. Miguel, the project bookkeeper also presented on the project financials and budget; there has only been a minimal utilization of the budget so far.

Users’ Training for SOLARES Partner Electric Cooperatives on Open Data Kit (ODK)

The activity was facilitated by the EU-funded SOLARES project on July 3, at SOCOTECO II, General Santos City. Mr. Armel Adanza from SOCOTECO II delivered the welcoming and opening remarks. Mr. Adanza thanked the Mahintana team for the ODK training, and he himself saw the possible improvements as a result of adapting the software and how to accomplish Window 1, and to the whole process: from gathering data through a survey of the area for potential beneficiaries. In connection to the activity, Mr. Adanza also announced the 13 Millionth Consumer Connection on July 12, which also be attended by the President of the Republic of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte. Participants from SOCOTECO II and SUKELCO attended the training. Mr. Jobe Tubigon, SOLARES project manager first gave an overview of the SOLARES project and followed with a demonstration of the KoboCollect android application on his phone casted to the laptop and through a projection. The demonstration included filling up a sample form provided by Engr. Jomar Sevillano, PEE from SUKELCO.

The participants threw several questions regarding the content of the survey and up to the retrieval of data; possible cases or concerns they or other users might encounter. Mr. Tubigon addressed these concerns and questions as he carried on the training. Tutorials were distributed to the participants; some installed the Kobocollect app on their phones while some were in charge of preparing a sample form to be filled up later that day. Participants stepped outside the room when filling up their forms (in order to capture their current location). Towards the end of the training, Mr. Crisanto Sotelo, SOCOTECO II General Manager, delivered the closing remarks.

SOLARES Courtesy Calls to Target Barangays in Kiamba

Courtesy Call with the Barangay Secretary of Tambilil, Allan Lik

On June 10, 2019, the SOLARES Project Team went to Kiamba, Sarangani Province for a courtesy call with the MPDO regarding the status of the enumerators. According to Irish Joy Hingpit, an MPDO Staff, she was able to idenity nine enumerators and another three new enumerators wil be possibly on the team. She was uncertain of the three new enumerators as they are a new addition to the team and has no prior experience relating to conducting surverys on off-grid areas. The team also had courtesy calls with the barangay captains and/or representatives of Maligang, Gasi and Lomuyon. On the next day, June 11, the Project Team, conducted courtesy calls with Badtasan, Kapate, Nalus, Tablao, Tamadang and Tambilil.

In general, the Project Team was able to gain support from the barangays. The barangay captains and kagawads were thankful of the said opportunity as it will help their community members in the far-flung areas and they, in turn, will provide whatever assistance they can to aid the project team during implementation.

SOLARES Demonstration to Partner Micro-finance Institutions and Courtesy Calls with Lebak and Kalamansig MPDO

Engr. Jose Jerry Tayactac, explaining the electrification component of the project to the KIMEMCO Chair and Board Members

The SOLARES Project Team, together with Shunie Pearl Palacaios, PEF Area Officer headed off to Maasim, Sarangani for a meeting with Sta. Cruz MPC on May 27. Miss Palacios proceeded with her presentation, which included the background of their organization, how it began, its assets, their banner crops, their mode of support and the interest rates.

On May 28, 2019, the team attended a meeting at Lebak, Sultan Kudarat with the General Manager and Board Members of Bacbacan MPC. Ms. Palacios proceeded with her presentation of PEF and its background including the livelihood mechanism of the SOLARES Project. She also explained that PEF does not limit their support to their banner crops, 4Cs (cacao, coconut, coffee and cane sugar) and that they will support other crops given that it is the major source of income of the farmers operating with the cooperative’s area. The meeting went smoothly and it was agreed that more intricate concerns/matters will be discussed on the 31st together with other partner MFIs within SOLARES project area.

In the afternoon of the same day, the team went to Lebak MPDO to ask for updates regarding the CBMS CSV file acquisition request. The team then also went to Kalamansig MPDO for the same agenda it had with the Lebak MPDO.

On May 29, the team went to Kiamba, Sarangani for a meeting with KIMEMCO Chair and Board Members. Miss Palacios reiterated that the project will observe the 60,000 euro limit to partner MFIs as it was the only viable option as of the moment as per EU’s response. Miss Palacios’ presentation (livelihood) was followed with a presentation from Engr. Tayactac regarding the electrification component of the project. 

The team then headed off to Maitum, Sarangani for another meeting with the PAMULCO (Pangi Multi-Purpose Cooperative). The team was able to meet and discuss with PAMULCO General Manger, Ronald Briones, the electrification and livelihood components of the SOLARES Project.