Bolinao, Pangasinan – ‘Cash grants recipients’ turned  microentrepreneurs in this tourist destination town famous with its ivory-sand coastline,  coral cave formations, and  ‘danggit’ production.

 In Santiago Island,  the Sustainable Livelihood Program of DSWD Field Office 1 paved the way to further their product development strategies and increase market linkage, thus encouraged higher income among 390 Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries who were  provided with capital assistance (Php 5,000.00 each) over the last three years.

 From Cash Grant recipients to Cash Builders

 Rochelle Pardon, a 35 year-old mother of 5 children is earning at least Php 920.00 for  10.5 kilos of ‘danggit’ produced in a day. This is  sold at Php 280.00 per kilo or  Php 2,940.00 as her gross sales. The production cost include  Php 1,650.00 for the 30-kilo fresh ‘Barangen’ and Php 370.00 labor cost for cleaning, salting and deboning.

 On shellcraft, Nory Lalaguna, 49 year-old mother of 8 children is earning an average of Php 500.00 a week for shellcraft making (necklaces, curtains, novelty items). Recently, she produced 500 pieces of necklace bought at Php 15.00 each by the Department of Tourism.

 Capital assistance  grantees now  organized

 A bigger group of ‘danggit’ producers composed of 20 Self Employment Assistance Kaunlaran (SEA-K) Association and   1 SEA-K group were organized as Santiago Island SEA-K Workers Association of Bolinao (SISWAB).

 The SISWAB has collected Php 34,000.00 as share capital and membership fee from its member-associations. This will serve as revolving capital upon the establishment of the Sheltered Processing of ‘danggit’ at Barangay Goyoden, Bolinao.

 With this federation, the group of ‘danggit’ makers among Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries are also awaiting for more government agencies services and intervention tapped by  DSWD.

 Government Agencies Services to Unload

 The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources   (BFAR) will initiate a capability training to ‘danggit’ producers for faster production  and more enticing product packaging.  Also, additional skills training on fish processing for standard salting, drying and storage using the appropriate technology are already scheduled.

 With the Department of Trade and Industry, participation to trade fairs will give the product a bundle of opportunity to penetrate wider and more stable market.

 The group will also be registered with DOLE for them to access needed equipment or raw materials for greater production.

 Furthermore, the DOST will provide assistance on packaging and labeling for the overall appearance of the product, hence, maintaining its good quality over a period of time. (Iryn D. Cubangbang, Information Officer II)