LIBON, ALBAY – “Noon nangangarap lang kami ng isang opisina na hindi kagaya nung unang opisina namin na tuwing may bagyo dadapa itatayo namin… may bagyo na naman dadapa, itatayo ulit namin. Nangarap po kami noon na kahit maliit lang na maging opisina ng aming kooperatiba ngayon po natupad na po iyon.” Feeling incredulous, Josias Pedrocello, Chairman of Tunay Tapat Lahing Pilipino Cooperative (TTLPC), relates as he accepts the 150 square meter Albay Coco Geonets Manufacturing Enterprise Warehouse and other interventions from the Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP) on December 20, 2018 at Sitio La Medalla Brgy. Bonbon, this municipality.

PRDP Project Support Office (PSO) South Luzon Deputy Project Director (DPD) Shandy Hubilla, PRDP-Bicol DPD Adelina Losa and Provincial Project Management and Implementation Unit (PPMIU)-Albay Head Engr. Macario Pavia, and Pedrocello led the ribbon-cutting ceremonies and unveiling of the subproject marker for the P5.79 million-worth Albay Coco Geonets Manufacturing Enterprise.

Other interventions that were handed over to TTLPC include one hauling truck, one unit motorcycle, one unit decorticating machine, 15 units weaving machines, 246 units twining machines, one sieving machine and one heavy duty weighing scale.

Hubilla reminded the PG that the turnover of interventions is just the beginning of the I-REAP subproject’s progress in business.

“Ang negosyo dapat nag-uuswag (A business must continually grow),” he underscored.

He cited four criteria to guarantee business success namely operation, marketing, financial management and organization with emphasis on the importance of building a stable market, well-managed income statements and transparency.

Likewise, Losa encouraged the TTLPC to work together in expanding the economic opportunities not only of its members but of the entire community.

Jerome Pedrocillo, the Operations Manager, mentioned that since the enterprise’s full operation in June 2018, it already provided livelihood to over 80 twiners who earn more or less P3,000 per week, four pairs of weaver with a daily wage of P400, 12 decorticators with a take home pay of P300 per day, four haulers and one driver with a daily income worth P300 and P400, respectively. 

The PG is currently preparing for its full blast operation in January 2019 which will highlight trainings and seminars for Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA)-assisted farmer-beneficiaries from Bato and Buhi, Camarines Sur who also plan to engage in coco geonets manufacturing. TTLPC eyes the said organizations as possible sources of coco geonets should market demand begins to scale up.

Recently, the PG submitted its application for Laboratory Cooperative to train 71 young members of the Cooperative and 130 junior officers.

“Malaki na yung tulong ng government. Andyan na yung makina, andyan na yung building. Gagawin na lang. Wala nang rason para hindi gumalaw yung mga gustong umunlad sa buhay,” Pedrocello added. (Annielyn L. Baleza, DA-RAFIS V)