Soldiers of 89th Infantry Battalion opened the “Bread and Basket” Bakeshop to give livelihood opportunities to the women-members of the Magwawa Skilled Workers Association (MSWA) in Barangay Magwawa, Santo Tomas, Davao del Norte.
The project was inspired by the “Makatao Bakeshop” of the battalion that was established through a value chain concept as its objective was to provide an alternative source of income for its personnel.
Selected personnel of the unit together with several members of the Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit were initially trained on bread and pastry making by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority and Rizal Memorial Colleges (RMC).
They then underwent another training, this time on bakeshop management at the bakeshop of Rino Tugay.
The battalion then bought second-hand bakeshop equipment worth P100,000 to jumpstart the operation of “Makatao” Bakeshop at the heaquartrs of the 10th Infantry Division in Mawab, Davao de Oro.
The success of the bakeshop prompted the unit to replicate it in far-flung communities and formerly conflict-affected areas to provide livelihood and economic opportunities particularly to the women residents.
After the conduct of the feasibility study of the project, including the need assessment component, the residents then organized the MSWA and registered with the DEpartment of Labor and Employment.
Members of the association then underwent the training in November last year as the battalion collaborated with the offices of Mayor Ernesto Evangelista of Sto. Tomas, Davao del Norte and Rep. Allan Dujali of the Second District of Davao del Norte for the baking equipment and other startup materials.
Roland Dejisica of Ecner Banana Corporation also donated a motorcycle for the delivery of their products and expand their market to nearby villages.
Selected members of the association were trained on how to operationalize the bakeshop at the Makatao Bakeshop as the equipment for the bakery was still being secured. They were also trained on basic bookkeeping.
Arnulfo Generosa, village chief of the place, the residents, the soldiers and members of the paramilitary unit joined hands in setting up the bakery.
Lt Col. Silas Trasmontero, battalion commander, said the implementation of the project was part of the implementation of Executive Order 70, known as the Whole of Nation approach in defeating the rebel movement as the military and other functionaries of government collaborated for the success of the project.
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