Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Business united for 10,000 Bohol farmers

Business united for 10,000 Bohol farmers
PBSP and Angelo King Foundation turn over
technology center to BIDEF for sustainable agriculture


Public-private partnerships (PPPs) came in full force once again as three large organizations strengthened their involvement in helping more than 10,000 Bohol marginal farmers improve their income and productivity.

This January, Angelo King Foundation, Inc. (AKFI) and Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP) with the Bohol Integrated Development Foundation, Inc. (BIDEF) and the Province of Bohol turned over a multi-purpose building that will serve as training center on sustainable agricultural production.

The turnover was attended by PBSP Executive Director Rafael Lopa, AKFI Board of Trustee Joaquin Sy, Provincial LGU Affairs Coordinator Reynaldo Gacayan and BIDEF President Fr. Victor Bompat at Brgy. Malitbog, Dagohoy, Bohol.

Local officials, BIDEF board of trustees, cooperatives and beneficiary farmers also attended the event.

The BIDEF Technology and Livelihood Center will assist farmers by providing them with the technology on organic farming technology, specifically the practice of vermiculture which the provincial government is also pushing for.

At present, PBSP, in partnership with BIDEF, has implemented programs and projects for the marginal farmers in the municipalities of Carmen, Dagohoy, San Miguel, Danao, and Trinidad. With the new center established, these programs will be expanded to other adjacent and rice-producing municipalities such as Pilar, Sierra Bullones, Batuan, Bilar, and Loboc for three years.

In his speech, Sy said that the turnover of the center serves as testimony to what public service can contribute for the development of the country.

“We believe that through our simple and humble collaboration, we can empower people and transform lives and together, we shall promote and nurture partnerships by sharing growth and prosperity at the local level,” he added.

For 20 years, AKFI has partnered with PBSP, which has put together 204 MPCs all over the country. In Bohol, 10 multi-purpose centers have already been established by AKFI through PBSP in the province of Bohol.

Sy added that AKFI committed to provide additional assistance to establish more multi-purpose centers this year.

For his part, Lopa said: “Napakahalaga pong hanapin natin ang ating kanya-kanyang mga role sa pagbabagong dapat mangyari dito sa ating bayan. Kaya sa amin, napakahalaga nitong mga partnership na ganito para mas makarating ang benepisyo sa mas maraming kababayan natin.”

Public-private partnerships
Forging partnerships with local organizations is an ideal way of getting the business sector more involved in the reduction of poverty in the country, Lopa said.

PBSP is the first of its kind in Asia that strongly promotes of corporate citizenship. It operates nationwide, with programs in education, health, sustainable livelihood, micro, small and medium enterprise development, and the environment implemented with partners and communities as empowered players in development.

One of PBSP’s major thrusts is poverty reduction, which is also closely corresponds to the development thrust of the provincial government, specifically its HEAT Bohol Program.

“It’s PBSP’s vision to bring the business sector together with the communities in all over the country,” he added.

Lopa cited that for the past 40 years, the business sector through PBSP has rolled out PhP 5.2 billion worth of projects all over the country with 5.1 million beneficiaries. This contribution was made possible with the partnership of PBSP to other local organizations.

In the Visayas, PBSP is reaching out to the poverty groups such as small lowland farmers, marginal upland farmers, sustenance fisherfolk, urban poor and disadvantaged sectors such as children and youth. For Bohol, PBSP has been partnering with BIDEF and the Province of Bohol for its flagship programs on poverty reduction.

In behalf of Gov. Chatto, Gacayan extended his gratitude to AKFI and PBSP for assisting the government in its poverty reduction efforts.

“We understand that these people have better dispositions in life, and yet these people are here to help the farmers of Malitbog. Ampingan ni namo ang gihatag sa PBSP ug Angelo King, and we hope that you will continue to assist the provincial government in helping the Boholanos”, he said.

“This is an opportunity to help out what basically is a new spirit of people wanting to do something, of people wanting change. This is what we can do to really help not only the government and the president but also the country as a whole,” Lopa shared.