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“This project is the one closest to my heart, because this miracle green saved the life of Sally, the wife of the Governor of Zambales, who happens to be my mother.”

With teary eyes, Atty. Izelle Iamly P. Deloso, the Provincial Administrator (PA) of Zambales and daughter of Zambales Governor Atty. Amor D. Deloso, shared her personal evidence on the benefits of Moringa leaves during the Awarding Ceremony of Equipment to San Antonio Moringa Processors (SAMPA) for their Moringa Processing Project on January 17, 2018.

She said that sometime in 2008, her mother Sally Deloso’s (about 50 years old that time) car was smashed by a delivery truck along the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX). This almost caused her life. Her doctor said that the impact of the accident can lead to serious damage on her internal organs, but miraculously, they found out that she had no major internal injury because her bones are as healthy as that of a thirty (30) year-old and that these protected her organs. Sally survived the accident and claimed that this is because she loves eating different “marunggay” dishes, Ilocano name of Moringa, so she was able to maintain a strong and healthy body.
 
Present during the Awarding Ceremony are micro-small and medium enterprise (MSME) enablers such as the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Provincial Planning and Development Office (PPDO), Provincial Agriculture Office (PAO), Philippine National Police (PNP),  Local Government Unit (LGU) of San Antonio and the local private sectors of San Antonio, Zambales.
 
Organized by the Municipal Agriculture Office of San Antonio, the Moringa Processing Project of SAMPA started in 2012 as a support group to the One-Town One-Product (OTOP) Project of DTI. Their initial product offers are Moringa Yema, Tarts, Polvoron and Cookies. As support to the project, DOST awarded equipment under their Grant-In Aid (GIA) Program in 2013 and in 2014. Because there was limitation in production capacity, DTI issued another set of equipment under its Share Service Facility (SSF) Program.
 
Nancy Fitel, President of the San Antonio Moringa Processors Association, expressed her gratitude to the different government agencies who have been supporting their project since the start. She thanked DTI and DOST for the technology, product development, trainings and marketing assistance extended to them. She said that because of the equipment awarded to them, they were able to develop new products that are now very successful and marketable. The association is now producing Moringa Shing-a-ling, a nutritious snack made from Moringa Leaves.
 
Their Shing-a-ling product alone contributed more than P300,000 sales in 2017 and after the awarding of the new set of equipment by the Provincial Government of Zambales on January, their sales are expected to shoot-up to about P500,000 or 167% higher than last year.
 
From two (2) production workers in 2013, the association is now employing seven (7) regular employees working eight (8) hours a day, six (6) days a week.
 
According to PA Deloso, the Provincial Government of Zambales will support livelihood projects like this one in San Antonio because it is not only creating livelihood and jobs to the people aside from supporting the local economy, but it is also promoting healthy lifestyle by serving healthy products to Zambaleños.♦
Chicharon, commonly known as bagnet and the longanisa “ala Vigan,” are two among the well - known products of San Felipe, Zambales.  Locals and tourists just love the taste that they usually come early at the San Felipe Public Market to bring home these products. 
 
With the aim of developing these products, the local government unit support the One Town, One Product Program of the Department of Trade and Industry as it organized the 20 processors, who at the same time are meat vendors,  to come up with the San Felipe Chicharon and Longanisa Producers’ Association (SFCLPA).
 
 
The SFCLPA was organized in 2012 and was immediately registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission.  Through the initiative of active officers and members, the organization tapped the assistance of DTI-Zambales for technical trainings and seminars such as Food Safety, Good Manufacturing Practices.  Product Development Seminar with One-on-One Consultation was also provided to come up with the label.
 
