Mahintana Foundation Inc. through its Dolefil-assisted Ridge-to-Reef Program in partnership with the SK Federation of Cannery Federation conducted a bamboo planting activity in celebration of the 2021 Pinayahan Festival.
The group planted 150 hills of Bamboo at UNIFIED Ranch, 108B, Brgy. Upper Klinan, Cannery Site, Polomolok, South Cotabato on September 25. 2021 marks the 14th year of the Pinyahan Festival which started on 2007, as a celebration and giving thanks to the pineapple, locally pinya, which has changed the way of in Brgy. Cannery Site.
SOLARES trained 33 enumerators on mobile-based data gathering and validation in early September.
Partnering with the Coalition of Social Development Organizations South Cotabato (CSDO-SC), the SOLARES team headed by EnP. Jobe C. Tubigon, project manager, conducted a training last August 31 to September 1 – 3, 2021 for the ODK-based data gathering/validation of coffee farmers’ profiles in Lebak and Kalamansig. Invited participants actively shared their recommendations regarding the form. They showing understanding towards the topic. The survey was generated through Kobotoolbox or Open Data Kit.
Following this training, SOLARES deployed enumerators to Lebak and Kalamansig last September 6, 2021. Data gathering/validation will determine actual agricultural/coffee production profile of the two municipalities. Results will reveal socio-economic and geographical profiles of at least 6,000 coffee growers in these municipalities and validate the Productive Uses of Renewable Energy (PURE) support. These also include the gaps on highly efficient and appropriate post-harvest/processing facilities/equipment. Potentially, through the survey, the project can further engage nearby communities to support profiling in their municipalities.
With this, an established database contributes to a responsive coffee industry in the province of Sultan Kudarat which was highly emphasized in recent consultations with the Sultan Kudarat Coffee Council. The database must include geographical, socio-economic/production, and marketing profiles (including production and marketing concerns) of coffee growers, producer organizations, processors, intermediaries, dealers/brokers, exporters, roasters/grinders, and other actors of the Sultan Kudarat coffee value chain. The survey is set to be completed this October.
Mahintana Foundation, Inc. through its Dolefil-assisted Ridge to Reef Program, together with the Regional Intelligence Unit of Region XII conducted a tree growing activity at Sitio Ulo Landan, Brgy. Landan, Polomolok, South Cotabato on September 11, 2021. The activity supports economic and environmental status improvement and benefits of the upland and downstream areas of the Silway-Klinan River Watershed. The group consisted of the intel unit of Regional Intelligence Unit of Region XII headed by Police Lieutenant Colonel OIC Region XII Narciso D. Langcauon and members of Alpha s Kappa Rho Fraternity and Sorority planted 200 seedlings of fruit-bearing trees on Saturday morning.
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. (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.
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.
As part of the area development activities of the Sustainable Eco-tourism and Environment-based Innovations Demonstration (SEED) Farm of Mahintana Foundation, Inc., a tree growing activity was conducted at the perimeter of the fenced area. This is also in line with the launching activity of the monthlong celebration of Mahintana’s 44th Foundation Anniversary.
Mahintana Foundation, Inc., through its president Mr. Martiniano L. Magdolot, executive director Ms. Liza D. Hora, and around 26 Mahintana staff (program managers and project staff) celebrated by planting seedlings.
Ptr. Ruiz P. Espanol led the prayer and dedication for the area. Mr. Iyad A. Tantong, project officer for the Gully Tree Planting project gave an orientation of the proper way of planting seedlings. The staff could tie ribbons around the stakes to mark their planted seedlings.
Through the activity, the group planted 430 hills of forest and fruit trees: 150 seedlings of Lauan, 150 seedlings of nabol, 100 seedlings of chestnut and 30 seedlings of mangosteen, rambutan, and lanzones.
On July 8, 2021, the SOLARES project invited the members of its project management team and project implementation team for a Joint PMT-PIT Meeting cum Mid-year Annual Planning.
Together with Mahintana Foundation, Inc., and Peace and Equity Foundation (PEF), physically present during the meeting were Sultan Kudarat Electric Cooperative, Inc. (SUKELCO), Bacbacan Multi-Purpose Cooperative, Kalamansig Coffee Growers’ Inc., and KPS-Small Enterprise and Economic Development Microfinance, Inc. The Coalition of Social Development Organizations in South Cotabato (CSDO-SC) also joined the meeting for partnering with PEF on the upcoming activities in the livelihood component. The rest of project partners joined via Zoom (South Cotabato II Electric Cooperative, Inc., Sta. Cruz Multi-Purpose Cooperative, Kiamba Micro Entrepreneurs’ Multipurpose Cooperative, and PEF).
Project updates were presented by component. On social preparation and community mobilisation, during the actual solar home system (SHS) installation, there were beneficiaries who backed out and new member-consumers who signed up upon seeing the SHS package. There was a significant number of beneficiaries of Maasim, Kiamba, and Malitum areas expressed interest in availing the SHS package despite the sign-up period having ended. For the RE/SHS Electrification component, as of June 30, 2021, 3,874 off-grid households solar are energized/energy-secured through the SOLARES project.
