To sustain continuous community development, the Pidipid Sugarcane Farmers Association (PSFA) in La Paz, Abra is expected to formally ink partnerships anew with the different government line agencies November this year.

This was the result of a learning visit by the government line agencies led by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in barangay Pidipid to check on the community-owned portable sugarcane milling machine.

Inaugurated last January 2014, the P370,000 worth milling machine was purchased through the Kapit-bisig Laban sa Kahirapan – Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS) and the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC)-  Millennium Challenge Account of the Philippines (MCA-P).

According to PSFA President Dario Buenafe, they will be imploring the assistance of the Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), and Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) for additional technical assistance.

Currently the PSFA, which has about a hundred members, is mainly producing vinegar and sugarcane-based wine (basi). Buenafe said they are exploring the increased production of muscovado (raw sugar), and improving the harvesting and packaging of sugarcane.

The proposal for the said machine was made by volunteer barangay members after it was identified as the urgent need of the community through the Community Empowerment Activity Cycle (CEAC) of the Kalahi-CIDSS.

The CEAC involves all community members who are interested to participate in identifying and prioritizing community problems and issues, as well as in giving solutions to the problems.

The Kalahi-CIDSS is one of the government’s poverty alleviation projects under the DSWD which gives target communities control over planning and implementation of projects as identified by the communities. #DSWD-CAR, SOCIAL MARKETING UNIT, Karlston Lapniten

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