LEGAZPI CITY, ALBAY – To develop its enterprise development (I-REAP) subproject beneficiaries’ skills in creating and strengthening networks related to businesses or community based organizations, the Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP) in Bicol conducted a two-day Organizational Development Workshop for the I-REAP Subprojects on November 21-22, 2019 in this city.

Officers of the four PRDP I-REAP proponent groups (PGs) in Albay namely Tunay Tapat Lahing Pilipino Cooperative, Albay Small Ruminant Raisers Association (ASRRA), Camote Creations Farmers and Entrepreneurs Producers Cooperative, and Sta. Teresa-San Francisco Irrigators’ Association, Inc. participated in the workshop which was patterned from the Community Based Enterprise Development (C-BED) training program as tool for community networks and organizing.

PRDP Project Support Office South Luzon Business Development Specialist Gay Bañez facilitated the workshop along with PRDP-Bicol Business Development Officers Victoria Eugene Florece, Glenn Balana and Engr. Irish Oliver.

“Ang organizational development ay isang napakalawak na subject ng business management,” Bañez said. The workshop focused on community networks and organizing in which the participants were guided in examining the current situations and identifying networking goals for their organizations. The I-REAP team also provided tips to develop their skills in selecting the best ways to reach their goals, tools to help manage networks and community relationships and plan their course of actions to manage community relationships.

According to Bañez, new and creative networking ideas can increase the organizations’ chances of long-term success by motivating members, encouraging membership growth and strengthening relationship with outside groups.

“Your community includes all the people who are affected by your business or organization who are interested in what you do. This is your network,” she added. These include people who already work for the business or organization, those who might want to work in it, people, businesses or organizations who might buy one’s service or product, those who might sell their services or products, and those who may be able to positively or negatively influence the operation of one’s business or operation.

Bañez shared several networking activities like training members on new skills, marketing and advertising, and accounting and financing. She also urged the proponent groups to manage their community relationships by keeping up and strengthening relationships with interested groups outside their business or organization, sending promotional material of activities they are running or product they are selling and keeping an updated website or social media page and sharing the addresses with outside groups and people.

Nolan Belaro, chairman of Camote Creations Farmers and Entrepreneurs Producers Cooperative, lauded the activity saying “Naintindihan namin na yung environment nung business enterprise ay malaking factor sa kanyang pag-survive. Napakahalaga pala ng supplier at napakahalaga din ng mga tao na nagpoproseso at yung mga tao na nagbibenta at nagkokonsumo ng produkto. Sa pamamagitan nitong training ay mababalanse natin na magkaroon ng reciprocal na tulungan ang bawat parte na involved sa enterprise.” 

Ruel Azas, Board of Director of the Sta. Teresa-San Francisco Irrigators’ Association, Inc. added that the Organizational Development Workshop gave them an idea on how to effectively run their association for the development of their business enterprise.

“Natutunan namin kung paano dadalhin ang grupo at kung paano i-present sa kanila ang networking pati pag-[collaborate] sa ibang ahensya o sa ibang members na gustong mag-join sa asosasyon na ito,” Rolando Arevalo, president of the Albay Small Ruminant Raisers Association (ASRRA), said.

Moreover, Jayson Pedrocillo, project manager of Tunay Tapat Lahing Pilipino Cooperative’s Albay Coco Geonets Manufacturing Enterprisesaid that the workshop made him realize the areas for improvement of their organization.

“Natutunan namin na marami pa po pala kaming dapat gawin para makilala ang business namin at mapalago. Kailangan ma-motivate din namin ang mga members para mas lalo pa po naming mapadami ang aming mga miyembro. Natuto din kaming makisalamuha sa ibang tao, sa ibang mga organisasyon din at sa ibang government agencies para makahingi kami ng tulong,” Pedrocillo shared. Among the PRDP-funded I-REAP subprojects in Albay are the P5.79 million-worth Albay Coco Geonets Manufacturing Enterprise of the TTLPC, ASRRA’s P1.28 million-worth Enhancing Farm Capacity and Adoption of Nutrition Technology for Goat Production, the P12.30 million-worth Sweet Potato-based Products Processing Enterprise of the Camote Creations Farmers & Entrepreneurs Producers Cooperative and the Sta. Teresa-San Francisco Irrigators’ Association, Inc.’s P7.67 million-worth Malilipot Abaca Twine Processing and Marketing Enterprise. (Annielyn L. Baleza, DA RAFIS V)