Bicol coconut farmers get P6-M grant for copra-buying project

LEGAZPI CITY: The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has provided PHP6 million in livelihood assistance to two coconut farmers’ cooperatives in the Bicol region to finance their Community-based Direct Copra Marketing (CoCo Mark) Project.

In a media release on Thursday, DOLE Undersecretary for Workers’ Welfare and Protection Cluster, Benjo Santos Benavidez, said the Bantonan Community Development Cooperative (BACODECO) in Camalig, Albay, and the Maymatan Farmers Multi-Purpose Cooperative (MFMPC) in Goa, Camarines Sur, each received PHP3 million at the DOLE regional office here on Wednesday.

The amount, he said, will be used to purchase copra directly from farmers in their area and ensure income and livelihood among both members and non-members of the cooperatives in the two provinces.

‘It is a great honor and privilege to be a part of this event that aims to support and strengthen the livelihood of our hardworking coconut farmers here in the Bicol region. Today, we are witnessing an important event-t
he ceremonial granting of PHP6 million in economic assistance to two recognized cooperatives of coconut farmers under the Social Amelioration and Welfare Program (SAWP) in the Biodiesel Sector,’ Benavidez said in Filipino.

Felina Ardinazo Sanoy, chairperson of the Maymatan Farmers’ Multi-Purpose Cooperative, thanked the agency for the assistance.

“First, I thank the Lord for granting us this livelihood assistance from SAWP. Second, I thank the DOLE personnel who were instrumental in helping us receive this significant amount, which will greatly assist our cooperative. Third, I appreciate the help from the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA). And fourth, I thank the people of Maymatan who worked tirelessly and showed dedication in fulfilling the requirements necessary for us to receive this assistance. We are grateful for the efforts of everyone who helped us. Thank you very much,” Sanoy said in Filipino.

The SAWP is a social protection initiative funded through a lien from biofuel plants accredited by the D
epartment of Energy.

DOLE-Bicol, in partnership with the PCA, aims to support the cooperatives in direct trading and delivering their copra to biodiesel plants, ensuring competitive pricing for their products, Benavidez said.

‘As we continue to travel towards the goal of uplifting the livelihood of our farmers, let us remain true to our aspiration to give them due support and recognition. Together, let’s build a brighter future for our agricultural communities,” he said.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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