(Left to right) Vice Mayor Alfredo Enojas, South Luzon PSO Director Shandy Hubilla, and Mayor Maria Angela Sabando attends the ceremonial groundbreaking of the “Palawan Cashew Processing Center” at Brgy. Malcampo, Roxas, Palawan. (Photo by Leira Vic Colongon, DA-PRDP MIMAROPA RPCO InfoACE Unit)
For the 100 members of the Roxas Seed Growers Multi-Purpose Cooperative (RSGMPC), June 27 marks a special day, because the Palawan Cashew Processing Center subproject that they have been waiting for just took another step to reality.
The groundbreaking ceremony, which signals the construction of the said enterprise, was conducted at the subproject site in Brgy. Malcampo, Roxas, Palawan. It was led by the Municipal Project Management and Implementing Unit (MPMIU) of Roxas and attended by members of the proponent group, contractor, and consultants from the Department of Agriculture’s Philippine Rural Development Project (DA-PRDP).
According to Brgy. Malcampo Chairperson Franklin Reyes, it was indeed a blessing that the World Bank-funded processing center will be constructed in their barangay.
The cashew processing center costs an estimated amount of P11.69 million with combined financial counterparts from the DA, the Municipality of Roxas, and RSGMPC.
The enterprise development (I-REAP) subproject aims to create additional forms of livelihood for cashew growers who have limited capital and do not earn enough income. Upon its completion, the RSGMPC will utilize the fresh cashew fruit to supply roasted cashew, cashew nut shell liquid, and cashew shell to their selected institutional clients.
During the groundbreaking, RSGMPC President Douglas Evio expressed his appreciation for the processing center while recognizing the efforts of the people who helped them in getting it approved. He noted that the enterprise will benefit cashew growers not just in Northern Palawan, but also in the entire province.
Roxas Municipal Mayor Maria Angela Sabando stated, “Umaasa kami na pagdating ng panahon, isa ito sa makapagpapaangat ng kinikita ng ating mga cashew farmers (We are hoping that when the time comes, this will be one of the things that would increase the income of our cashew farmers).”
She also emphasized the important role of women in the success of development interventions in Roxas.
Other DA-PRDP interventions in the municipality are the enterprises worth P16.57 million to be implemented with the Global Environment Facility (GEF) for 7 marine protected areas (MPAs). Under the infrastructure development (I-BUILD) component, the Nicanor Zabala–San Miguel–Jolo and the Antonino–Taradungan farm-to-market roads will be constructed and upgraded with an estimated budget of P203 million.
“Kami ay instrumento lang para ma-realize ninyo ang inyong mga kailangan. Ang pamumuno, pag-aalaga, pangangasiwa ng mga proyekto natin ay nakasalalay sa inyo (We are only instruments in helping you realize what you need. The direction, maintenance, administration of the project depends on you),” stressed PRDP South Luzon Project Support Office Director Shandy Hubilla.
A Pre-Construction Conference initiated by the Project’s Procurement Unit followed the groundbreaking ceremony. The said activity aimed to reiterate the important roles particularly of the proponent group, contractor, MPMIU, and DA-PRDP in the completion of the subproject.