DAR assists Brgy. Dila ARC with coop license renewal

by Ma. Kathleen C. Cabal

A Board of Directors Meeting of Dila Multipurpose Cooperative for Progress, Inc. (DMCP, Inc.) was held in Brgy. Dila, Bay, Laguna on January 27.

Councilor Menandro Curibot, the Board of Directors chairperson, together with Board of Directors members Emeterio Masa and Wensislao Arboleda were in attendance. Municipal Agrarian Reform Officer Ramon Sacramento, together with Mr. Danilo Yjares and Ms. Annaly Cutay from the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) also took part in the meeting.

The board tackled one of the major concerns regarding the cooperative’s license renewal at the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA). Since the cooperative has not been able to accomplish the requirements prescribed by the CDA for the past two years, they were given a notice for the dissolution of the cooperative.

According to BOD chairperson Curibot, the operation of the cooperative is still ongoing despite their license situation. They are also currently addressing their problems in collection and their need for cost-cutting. The Department of Agrarian Reform, through Municipal Agrarian Reform Officer Sacramento, is currently assisting the DMCP, Inc. in bringing them back in stable condition.

The said cooperative received a Php250,000.00 grant from DAR as part of the Agricultural Development Fund which is being used to help the cooperative members and to continue the operation of the cooperative.

Barangay Dila, Bay, Laguna is one of the areas identified by DAR as an Agrarian Reform Community.

An Agrarian Reform Community (ARC) is a “barangay or cluster of barangays where there is a critical mass of farmers and farm workers awaiting the full implementation of Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program or CARP.”

With Barangay Dila being an ARC, it became a priority area for DAR to provide projects. In particular, it became a part of the Agrarian Reform Infrastructure Support Program II or ARISP II. This program will be having a series of incoming projects for the areas identified by DAR. Included in the areas identified by DAR in Bay, Laguna are Brgy. Puypoy, Brgy. Maitim and Brgy. San Antonio. These communities received land titles or certificate of land ownership awards from DAR.

As emphasized by Municipal Agrarian Reform Officer Sacramento, “Siyempre it is not enough na mabigyan mo sila ng lupa. Anong gagawin nila para maging productive ‘yon? Kailangan nila ng mga support services”. These support facilities include farm to market roads, irrigation, potable water supply, and post harvest facilities. Sacramento also stressed that with the Department of Agrarian Reform, “hindi lang lupa at support services ang binibigay but also dignity as the new land owners”. He explained that the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program or CARP already ended on June 2009. What is currently being implemented is the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program with Extension and Reform (CARPER).

CARPER is a five-year extension of CARP “which aims to accomplish the backlogs in terms of land distributions and support services.” Sacramento clarified that CARP is not the sole responsibility of DAR. There are several agencies listed as CARP implementing agencies including Department of Agriculture, National Irrigation Authority, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Department of Public Works and Highways, Department of Trade and Industry, Land Registration Authority, Land Bank of the Philippines, and Department of Labor and Employment – Bureau of Rural Workers.

DMCP, Inc. started as Samahang Nayon on October 10, 1970. The said cooperative was registered at the CDA 18 years later. As of today, the cooperative have a total of 246 members. The cooperative currently has 45 active members.

They have already submitted all the necessary requirements for license renewal December 29 last year and they are set to submit the audited financial statement today at the CDA.

Bay BHWs, ChildFund PH hold Family Day for batch 2 mother class participants

by Paula Nicole A. Zaldivar

The second batch of Mother Class participants from Sitio 5 of Brgy. San Antonio in Bay, Laguna enjoyed a Family Day  on January 21, 2012. The event served as the culminating program for the home-based Mother Classes held every Sunday at the barangay.

The three-hour event included games, a small feast, and the awarding of token of appreciation to the Barangay Health Workers (BHW) who volunteered to become teachers for the the Mother Class.

The games facilitated during the Family Day included a vegetable relay and Pinoy Henyo on health concepts. The activities put to test what the mother-participants and their children learned during their mother class sessions. The mothers were also asked to plan a healthy menu and write recipes for their families. Prizes were given to the winners of each game.

