Farmers’ cooperative in Barangay Sapa, Bataraza receives 5,000 coconut seedlings. (Photo courtesy of RTNMC)

An estimated 5,000 coconut seedlings were turned over to the Sapa Farmers’ Producers Cooperative (SFPC) as an additional livelihood source for its members in Barangay Sapa, Bataraza.

Rio Tuba Nickel Mining Corporation (RTNMC) community organizer Simbil Adjimin said this is part of their goal to distribute 50 seedlings to each of the SFPC’s 100 households.

Adjimin said the distribution was conducted on October 14 in the barangay where the cooperative is located.

“Bale isang pamilya may 50 coconut seedlings. ‘Yan kasi ay naka-base sa planning nila kasi ang pangunahing kabuhayan ng mga tao doon ay pagkokopra. ‘Yon ang pinili nila para madagdagan ‘yong mga puno nila ng niyog,” he said.

Adjimin the Sapa community first ventured into coffee production to have an additional source of income. But the residents also requested coconut seedlings from the Social Development and Management Program (SDMP).

In response, the RTNMC allocated P150,000 for the project. Around P100,000 was used for the seedlings and P50,000 to shoulder the labor cost.

“Malaki ang impact nyan, kumbaga habang buhay na nila ‘yan at hindi lang sila ang makikinabang kung hindi pati mga anak nila, apo nila. Matagal ang buhay nyan, matagal ang pakinabagang dyan,” he said.

Adjimin added that an amount of P120,000 was also allocated for cassava plantation for another group of 80 farmers of the cooperative, with each receiving P1,500 as financial assistance.

Cassava production, he explained, is being pushed in the barangay for charcoal briquettes and for its starch.

“Nag-isip ang coop na bakit hindi tayo magtanim ng cassava para hindi tayo bumili. Kasi noong nakaraan bumili pa sila worth of P5,000 na starch ng cassava, ngayon hindi na sila bumibili sa labas,” he said.

Meanwhile, Adjimin added that Sapa had also registered to Impok Pangkalusugan (IPk) in June, where over a hundred residents applied for health insurance. The amount of the health insurance is P360 each and subject for renewal every year.

RTNMC also allocated P50,000 from the SDMP for health. Patients might avail health insurance as long as their bill will not exceed P2,500.

“Sila ata sa Brgy. Sapa ang pinakauna sa lahat ng  barangay sa Bataraza na nagkaroon ng ganito. Ito kasi ay parang pinaghahandaan natin kung anong puwedeng mangyari. Lahat ng walang PhilHealth na indigent, ‘yon ang miyembro,” he said.

The IPk is accredited in Aborlan Medicare Hospital, Southern Palawan Provincial Hospital, Bataraza Lying-In Clinic, Berachah Medical Clinic, Sagrado Hospital, Narra Municipal Hospital, Quezon Medicare Hospital, Ospital ng Palawan; and Leoncio General Hospital.


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is one of the senior reporters of Palawan News. She covers agriculture, business, and different feature stories. Her interests are collecting empty bottles, aesthetic earrings, and anything that is color yellow.