To further improve production, the Department of Trade and Industry in 2015 approved a project proposal under the Shared Service Facility for the provision of equipment on meat processing. The equipment cost P533,000 and was housed right at the back of the San Felipe Public Market.  The equipment has provided ease in the production through their meat stuffer, slicer, grinder, vacuum sealer, etc.  Sanitation was also addressed by providing the organization with high grade stainless tables.  In addition, the Department of Science and Technology through the SET-UP Program provided additional equipment to increase productivity. Likewise, the Local Government Unit of San Felipe opened in November 2017  the Chicharon Bagnet Cooking Center to further support the SFCLPA meat processing project.
 
 
On marketing and promotion, the SFCLPA participated in the Likha ng Central Luzon Trade Fair at SM Mega Mall in 2012.  As a first timer in the fair, the association got the attention of buyers, generating sales of P30,000.00.  This promotion brought more confidence to participate in more trade fairs especially in the province such as the  Dinamulag Festival, MSME Week Fair, Tourism Month Celebration, to name a few.
 
In 2016, San Felipe brought further promotion of its longanisa and chicharon products by opening the OTOP store located beside the Public Market.   At the OTOP Store, buyers can bring home frozen longanisa neatly packed and labeled.
 
In 2017,   the SFCLPA had the full support of the local government by staging the  1st and most celebrated longganisa “Panagkakaduan” Festival in April 2017.  The Chicharon and longanisa also got national media exposure and promotion through Unang Hirit, Off Road Show, etc. 
 
With the 20 members producing chicharon and bagnet, there are also at least 15 helpers/ workers to do the grinding and stuffing at the SSF production center.  The members are now able to produce and sell an average of 1,500 kilos or P400,000.00 a month or a direct income for the association of P7,000.00.♦
Darylle Dash Farm started in year 2010 and registered under the name FARIN FARM. It is owned by Darwin Farin. The enterprise has a one hectare land dedicated to semi-organic farming and has an initial working capital of P10,000.   Its products were sold to the public markets of San Narciso and San Antonio, Zambales.   After three (3) years, the farm expanded to piggery and poultry, giving them a more profitable business in agri-farming.
 
Unfortunately, its vegetable project experienced difficulties due to drought and pests on the crops. It was eventually stopped because it was so expensive to maintain. Meanwhile, the poultry and piggery projects went well in the next five years until it was hardly hit by a calamity in 2015 that pushed the owner to stop them as well.
 
Business was tough for Mr. Farin. However, this did not hinder him to take another chance.  Darwin Farin attended an Agriculture seminar together with his father.  The training was on ornamental plants and cuttings grown in water.  After the training, he did further research and finally decided to start his environment friendly business. 
 
Darylle Dash Farm is now producing ornamental plants and cuttings grown in water. Using thorough research and observation, he made a nutrient solution for water plants which can be used for ornamental, herbs, lettuce and vegetables. The nutrient solutions are called DDF NUTRI-SOL FOR ORNAMENTAL PLANTS AND DDF NUTRI-SOL FOR HERBS, LETTUCE AND VEGETABLES. The ornamental plants are planted in glass vase with Nutri-sol.  The plants are usually bought as interior ornaments for homes, offices, hotels and restaurants, and for wedding or birthday giveaways.
 
In October 2017, Darylle Dash Farm started online selling.  In the same year, they joined trade fairs at Harbor Point and SM Megamall, through the help of DTI-Zambales.  Its products, including the DDF Nutri-Sol, are usually sold through dealer partners nationwide. To promote the product, Darylle Dash Farm is giving free seminars to LGUs, schools and other private and public institutions.  A research center and nursery are also available on site for walk-in buyers to see the new farming innovation. Today, the enterprise is generating an average monthly sales of P15,000.00
 
Fortunately, Darylle Dash Farm became one of the mentees of “KAPATID MENTOR ME PROGRAM” Batch II.  This gave  Darwin more information and knowledge in developing his business.
Lastly, DARYLLE DASH FARM helps the environment, gives healthy foods, and provides livelihood to the people of Zambales.
 
