By Ma. Teresa Jasereno and David Pagulayan | September 26, 2012

It is hard to find passion and drive on tedium of life, and even harder to find after calamity. And yet, those who chose to rise are those who find the drive outside life’s absurdity.

The Buhatan Women Group is one of the most active women groups in the City of Sorsogon.  They started as Women’s Group after Barangay Buhatan was hit hard by Typhoon Sisang in l987. Thirty-three members were committed in attending their weekly sessions using the women modules and Parents Effectiveness Service. The Social Welfare Aide assigned in the area imparted these modules to them and these women felt empowered by the discussions. The group was formally organized in December 2, 1999 and it was named Buhatan SEA-Kaunlaran Association.

The group was introduced to the livelihood program of the DSWD in February 2001 and the group became interested, along with their spouses, to avail.

The regional PDO II and LGU worker conducted a Series of interviews and home visits to the Women’s Group, and out of 33 members, 19 women and family heads of 6 members passed the criteria of the program. They were scheduled to attend the SEA-K Mandatory Training & Basic Business Management Training in which the group was able to attend and participate.

The participants were more than willing to participate in the discussions, and an atmosphere of discipline reverberated within the group.

Wanting more than an organization, the group also expressed their willingness to undergo trainings from other National Government Agencies.  The PDO II & LGU worker assigned in the area coordinated with the Department of Agriculture and Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, and thus, training on food processing, fish and mushroom culture were done thru the technical assistance of the agencies.

The Association was funded last February 20, 2001, and Seed Capital was released to the members in two batches.  The first batch who received the fund was the 1st three members and the 2nd batch was the group officers. Individual projects were funded based on their capacity to pay and project proposals submitted.

The members maximized their loans from SKA savings such as educational loans to members entering their children into college students with 2% interest payable within a semester; micro-enterprise loans with 5% interest payable within a minimum of 6 months and maximum of 1 year; fertilizer loan with 10% interest payable after cropping; and medical loans with zero interest payable within a minimum of 1 month to 3 months. Some of them are now venturing in other businesses such as expansion of family enterprises.

 

Furthermore, their own savings and effort played an important role as conduit in the community. They were able to extend loans to 12 new qualified individuals within the barangay and adjacent communities who passed the process of selection in accordance with the SEA-K Scheme. Supervision from the PDO II and the LGU Worker is still being done to ensure the sustainability of a community based lending association.

After thorough assessment of Project Development Officer II to the Buhatan SKA, said association had passed the criteria & validation conducted by the Project Development Officer III for scaling up of SEA-K Level I and is now a merging SKA of GBC (Guinlajon, Buhatan & Cabid-an) SEA-KABAYAN, INC with 100% rollback to KABAYAN. The pictures shown below are tangible features that the Buhatan SEA-Kaunlaran Association is now a successful association organized by the department thru the efforts its Project Development II and of the LGU Worker.