BUTUAN CITY, Nov. 23 -- San Antonio Barangay Captain Helario Sajulan is grateful to the projects that are initiated by the Poverty Reduction, Livelihood and Employment Cluster (PRLEC) of the province of Agusan del Norte.
In an interview with Brgy. Capt. Helario Sajulan of Brgy. San Antonio, Remedios T. Romualdez (RTR), Agusan del Norte, he said that the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has informed him that the machineries needed for the establishment of green charcoal production is now ready.
Brgy. Capt. Sajulan said with these machineries that will soon to be delivered in Brgy. San Antonio, the residents were very excited and eager to start the production of green charcoal. "Tungod kay naa na man ang maong mga makinarya, andam na gyud usab ang atong mga residente dinhi sa among barangay ug excited na kaayo sila aron maka-mass produce na og green charcoal (Since the machineries are already available, the residents of our barangay are also ready and excited to undergo mass production of green charcoal)," Sajulan said.
It was learned that the local residents have already undergone training on green charcoal production with trainers in DOST-Caraga and has made sample products. "Kung madeliver na sa ato ang maong mga makinarya, daghan na gyud ang atong ma-produce ug mabaligya sa merkado (If the machineries will be delivered to us, the local residents can have mass production for selling in the markets)," he said.
Also, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) gave a capital amounting to some P1 million to start the production. "This is the agency's way of supporting the beneficiaries so that they can use the knowledge they have obtained during the training," Sajulan said.
The official further said, though the mass production is set to commence, he said they are optimistic that they can market the said products through the help of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)-Caraga as the agency has also committed to help.
Sajulan also stressed that there are already residents who have finished the training in Tour Guiding. He added that with the pandemic that is slowly decreasing the number of those who were infected in the province and in this city as per information of the Department of Health (DOH)-Caraga, local tourists have started to visit again the Tagnote Falls, one of the tourist destinations in the region.
He also pointed out that with this development, the newly-launched San Antonio Agri-Tourism Enterprise Village will be a good venue for the local residents to gain income. It can be recalled that the said PRLEC-initiative project was launched last October 29, 2020 and has started to make a significant contribution to the lives of the local residents in the area.
For the animal production, Sajulan said the 35 heads of piglets were already delivered to them by the Department of Agriculture (DA)-Agusan del Norte. The beneficiaries also enjoyed taking care of the piglets. This was also the commitment of the agency during the launching two weeks ago.
Likewise, fingerlings of different varieties were also delivered to them during the launching and was already turned-over to the beneficiaries-farmers who will maintain the fishpond. DA-Caraga and the Northern Mindanao School of Fisheries (NMF) provided the said fingerlings.
For those who have already finished training on food production such as sapin-sapin (bibingka, suman, etc.), Capt. Sajulan said there are already beneficiaries who have gained income because they are now accepting orders. "During a program of the Agusan Up!, a program initiated by LGU-Agusan del Norte, the graduates were tapped to provide the sapin-sapin and catering and were paid," he added.
Furthermore, Sajulan said the demo farm which is strategically located at the lower portion of the Tagnote Falls was already planted with vegetables. Accordingly, the seeds were given by DA-Agusan del Norte.
Sajulan is also thankful to the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO) thru their Food-for-Work Program. He added the local residents were encouraged to plant and maintain the demo farm because of their program. Sajulan explained this is because as soon as they will go home in the afternoon, they can bring the food packs given by the PSWDO.
Overall, the official said the local residents of Barangay San Antonio were very inspired because of the numbers of projects that the government has given them thru the PRLEC. He said this is a proof that the government is longing to achieve peace and development in their area. (Robert E. Roperos, TESDA Agusan del Norte/PIA Agusan del Norte)