Calamianes Coop prepares for procurement of seaweed production materials

Date Published: July 3, 2023

Calamianes Seaweed Marketing Cooperative, the proponent group of the seaweed production and post-harvest facility subproject in Coron, Palawan, now prepares for the procurement of the seaweed production materials from the first tranche of the PhP 14.99 million subproject through a procurement and financial management training with the Philippine Rural Development Project Regional Project Coordination Office MIMAROPA, April 26-27. 

Nagpapasalamat kami na unti-unti nang nagkakaroon ng liwanag (ang proyektong ito). May pag-asa ng maiahon ang aming miyembro sa kahirapan at maitaas ang antas ng kanilang kabuhayan (We are grateful that the  project is slowly coming to light. There is hope that our members will be lifted out of poverty and raise their standard of living),” shared CSMC Chairman Laurencio Delima. 

To prepare the cooperative for its first bidding process with a target date on May 22-26, 2023, Engr. Christian Vargas, Compliance and Procurement Officer of RPCO MIMAROPA, oriented and trained the officers and their elected Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) of the Republic Act 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Act that the World Bank also reviewed.  

Naga-adapt tayo ng proseso ng government at gusto rin namin na you can stand on your own and promote transparency (We adapt the government process and want you to stand on your own and promote transparency),” he explained. 

Meanwhile, the elected BAC Chair, May Ann Delima, saw this as challenging but a big opportunity for their cooperative. 

Napakalaking opportunity po nito sa amin bilang maliit na cooperative na kami yung tumayo ng pundasyon ng proyektong ito. Gagawin po namin ang best namin. Maraming salamat sa PRDP sa tiwala kahit nahihirapan kami, ito na mamumulaklak na ang pinaghirapan namin (The project is a great opportunity for us as a small cooperative because we are the ones who established it. We will do our best. Thank you very much to PRDP for the trust. Even though we struggled at first, I’m confident that what we worked for will blossom),” Delima expressed.

Alongside the training on the procurement process, Norma Batul, Financial Analyst from the RPCO MIMAROPA, also oriented the treasurer on the inventory and financial records that they will submit to PRDP after procuring the needed materials for their production. 

House-to-house consultation

Aside from the procurement and financial training, the Social and Environmental Safeguards with the I-REAP Component conducted a house-to-house consultation with the cooperative’s seaweed farmers as part of PRDP’s social preparation. They asked about their current income and the benefits as cooperative members.

Nakakatulong po ito sa pagpapakonkreto ng bahay namin (It helps in making our house concrete),shared one member who earned Php 30,000 from his latest seaweed harvest.

May Ann Delima, the current BAC Chair and former leader of the cooperative, said members of the cooperative also receive dividends and patronage refunds from their cooperative every year as part of their benefits. 

The coop currently has 41 seaweed farmer members across Barangay Tagumpay ,selling to provinces of Occidental Mindoro, Oriental Mindoro, and Bulacan. They have been a registered cooperative since 2016. 

As seaweeds have been one of the major sources of livelihood for the fisherfolks of Coron since the 1980s, CSMC envisions reviving the seaweed industry in the province with the help of PRDP I-REAP Component by providing planting materials and post-harvest facilities. They also aim to bridge the gap in the supply chain of these raw materials, ease transactions, and  act as  major consolidators and supply chain managers to negotiate with manufacturers. ### (DENICE JOELLE BENOSA, DA-PRDP MIMAROPA RPCO InfoACE Unit)


Engr. Christian Vargas (front right), Compliance and Procurement Officer of the Philippine Rural Development Project Regional Project Coordination Office MIMAROPA discusses the harmonized procurement guidelines to the officers and Bids and Awards Committee of the Calamianes Seaweed Marketing Cooperative.

Norma Batul, Financial Analyst of the Philippine Rural Development Project Regional Project Coordination Office MIMAROPA orient the treasurer of the CSMC about the government and World Bank’s standard of inventory and financial management.

An initial meeting with the Calamianes Seaweed Marketing Cooperative officers was conducted by the Social and Environmental Safeguards and I-Reap Component before the house-to-house consultation.

Joylen Dagan (front left) SES Associate from RPCO MIMAROPA and Lovejoy Tejedo (front right), SES Officer from Project Support Office of South Luzon, interview one of the members of the CSMC who is a part-time construction worker and part-time seaweed farmer.

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