BAKUN, Benguet – The Second Cordillera Highland Agricultural Resource Management Project (CHARMP2) continues to reach out to marginal communities in the Cordillera with five more livelihood interest groups (LIGs) receiving a total of 300,000 livelihood fund assistance from the project recently.
Four LIGs from Barangay Kayapa and one LIG from Brgy Sinacbat, Bakun could finally continue and expand their livelihood activities with the granted assistance. These two barangays are among the remotest barangays in Bakun where farming is the main source of livelihood.
LAF beneficiaries include the Kayapa Women’s Livelihood Association (100,000), Kayapa Processing Group (50,000), Nalbo Community Farmers Organization (50,000), Pulok-Nalusbo-Liblibo- Indadangan Swine Raisers (50,000), and Lamew Swine Raisers Group (50,000). These LIGs are engaged in consolidation and processing of agricultural products and swine raising.
“Sin inmali nan LAF, adi da et lalakaen, babaraten di lako mi tan dakami et din man consolidate sin produkto mi asi mi ilako; say dakdake ay pansalsalamatan mi (When the LAF program came, buyers of our products can no longer undercut the prices since we are the ones who consolidate and sell our products; that’s what we are much grateful for)” said Lydia Valdez, president of one of the LIGs in Kayapa.
More LIGs from Bakun are being lined up for LAF transfer soon. LIGs granted with LAF have successfully passed the LAF assessment conducted since last year. Said LIGs were able to pay the LAF loaned to them after a year of managing their proposed business activities. They received their LAF loans in 2014 and last year, they were able to pay it back. With the granted LAF, the groups will have to implement their enhanced business plans subject to government monitoring.
On the other hand, the local government unit and public officials have been supportive to these on-going activities where they committed to help sustain the livelihood groups and their activities. Bakun Municipal Agriculturist Enrique Atelba encouraged the groups to join the municipal agriculture and fisheries council (MAFC) so they could easily avail of more government services. He said that the MLGU can always conduct trainings if needed. They also assigned some staff to monitor and provide technical assistance to the groups to ensure that even as CHARMP2 ends, these development activities will still remain. – CFB