SMI has remained committed to helping develop sustainable communities within the Project area. In 2018, a total of PhP36.7 million was invested for education and skills training, community health, community infrastructure, enterprise development, and information, education and communication. These programs reached at least 19,183 individuals and 2,131 households in the barangays and municipalities hosting the Project.
SMI continues to work with local government units, tribal communities, and other partners in the public and private sectors. Together, we plant the future today while we harvest the fruits of our partnerships from years gone by.
Catch these inspiring success stories of individuals, families, and organizations in the 2019 issue of Panag-uban, our annual community development magazine that is soon to be released this September.
When we started out, we only had five workers - one man and four women, including me - and the process was manual, so we could only produce two kilograms of turmeric powder per week. We sold the product to our neighbors. Turmeric tea improved the health of our customers and, by word-of-mouth, our product gained more attention. We began to receive orders from other people in the barangay and even people from other barangays.
Due to the demand, and because turmeric is abundant in our barangay, we were encouraged to expand our production. The organization availed of the community development program of Sagittarius Mines, Inc. (SMI). The company provided us a startup capital of PhP 600,000, which we used to construct a building and an oven. The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) also provided us several equipment, while the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) taught us how to label and package our product and helped us secure the necessary permits from the Food and Drug Administration.
Now, we have 25 workers in the facility, not including the students who work with us part-time when they have no classes. Together, we produce 200 kilograms of turmeric powder per week. With the support of government agencies, the Municipal Agricultural Office of Tampakan, and SMI, we have also showcased our product in exhibits and trade fairs in the region and in Metro Manila.
Because of this turmeric project, many women in the community have become more productive. They no longer spend their time in idle talk. Some work in the facility, while the others still contribute to the project and earn money by cultivating turmeric in their backyards. Even the men help out when they have no work in the farms.
The production of turmeric powder has changed my barangay in many ways. It has made the residents healthy not only physically but also socially. It unites families and neighbors. And these became possible because SMI trusted and supported us from the start.
Ms. Virginia Basan is from Danlag, Tampakan, South Cotabato. She is the President of Danlag Women’s Association.