Encouraging entrepreneurship has been advocated as the most promising avenue for economic development of Indigenous communities in Zambales. Unfortunately, the number of indigenous people engaged in small business in Zambales is quite low.
 
Indigenous entrepreneurs face a number of barriers in the development of their businesses such as -lack of skills, marketing of products and financial capability. These has resulted to poverty and higher rates of unemployment. Through the different programs of the Department of Trade and Industry, these are addressed and enable the Indigenous people communities to escape from these barriers.
 
Because of their remote location, these communities make do with transportation through “kolong- kolong” sidecar. Despite these hindrances, the DTI-Zambales established two (2) proactive Indigenous group the Sta. Marta Agrarian reform beneficiaries and the Aeta Tribes in Palauig, Zambales.
 
The Aeta Tribe in Palauig  (ATIP) is one of our beneficiary of the Shared Service Facility Project on Bamboo processing, they received equipment in making barbeque sticks and bamboo souvenir items. Through the SSF Project given to them, the production volume from 500 bundles per week increased to 2,500 bundles of barbeque sticks per week. ATIP is one of the province’s proactive indigenous entrepreneurs last year. In fact, they received the award for the Best Provincial SSF Cooperator for the province of Zambales because of their enterprise development. They also attended different local, regional and national trade fairs such as the Likha ng Central Luzon, CARP Likha ng Central Luzon Arbs and Manila Fame. Through the support of DTI and through their commitment, this year, the SSF on Bamboo processing will be upgraded to develop more products and to enhance/innovate the bamboo handicrafts of ATIP.
 
Development of Indigenous enterprises which can employ Indigenous people are seen as a means of creating employment in remotes areas. Aside from the Aeta Tribes in Palauig, the Sta. Marta ARBs located at Sitio Sta Marta,Salaza,Palauig, is also being assisted. The community is fifteen(15) kilometers away from the main barangay of. Salaza, Palauig. This enterprise is engaged in making Broom and Nito Handicrafts. The DTI Zambales Office conducted training programs fo the enterprise such as Skills training on Nito Handicrafts and Skills training on Broom Making. Now, the Sta. Marta ARBS have a formal entrepreneurial activity which can enable, change and transform the indigenous cultural habits to Indigenous entrepreneurship.
 
"Indigenous participation in business enterprise is a way of enhancing the economic growth of Indigenous communities in Zambales. We at DTI-Zambales will continue to give the best of what have to develop more enterprises for the Indigenous entrepreneur."♦
 
Sales go up and down, but service stays forever. It never ceases to amaze me how much time people waste searching endlessly for magic shortcuts to entrepreneurial success and fulfillment, when the only real path is staring them right in the face - real entrepreneurs who start real businesses that employ real people who provide real products and services to real customers. This is what the Zambales Coconut Free Farmers is doing and providing.
 
Zambales Coconut Free Farmers Association (ZCFFA) is an organization located at Barangay Natividad, San Narciso, Zambales. They are currently producing pickled papaya, chilli products, banana chips, jams and jellies and pickled onion. This organization is composed of 25 members working together as one. They started by learning marketable skills and applying enormous amount of hard work. They started to produce chilli products and chips in 2013. Yearly they are improving on and creating new productst as additions to their product lines. They produce approximately 300 bottles of chilli products and 100 packs of chips per day. This organization is the identified beneficiary for the transfer of Shared Service facility (SSF) project on Spring Onion. The SSF equipment helped them produce new products which eventually increased their production volume.
 
Because of the good service of the Association to its customers and the continuous assistance of the Department of Trade and Industry, its sales continued to grow  from 10,000 from the year they started and now to 55,000- 100,000 pesos per month.
 
As one of its officer, Regina Fuerte, said “Yes, I know that’s hard. It's a lot of work. What can I say, that’s life. Besides, look on the bright side: You get to do what you want and you get to do it your way. There’s just one catch. You’ve got to start somewhere. Ideas and opportunities don’t just materialize out of thin air.”♦
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