P4.5M Common Service Facility to boost Bula bamboo industry

BULA, Camarines Sur — The town’s bamboo industry has received a major boost with the inauguration last February 13 at Barangay Pawili, here of the Common Service Facility (CSF), worth around P4.5 million pesos.

The CSF is designed toimprove the efficiency of processing of raw bamboo materials to benefit Women Micro Entrepreneurs (WMEs) in the municipality.

The establishment of the facility likewise aims to create an enabling environment for bamboo WMEs in promoting gender equality and women economic empowerment. It also intends to provide enhancement of employment, livelihood skills, enhancement of access to technology and technical assistance for local bamboo producers.

Naga Mayor John G. Bongat, who is also the chairman of Metro Naga Development Council (MNDC) where Bula is a member municipality, hailed the establishment of the Common Service Facility.

“The CSF will be a great help in increasing the production of different commodities made of bamboo and improve the town’s socio-economy,” the Mayor said.

Bongat also lauded the partner agencies and individuals behind the construction of the facility and the donation of equipment which provided the WMEs with a more comfortable and conducive workplace.

The facility is only the physical component of the entire Gender Responsive Economic Action for the Transformation of Women (GREAT Women) of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) being implemented by the PCW through the Metro Naga Development Council (MNDC).

The GREAT Women Project (GWP) encompasses capability development trainings for both LGU personnel and WMEs. This town’s Local Team for Project Implementation (LTPI) is led by GAD Focal Person, MAO Maristela T. Santy, who underwent series of so-called handholding sessions in developing the Business Plan for the Common Service Facility.

It was her who also formulated the Gender and Development (GAD) Code to ensure sustainability of the project and even the conversion of Tool of Governance such as CDP, CLUP, Tax Code, and the like, into gender responsive tools and other trainings that are instrumental to the sustainability of the results of the project in the locality.

The WMEs on the other hand, underwent series of product development, entrepreneurial skills and gender sensitivity trainings. All of these are part of preparationsto achieve sustainable production, economic empowerment and ultimately improved living condition of local bamboo players.

The DOST and CIDA-PCWfinanced the purchase of the equipment, while the LGU took care of the renovation of the building donated by a Manila-based philanthropist named BenecioEusebio.

The event was graced by Regional Director Tomas B. Briñas of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and Regional Director Jocelyn L.B. Blanco of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) along with their counterparts in the province of Camarines Sur, DOST Provincial Director Patrocinio N. Felizmenio and DTI Provincial Director Edna S. Tejada. Also in attendance were Macario T. Jusayan, chief of Monitoring and Evaluation Division who represented the Philippine Commission on Women and Sieglinde B. Bulaong, Metro Naga project officer.

The inaugural rites started with the blessing of the entire facility by Rev. Fr. Allan S.Fenix, parish priest of St. Rose of Lima in Pili. It was followed by a simple program during which the equipment were presented and turned-over by the donor-representatives from theDOST and CIDA-PCW. Acceptance and inaugural addresses were respectively given by BAMBUZA Chairperson Zoraida C. Brizuela as the project’s primary beneficiary and Mayor Benjamin S. Decena.