Elizabeth Bargoda, a mother-participant during the Family Day, shared that she had fun during the activity. She said that the Family Day was a good venue for her and her family to bond and enjoy, while at the same time, learn. She, together with her daughter Valerie, was one of the winners of the vegetable relay.

The awarding held at the last part of the program recognized the six Barangay Health Worker volunteers who taught the mothers. There were 50-60 participants of the home-based Mother Class and the volunteers taught at least 10 mothers for each session.

Corazon Sarmiento, one of the recognized health workers, shared that she decided to become a volunteer mainly because she wanted to help in her own little ways. She added that it gave her fulfillment whenever she does her job as a BHW.

Sarmiento explained as well that she and her fellow volunteers were given proper training and lesson so that they will be a credible facilitator for the mother class. They even had workshop in places such as Lucban, Quezon and Batangas, together with the other volunteers of the ChildFund Philippines from the other parts of the country. These workshops and even the mother class program were funded by the Child Fund Philippines.

ChildFund Philippines is a non-government organization which aims to educate and address to the families, communities and the government different children related issues, one of which is health. They conduct seminars and workshops for their volunteers while these volunteers are those who disseminate information and conduct seminars to their local.

ChildFund Philippines was able to reach Brgy. San Antonio through their coordination with Romley Dyamante, the Community Mobilizer of the Barangay Health Center of San Antonio. The NGO provided the modules used during the Mother Classes. They also provided other resources needed for the program.

The Mother Class aimed to educate mothers on ways of taking care of their children in terms of health and knowing their children’s rights. Their topic for their first session was the Convention of the Right of the Child. They emphasized here the right of a born child to be registered and to be known through birth certificate. Their second topic, which lasted for three meetings, was about the Indigenous Cooking Practices. The session also discussed how to avoid preservatives in cooking. The last topic discussed was about Nutritious and Healthy Food. They encouraged the mothers to give and train their children to eat vegetables. They emphasized not just the cooking of vegetables but also growing them in their own backyards,

Merceditas Masarap, one of the participants of the Mother Class, claimed that she learned a lot from the Mother Class. When asked if she was able to apply the concepts and ideas taught to them, she said that she is trying to integrate what she learned slowly. “Di naman agad-agad mababago yun,kelangan dahan-dahan. Pero sinusubukan ko talagang pakainin na sila (referring to her two children) ng gulay  at ayun nga, umiwas na ko sa paggamit ng preservatives.”

Overall, both the participants and the volunteers agreed that the Mother Class was successful. Ria Abuan, one of the BHW, believed that it was successful because they were able to present a range of options for the mothers who joined their sessions. Abuan explained that there were mothers who regretted that they cannot bring their children to popular fastfood chains. After their session about preservatives, however, the mothers were able to realize that it is not really important because there are more healthy foods that they can give to their children.

This recently culminated Mother Class is the second time for the barangay. There were two sessions each month, held every Sunday. It started October 9, last year. They had five sessions until January because they did not hold classes during December.

The volunteers went on each house of Sitio 5 to invite the mothers personally. They intend to resume the Mother Class this coming February, now in a another sitio.

Bay BHWs, ChildFund team up for conduct of mother classes

by Andrea Katrina M. Marchadesch

A series of mother classes, spearheaded by the local health center, are being held in Brgy. San Antonio in Bay, Laguna.

According to Abigael Santos, one of the barangay health workers (BHWs), these classes are intended for new mothers to learn more about parenting and motherhood. Some of the topics tackled include the convention of the right of the child, indigenous cooking practices, and healthy food. The mothers are also involved in discussions on child diseases and health and child abuse. The  mother-participants  also discuss their situation with their children at home among with other concerns.

Volunteer Barangay Health Workers (BHW) facilitate all the classes which are held in one Purok of the barangay for a given period of time.  They make sure that the topics are discussed properly and thoroughly for the benefit of the mothers.

