PRDP-funded ice plant in Mariveles starts operations
Fisherfolk and fish processors in Batangas II, Mariveles, Bataan can now avail of accessible, cheaper and adequate supply of block ice with the Ice Plant and Cold Storage subproject under the Department of Agriculture’s Philippine Rural Development Project (DA-PRDP).
Managed by Kaizen Multipurpose Cooperative, the project targets block ice retailers and members of Batangas II Small Fisher Folks Association (BASFA), Batangas II Fishermen Association (BAFA) and DUGSO Fisherfolk Cooperative.
Dolores Magpantay, Chairperson of Kaizen said that before the intervention of PRDP, the cooperative was only engaged in lending and catering businesses.
“Now that this PRDP subproject has started, there are more fishermen, farmers and fish processors who were encouraged to be members of our cooperative,” said Magpantay.
“They used to buy ice in small stores for 3 pesos per piece. Now, they can save more through the block ice that they will buy from us.”
60% of the produced ice will be sold to fisherfolk while 40% will be sold to block ice retailers.
A cold storage has also completed construction and is now open for rent to prolong the freshness of fishermen’s produce, particularly sardines.
Last May 28, World Bank delegates along with heads and technical staff from PRDP’s national, cluster and regional offices visited the ice plant and gave generally positive comments about the project.
“There were a lot of people who helped us during the World Bank visit. We took note of all their comments and recommendations,” recalled Magpantay.
She added, “One comment was about our source of expansion. We were asked how we will expand our business without PRDP intervention.”
In response to this, Magpantay said that they will encourage their members to increase their capital share for the expansion of their business.
“We will not rely on lending or bank loans. We will maximize our members’ finances as additional capital share until our cooperative continues to progress.”
The Establishment of Ice Plant and Cold Storage is an I-REAP subproject with an enterprise cost of P9,300,928 and civil works cost of P8,776,204.98. (Kayla Arceo, PSO InfoACE)