LIMAY, BATAAN — The provincial office of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI-Bataan) is set to formally turn over to a group of indigenous people (IP) here sets of machines to augment their income opportunities in Bayan-bayanan ng mga Aetas (Aeta village), Sitio Kinarigan, Barangay Duale in this industrial town on Wednesday, February 12.
Nelin Cabahug, provincial director of DTI-Bataan, said the beneficiaries of this project under the Shared Service Facility (SSF) program of DTI are the Samahan ng mga Kababaihang Ayta sa Kinaragan (SKAK), an organization with 40 members and the Nagkakaisang Samahan ng mga Katutubong Ayta ng Kinaragan (NASAKA-K), also an indigenous farmers group with 50 members.
SKAK is engaged in the processing of banana, camote and other root crops including the interim members organized and assisted by the People’s Development Institute in 2004 and accredited by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in 2009, also an NGO stakeholder of Local and Regional Economic Development (LRED) in Limay while NASAKA-K is into the production of banana, camote and other root crops. Both are situated at Sitio Kinaragan, Brgy. Duale, Limay, Bataan.
The present population of aetas here is almost 240 and their main source of livelihood is the production of fruits, root crops and other related crops.
The food processing machines to be distributed are banana/camote slicer machine, capacity food slicer–semi-automatic, four-burner heavy duty gas stove, juice extractor, dehydrator/dehydrating machine and band sealer machine.
“This project costs almost a million pesos that includes the cost of the working area or the processing area where the equipment will be housed through the assistance of Limay LGU, initial working capital, skills training and seminars,” Cabahug told Headline Gitnang Luzon.
The LRED of Limay, she added, envisions to create and develop more local entrepreneurs in the municipality and help them grow, succeed and be able to sustain their respective businesses.
LRED, Cabahug said, is about mobilizing people and making them work together to effect change.
The LRED Team of Limay felt the need to help and assist the IPs of Limay particulary that of Sitio Kinarigan in developing the location’s strength and opportunities that have the potential to generate employment and income.
The local government here wants to help the housewives and women aetas in upgrading the small business that they are engaged like the camote and banana processing.
Common activities of the beneficiaries revolved around rice farming, cultivation of high value crops such as bananas, mango, camote and cassava. Most of the male aeta are farmers. They usually sell their produce in the market in raw form.
“The project will provide sustainable livelihood for the community using the skills that they already know to empower them and make them capable and productive individuals not only as ordinary farmers but also as entrepreneurs to transform their produce into high value processed products,” Cabahug concluded.