On capacity building and technical assistance, follow-through trainings on finance and enterprise management are to be conducted. Mr. Babera added there are pending trainings: online sessions will be conducted for Sarangani partners on the end of July. With the travel restrictions lifted in the area, physical training for Sultan Kudarat partners will be facilitated in the coming weeks.
On Livelihood/Financing and PURE (Productive uses of renewable energy) Support, there was already an online pre-bid meeting held last June 28 for the supply, delivery, and installation of solar-powered water systems (SPWS) (SB-SOLARES-PURE-21-01). SPWS are only one of the many PURE proposals to be implemented in Sarangani and Sultan Kudarat.
The proposed spending plan was also approved during the meeting and other PURE and non-PURE proposals to be implemented during the remainder of the project duration and in line with the request for possible project extension as with the intentions of the implementers and its partners.
Participants observed safety protocols such as wearing of masks and social distancing during the event.
Dole Philippines, Inc. through Mahintana Foundation, Inc, and its Ridge-to-Reef Program in collaboration with the local government unit of Polomolok and the Task Force Kalikasan at Kaligtasan (TFP2K) facilitated the online celebration/culmination of the 33rd Philippine Environment Month in Polomolok with this year’s theme, “Sama-samang Pagkilos, Sama-samang Paghilom: Ikaw, Ako, Tayo ang Kalikasan.”
Dolefil through Mahintana with support from its stakeholders in the public and private sectors, established various environmental and disaster risk reduction – climate change adaptation initiatives through the Silway-Klinan River Watershed to Sarangani Bay Protected Seascape Ridge-to-Reef Program (SKRW-SBPS R2R) which aims to help reverse degradation and improve the economic and environmental status and benefits of the upland, downstream, and coastal resources of SKRW to SBPS since 2014.
Speakers and notable guests include Hon. Alan Ines, Chairperson, Sangguniang Bayan of Polomolok Committee on Environment, Engr. Agustin Valencia, Jr., Head of Office, Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Office (MENRO), Mr. Junbard Mahinay, Chairperson, Municipal Cooperative Development Office (MCDC), and Mr. Nicholaos “Nick” Yiannakis, Vice President & Managing Director of Dole Philippines, Inc.
The celebration also included the announcement of the contests on Miniature Bamboo Model House and TFP2K Logo-making which will conclude on August 4 and announcement of winners will be on August 12, 2021 just in time for the 44th Anniversary of Mahintana Foundation, Inc..
A highlight of the event is the launching of Civet Cat as the flagship species of the Municipality of Polomolok through General Ordinance No. 12, s. 2020 otherwise known as the “Civet Cat Flagship Species of Polomolok, South Cotabato,” mandating for the protection of Civet Cat and its habitat. In support to the Civet Cat launching, Dolefil through Mahintana launched the Agro-Biodiversity Strips Project which aims to establish baseline data of existing macroflora and macrofauna along gullies in partnership with St. Lorenzo School of Polomolok, Inc., Polomolok National High School, and Dole Philippines School. The partner schools have adopted Field 113, 116, and 117 gullies, of barangays Cannery, Upper Klinan, and Polo, Polomolok, South Cotabato, to study the area’s biodiversity and develop measures to further protect and conserve the macroflora and macrofauna species found in those gullies.
For the culmination of the Philippine Environment Month Online Celebration 2021, Ms. Liza Hora, Executive Director of Mahintana Foundation, Inc. encouraged everyone through her closing message:
..renew our commitment in making a healthy and sustainable environment by building alliances and partnerships, and raising our voices in making the environment a better place to live in.
Liza D. Hora
The celebration aligned with the Proclamation No. 237, s. 1988 which was signed by the late President Corazon C. Aquino, declaring the month of June of every year as Philippine Environment Month. This annual celebration seeks to call upon all citizens and residents of the country regardless of race or creed, to support and participate actively in the observance of the Philippine Environment Month, and to give generously their time and effort towards the protection, enhancement and development of our environment. Philippines’ celebration of World Environment Day was declared by the late President Ferdinand Marcos on June 1, 1973, by virtue of Proclamation No.1149, Series of 1973. This event is in consonance with the United Nations General Assembly’s Resolution No. 2994 dated December 15, 1972, declaring the 5th day of June every year as World Environmental Day and urging governments in the United Nations System to undertake on that day, activities reaffirming their concern for preservation and enhancement of the environment.
Arbor Day in the Philippines has been institutionalized to be observed every June 25th throughout the nation by planting trees and ornamental plants and other forms of relevant activities. The necessity to promote a healthier ecosystem for the people through the rehabilitation and re-greening of the environment was stressed in Proclamation No. 643 that amended Proclamation No. 396, s. 2003. Proclamation No. 396 enjoined the “active participation of all government agencies, including government-owned and controlled corporations, private sector, schools, civil society groups and the citizenry in tree planting activity.”