DTI turns over abaca machines to farmers’ coop in Balamban

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Tuesday, April 29, 2014


THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) turned over yesterday P1.58 million worth of abaca stripping machines in Barangay Magsaysay, Balamban.

Members of the Balamban United Key to Integrated Development-Multipurpose Cooperative (Bukid-MPC) were given ten units of the machine that will be distributed among eight sitios of Brgy. Magsaysay.

The tracts of land that have been converted to abaca fields used to be marijuana plantations. PB member Alex Binghay said the project is an opportunity to restore the baragay’s reputation.

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Officials said 240 hectares of abaca plantation provide livelihood for 143 Bukid-MPC members.

DTI 7 Director Asteria Caberte and Bukid-MPC chairman Bebelonio Pepito signed a memorandum of agreement to formalize the turnover, which was also attended by DTI Cebu Provincial Director Nelia Navarro, Philippine Fiber Industry Development Authority (PhilFIDA) officer-in-charge Benjamin Gomo, Balamban Vice Mayor Rosie Binghay.

Balamban Mayor Ace Stefan Binghay said the machines will be of great help to abaca farmers.

“Eighty to 85 percent of the world’s abaca is from Philippines. Dako gyud ni’g ikatabang sa production” said Binghay. He noted today’s demand for environment-friendly materials like abaca.

Caberte said this is part of DTI’s Shared Service Facilities Project, a national initiative to address the problems of the micro, small and medium enterprises, by providing manufacturing and processing equipment.

With the machines, DTI said there will be a quadruple increase in abaca production.

She also said that this will serve as a challenge to the farmers. Since there is a “bounceback” in the gifts, decors and housewares industry, abaca demand is now
increasing. This can enhance as well the global competitiveness of the industry.

Caberte encouraged the members of Bukid-MPC to take full advantage of the project and take care of the machines, otherwise these will be reassigned to other farmers.

Pepito said 20 percent of the income will be set aside for the maintenance of the machines.

The project also helped a Yolanda victim as well as a victim of the Bohol quake. They are now members of Bukid-MPC. (Earl Jon Rallos/CNU Comm Intern)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on April 30, 2014.

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