Is there any impact of Kapatiran’s Livelihood Projects in Bacarra, Ilocos Norte?

Three years ago, the livelihood projects in Bacarra, Ilocos Norte were conceived as a support strategy for the Basic Literacy Program (BLP) in the area, the goal of which is to make an indigent family be economically healthy in the soonest possible time as their children get the basic education of reading and writing. Together with the local project coordinator Mrs. Edwina Reginaldo and the two representatives of Nueva Segovia Consortium of Cooperatives

(NSCC), four separate evaluation meetings were held among the project beneficiaries of Bacarra’s livelihood projects on 18 October.

Four livelihood projects have been identified, proposed and implemented by the beneficiaries themselves. The livelihood projects are supposed to give them the opportunity to make a living without the burden of having to provide for a collateral or to borrow with interest.

The Tampa Project

This is a micro-credit project extending small loans to farmers without interest so as to enable indigent farmers to avail of their farming needs such as fertilizers, insecticides, seedlings, etc. Sixteen women beneficiaries benefitted from this project six of whom have fully paid back the amount borrowed: Norma Sagun, Marites Soller, Charlotte Esteban, Amalia Ildefonso, Edelyn Lagundino and Nancy Sagadraca. The remaining ten

beneficiaries still have an outstanding credit of 14.195,10 PhP.

The Fishnet Project

A total of 20,000.00 PhP has been issued to six fishermen in the Casilian Bacarra Ilocos Norte for them to make their own nets for fishing, eliminating the cost they used to pay as rentals. In the course of time these fishermen were able to return 69.3 % of the amount issued to them. Two of the beneficiaries have paid the individual amount due in full: Alvin Javier and Gerry Visaya.

Goat Raising Project

From the 27 young goats issued to 27 project beneficiaries on 19 August 2009, 32 young goats were born with 9 recorded deaths and and10 full grown goats sold returning the capital price of the young goat to Kapatiran totalling to 15,540 PhP. The remaining 13 young goats were passed on to 13 new project beneficiaries. Testimonies of beneficiaries interviewed claimed this project has definitely contributed to the increase of their income and gave them many possibilities. In the case of one beneficiary, Amalia Ildefonso whose goat has given birth to five and is again pregnant, was able to sell three full grown goats at 1,600.00 PhP each. She was able to return one goat to Kapatiran. As a token of gratitude to Kapatiran for having saved the life of her son who got ill, she also returned 1,800.00 PhP to Kapatiran from the sale proceeds derived from this project . From the sale proceeds, she was able to buy the medicine needed in time and provided healthy food for the timely and immediate recovery of her son. She shared that her success is credited to the passion and devotion in taking care of the one young goat issued to her by Kapatiran. Other than Amalia, Elizabeth Dugay and Mila Sao have the same success stories to share. Elizabeth’s goat gave birth to 5 young goats, one goat was returned to Kapatiran plus

1.800,00 PhP, raised the 3 young goats and sold them eventually which gave her some sense of financial capability. Mila, on the other hand, only had 3 births from the original goat issued but she was able to sell her goats at a much higher price and hence was able to return the 1,500.00 PhP to Kapatiran.

The remaining money she had, she invested in buying more young goats. Today she has a small business of goat raising, all because of the opportunity given to her by Kapatiran.

The Water Melon Project

With the 40,000 PhP assistance from among 10 beneficiaries of this project, two have fully paid the amount loaned to them: Rosemarie Bagaoisan and Myrna Alvaro. The project has helped the recipients economically with a certain increase in their income. Rosemarie was able to pay back her outstanding loans and is now debt-free. Myrna on the other hand was able to send a son to school along with another son who is a BLP beneficiary. Myrna gained and experienced a certain level of financial independence with the implementation of this project. Rosemarie and Myrna desires to have a second chance to be issued a loan to do a second round of water melon farming applying what

has been learned from their first round of experience this time hoping for a better harvest and hitting on a financial breakthrough.

Guiding Questions

Following have been the guiding questions asked of the project beneficiaries:

- Has the project helped you?

- If answer is Yes, how has the project helped you? If answer is No what has been the reason or cause?

- How can Kapatiran help you further?

Conclusion

To the question whether Kapatiran’s livelihood projects have impacted the lives of beneficiaries? It has to a certain degree. For one, almost all of the beneficiaries have experienced economic gain. Secondly, they were able to save certain amounts. Thirdly, the beneficiaries were able to repay in kind and in cash the amount provided by Kapatiran. To date a total of seventy-eight thousand one hundred eighty pesos and ninety-cents (78, 180.90 PhP) has been collected from the four existing livelihood projects of Bacarra, Ilocos Norte. The amount is deposited in a local bank of the community intended to be used for possible expansion and issuance of new livelihood projects in the area.

Following are the amounts in Philippine Pesos (PhP) collected and paid per project by beneficiaries:

Tampa -31,150.90
Watermelon -17,621.00
Fishnet – 13,861.00
Goat Raising – 15,548.00

by Avé Rodriguez-Baxa
Board Member