These volunteer BHWs are mostly women who are residents of the barangay.  According to Santos, the Mother Class helps not only the mothers in the community but also the BHWs. She admits, that they too, learn and get additional information on how to handle and raise their kids in terms of what to feed them and what to do when they get sick.

The BHWs personally invite the mothers to the classes.  The classes take place every other Sunday of every month.  Once all the needed topics have been tackled, they move on to other Puroks in the barangay.  They started the Mother Classes in October up until December of 2011.  In January of this year, they recommenced the program.  They’ve just finished teaching mothers from Purok 7 and this coming February, the health center will start teaching mothers from Purok 5.

There were about 50 participants for Purok 7 alone.  These participants, depending on where they live, are divided into groups of ten. These groups have two facilitators each who come to one of their houses and from there, the “class” meets for the day. The class usually involves sharing and discussions. Since most of the BHWs are also mothers, they can easily exchange tips and experiences with the participating mothers.

ChildFund International is a non-government organization that funds the Mother Class program. ChildFund International was founded nearly 75 years ago and today, they help approximately 13.5 million children and their families in 31 countries. According to their website, ChildFund.org, their distinctive approach “focuses on working with children throughout their journey from birth to young adulthood, as well as with families, local organizations and communities globally to create the environments children need to thrive.”

ChildFund International has been in the Philippines since 1954.  One of the main issues that the organization tries to address here are to disaster emergencies that leave children without anything to eat or to sleep in.  Another is the ever-growing issue of child labor and child trafficking.  ChildFund International deals with this by coordinating with other to promote easy access to education.

Another issue the organization tries to address the reproductive health of the youth.  They help the youth understand and respond to their reproductive health needs.  More importantly, ChildFund International prioritizes the health care of pregnant mothers and children.  They try to prevent child diseases by properly managing the child’s early development.  That’s why the Mother Classes have been going on in different parts of the country and more recently, it has come to Bay, Laguna.

The organization coordinates with Romley Dyamante, the community mobilizer of the barangay’s health center on all the events and programs, and on what the community lacks in terms of materials and resources.  And from there, he passes the programs down to the BHWs. He informs them on everything that they have to do for a particular program.  The BHWs are given the materials and the information they need to disseminate to the mothers.

Several of the barangay’s child-related programs are funded by  ChildFund International like the Adolescence Reproductive Health program, which basically teaches and informs teens on gender rights and roles, sex and reproductive health.  ChildFund International also provides media like leaflets, flipcharts, posters, pamphlets, etc. needed in the programs.

According to Santos, ChildFund International also provides Vitamin A for them to give away to the mothers after the classes.  She adds, “Masaya yung mga nanay, natututo sila, lalo na yung mga bagong anak.”  When asked about the mothers in general, she says that most of them are in their early twenties, however there are also some mothers with older children.

One of the mothers who participated, Merceditas Masarap, says that she joined the program because she was interested.  If she was given the chance, she adds, she would participate again because she is able to apply what she learned from the classes.  The class that she remembers that most was the one about the brown rice and how it is better than white rice.

Another mother, Elvie Tamban, who has three kids, one of which is an infant, admitted that at first, she was only forced to attend since she knew the BHW who was in charge in their area.  But she added that eventually, she realized that the classes really helped her in raising her kids, especially the class about the processed food.  She says that she learned a lot from that and that she now knows which food brands are healthier for her kids.

The health center of Brgy. San Antonio looks forward for these Mother Classes to improve the health and livelihood of the community’s children in the near future.  They also hope that they can bring these classes to the rest of their barangay before the year ends.

Maquiling Quest

For fitness buffs out there, mark February 26, 2012 on your calendars!

The Makiling Center for Mountain Ecosystem, UP Los Banos (UPLB) will be holding the Maquiling Quest: Makiling Traverse Trail Run.

The route will start at Sto. Tomas, Batangas, and will end at UPLB.

For registration and other inquiries, email [email protected] or telefax (049) 536-2637. You can also visit the Pinoy Fitness site for more.