Two mining companies, Filminera Resources Corporation and Phil Gold Processing & Refining Corporation, have embarked on food production and other livelihood programs in a town in Masbate in a bid to equip the town folk in overcoming problems brought about by the prolonged pandemic.
Five years ago, or earlier, FRC and PhilGold have sponsored and organized livelihood opportunities for the community folk which include the innovative hydroponics agriculture system, banana chips food processing, oyster production, bangus and tilapia culture, salted egg processing, egg production preparatory to poultry supply, among others.
FRC and PhilGold have jointly implemented these through their Social Development and Management Program, which receive sustained multi-million peso funding from the two mining firms every year.
The latest project that has generated much interest and substantial income to residents of several barangays is the egg production project which assures supply to several poultry houses. Most of these eggs set a chain reaction of poultry production, because these eggs produce chickens and these chickens, in turn, produce eggs in a never-ending cycle achieving a remarkable geometric progression.
Alongside equipping them in egg and chicken production, FRC and PhilGold have been conducting training programs among the community micro entrepreneurs to enable them to operate and expand their cooperatives. The training programs include capacity building, financial literacy and management, hands-on technical trainings, and study tours.
“The humble egg serves as the staple in meals of households, and the essential source of food variations related to poultry,” said Filminera’s resident manager, Geronimo Badulis Jr. He added: “Several livelihood associations in the two firms’ host barangays have continually earned income and enabled the families to have food on their table.”
Figures cited by the two firms include more than 8,000 layer chickens, which are producing 6,500 eggs a day, which total at least 195,000 eggs a month – summing up to 2.3 million eggs a year. If 25% of the 2.3 million (or 585,000) are consumed at the breakfast table, some 1.8 million (or 75%) become chickens which in turn produce millions of eggs, Badulis pointed out.
This sustained supply of eggs and chickens have stimulated allied food production establishments even in neighboring barangays and towns. Such growth has also encouraged a growing network of retail and wholesale buyers supplying eggs and chickens to more municipalities in Masbate. A combined monthly income of close to a million pesos result in at least 12 million annual revenue stream for these micro or mini enterprises.
The bulk of the earnings (70%) are equally distributed to association members while 30% is being retained in the bank as part of the associations’ monthly savings. The project was set up in 2016 in the eight impact barangays in Aroroy. Soon, the project grew and expanded to include more barangays in Aroroy.
The livelihood associations, with the guidance of the two mining firms, learned to expand their poultry houses, further grow their egg and chicken production to accommodate additional chickens to produce more eggs.
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