The Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park (PPSRNP), along with the local office of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), recently conducted a training of some 25 women from communities around the national park on the processing and production of banana chips.

PPSRNP Community Development officer Mickel Ollave said the training was to help the communities rebuild one of their major alternative income sources that had been disrupted due to the pandemic and Typhoon Odette.

“Before the pandemic and yung Typhoon Odette, nagpoproduce na ang community ng banana chips na binebenta natin sa mga guests at sa mga trade fairs na dinadaluhan natin. Bale itong training na ito, follow up na lang para makarecover at maiimprove pa nila yung products nila,” he said.

Ollave noted that bananas are commonly grown in the area and that cultivating this crop is also integral to the culture and customs of the indigenous community.

Since 2014, the PPSRNP management has initiated livelihood projects in Brgy. Marufinas is known to be the poorest barangay in the city. Ollave noted that their interventions have helped the local communities uplift their living conditions.

“Since 2014, tuloy-tuloy yung mga livelihood projects natin and we are very pleased to share na based on the 2017 Community Based Monitoring Survey (CBMS), hindi na Brgy. Marufinas ang pinaka mahirap na barangay sa Puerto Princesa,” he said.