Photo 1 - “We shall take good care of this project so that it can be sustainable. This livelihood project will help augment our income and prepare us for the future,” Manuela Canonayon, President of Santa Maria Women’s Association, shares. Photo 2 - The Sta. Maria women working hard to finish and deliver a bulk order. Photo 3 - A sense of fulfillment. After a whole day’s work, the women of Santa Maria are proud of what they have produced. “I am thankful for this project that TVIRD gave us since it is big help for our daily subsistence and our future,” said Jessica Palma, a member of the association. Photo 4 - Joel Alasco, CReDO Manager, left, and Julma Villanueva, CReDO Junior Program. Photo 5 - The MANANAM Bottled Sardines. The Santa Maria Women’s Association aims that the name MANANAM Bottled Sardines of the Muslim women in Siocon shall be known in the market.
ZAMBOANGA DEL NORTE (Mindanao Examiner / mar. 1, 2012) - “The Women of Sta. Maria are thankful to TVIRD for giving us this sustainability project” - this was the unanimous statement of the members of the Santa Maria Women’s Association (SMWA) of (Santa Maria village) in the municipality of Siocon in Zamboanga del Norte province during the formal start of the production of bottled sardines - a project assisted by the TVI Resource Development (Phils.) Inc. (TVIRD).
The bottled sardines are labeled “MANANAM” (delicious).
“This project aims to jumpstart alternative livelihood projects for the women of Siocon,” said Julma Villanueva, a Junior Officer of the Community Relations and Development Office (CREDO) of TVIRD.
The production of the bottled sardines was the offshoot of a training program attended by 12 officers and members of the women’s association at the Dipolog School of Fisheries in Dipolog City.
TVIRD provided P100,000 for the training and cooking materials and for the improvement of the area where the sardines are being prepared.
The small sardine factory is located in Sitio Busicong in Barangay Sta Maria. This place was chosen due to its proximity to the sea where “tamban-tuloy” - the fish used for the sardines, is abundant and where there is ample supply of water - which is another project sponsored by TVIRD.
So far, the bottled sardines are being bought by the Exploration Department of TVIRD in Canatuan and Engr. Jun Antipolo who wants to have a monthly supply of the sardines to be delivered n Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay. The association is aggressively looking for other buyers to make the project more sustainable.
A minimum of 158 bottles is processed per batch. Each bottle costs P55.00.
“We shall take good care of this project so that it can be sustainable. This livelihood project will help augment our income and prepare us for the future,” Manuela Canonayon, President of SMWA stated. She added that “we are fortunate that TVIRD gave us the chance to learn the technology and gave us the capital to start the production. For this, we are very grateful to TVIRD.”
CreDO Manager Joel Alasco said the sardines-making project is under TVIRD’s Sustainable Livelihood Program and funded by the Social Development Management Plan (SDMP).
To date, there are only 12 women in the workforce composed of Manuela Canonayon, Judith Danyo, Jessica Palma, Najala Salman, Estrella Canonayon, Aurora Guro, Nella Balic, Merliza Bulanon, Jovie Cailo, Rosalyn Alcantara, Amina Kirran, and Sahara Alih.
Depending on the number of buyers, the Siocon women association said there are already plans to recruit and train more members to produce more sardines. (Erika G. Etbew)