BALANGA CITY, May 19 (PIA) -- Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Bataan bagged the Best Documentation Award for the Bignay Wine Making Project of Tanato Multi-Purpose Cooperative (TMPC) during the awarding of Best DOLE-assisted Livelihood Projects.
TMPC was organized in 2001 with initial members of 20 resident-farmers of barangay Tanato in Balanga City.
In 2013, the cooperative received from DOLE a livelihood assistance of two 300-liter capacity stainless containers worth Php100,000 for wine fermenting.
DOLE Provincial Director Leilani Reynoso said the livelihood assistance was sourced from DOLE Integrated Livelihood and Emergency Employment Program.
TMPC President Guillerma Desepeda recalled how the cooperative started small with a grocery store, how they faced deficits and challenged by low profits from farming.
“Noong simula, kumikita lang po kami ng Php5,000 kada buwan, pero noong nagkaroon kami ng konting kagamitan, tumaas po ito nang Php10,000-Php15,000 kada buwan, pero noong dumating po ang mga tanke na galing sa DOLE, nakapag-imbak po kami ng maraming wine at dahil dyan, tumaas po ang aming kita, at sa kasalukuyan, kami po ay kumikita na ng Php20,000-Php25,000 kada buwan,” Desepeda said.
Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) also helped TMPC through capacity building training on wine processing and other food products.
After trainings and workshops conducted by the DTI, the cooperative started to produce their own wine using bignay, a type of fruit from Currant trees which are abundant in the village.
Other government offices such as the Department of Agriculture, Department of Agrarian Reform, the Provincial Government of Bataan, and the City Government of Balanga also assisted the cooperative in developing the business. (CLJD/MJSD-PIA 3)