Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Ligao City women complete BuB-funded skills training program
By Danny O. Calleja

LIGAO CITY, Feb. 9 (PNA) -– A total of 38 women, most of them housewives, recently completed the skills training on cookery and meat processing given by the city government through funds provided by the national government under its Grassroots Participatory Budgeting Process (GPBP), popularly known as the Bottom-up Budgeting (BUB).

One of its graduates, Marilyn Beunaventura, a 40-year-old housewife in Barangay Binatagan here, said she would make use of the skills she acquired in the training and the starter kit it provided in putting up her own home-based business to augment the meager family income that can hardly make ends meet.

Bebilita Manlapas, 52, of Barangay Pinit, said she and her family would engage in the business of meat processing to come up with a small-scale enterprise to produce longganisa and embutido which are highly salable processed food items in their community.

Both graduates and their 36 other co-graduates have expressed deep gratitude to the city government and the national government in providing them the skills training course which they see as a stable stepping stone towards a better quality economic life.

City Mayor Patricia Gonzalez-Alsua also expressed hope that the training, made possible through GPBP funds, would further empower the women graduates towards becoming more productive at home or in their respective communities.

The undertaking, she said, was completed via a partnership among her administration, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) which shared efforts in providing the funds, and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) which handled the training course.

This latest training program is among the community-based capacity building initiatives of the local government that seeks to improve the participants’ socio-economic status by way of preparing them for locally available jobs or facilitate opportunities for micro-enterprise development guided by the DSWD’s Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP), Alsua explained.

“We apply the GPBP supplementary fund received through the DSWD in these initiatives to benefit poor families by way of providing them livelihood skills training that when harnessed properly would certainly improve their economic conditions,” she said on Tuesday.

Earlier, the city government produced 22 graduates from a three-month-long course in Shielded Metal Arc Welding course given also in partnership with DSWD and TESDA under the same budgeting process which awarded each of them a national accreditation certificate as an industrial shielded metal arc welder following the competency assessment conducted.

This was preceded by the awarding of carabaos and starter kits composed of various farm implements for organic crop production to 200 local farmers also through funds provided under the BuB.

Ahead of the distribution of these awards, the recipient farmers were made to undergo a two-day organic rice production training which served as a prerequisite for them to qualify to the grant.

On-farm technical assistance and veterinary services for the carabaos will also be provided by the City Agriculture Office (CAO) as the recipients’ farming activities progress under the close monitoring of a team organized for the purpose.

These are to ensure that the farmers really become more productive in their organic farming activities and their earning capability enhanced for increased purchasing power leading to their liberation from the bondage of poverty, according to the lady mayor.

The GPBP being applied by the Aquino administration is a somewhat modern approach to planning in the use of government’s financial resources that is different from the usual top-down budgeting where the high level executives make all the decisions in fund dispensations.

This scheme provides the opportunity for grantees to be involved in setting their own goals and expectations for a given financial period and gives them ownership of the decisions, motivating them to meet budgetary constraints that otherwise might seem unattainable or unrealistic if they were delivered by someone without as much understanding of their day-to-day operations.

The BuB exercise was started in 2012 through the Human Development and Poverty Reduction Cluster (HDPRC) and the Good Governance and Anti-Corruption Cluster (GGAC) as an strategy that hopes to empower civil society organizations and citizen’s groups to engage local government and national government agencies and make them more responsive to the people’s needs. (PNA) LAP/FGS/DOC/CBD