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PNP Sorsogon promotes pili products from alternative livelihood

by BA Recebido

Sorsogon City (June 18) — Pili nut (Canarium Ovatum), a native product abundant and wild in Bicol region particularly in Sorsogon is now highlighted in Sorsogon Police Provincial Office’s (SPPO) Alternative Livelihood Development Program for their police force.

Just recently, PNP Sorsogon has successfully conducted its livelihood development program activity held at the Camp Salvador Escudero, Sr., this city, where personnel of SPPO along with their wives and other civilians went through a training demonstration on cooking various pili products.

Pili food expert Melinda Yee spearheaded the cooking activity and has commended the Provincial Police Office’s effort to promote products made from pili utilizing its various parts for their alternative livelihood development program.

Dubbed as “Benepisyo Ko, Benepisyo Mo” (My Profit, Your Profit), PNP Provincial Director Police Senior Supt. Heriberto Olitoquit, said that the livelihood program aims at helping the family of Sorsogon policemen to augment their income by introducing them to alternative sources of livelihood.

Participants went through actual pili cooking demonstration activity where each one’s cooking ability was tested. Products made include crispy pili, salted pili, chocolate-coated pili, sugar-coated pili, molido, pili tart and pili chips, among others.

Meanwhile, the participants conveyed their ‘sweet’ gratitude to their trainer and to the Police Provincial Office as well, headed by PD Olitoquit, for its continuing effort to help and expose his men and their family to other livelihood opportunities. (PIA Sorsogon)

Filed under: Business, Entrepreneurs, Invest in Sorsogon, Livelihood, Negosyo Tips, Philippine National Police, ,



Entrepreneurship is a way of life. Being entrepreneurial means being able to identify, start, and maintain a viable and profitable business, particularly a small enterprise.

People spend most of their lives working for someone else. Some people eventually rise to positions of wealth and power, while the rest languish in unchallenging and low-paying jobs. On the other hand, there are a select few who strike it out on their own rather than work for others. They put up their own enterprise.

You may ask: “Why should I risk my resources in an unpredictable business when I could hold a stable job with permanent tenure and an assurance of a regular monthly income without any risk?” In other words, why be an entrepreneur rather than an employee?

Having your own business has tremendous rewards, but be sure to weigh prospective returns against potential risks and losses.


Having unlimited opportunity to make money

When you have your own business, you will most certainly have unlimited potential to earn money. How much money you earn depends on the time and effort you put into your enterprise. Successful entrepreneurs have earned their wealth and prestige through hard work and by having the right product for the right market at the right time.

Being your own boss

As manager of your business, you make the decisions for your enterprise and take full responsibility for these. The quality of these decisions will translate into either gain or loss for your business. Being your own boss means you are in control of your future. You have a better grasp of what you want to be.

Tapping your creativity

A business usually starts out as an idea. You will have the opportunity to harness this creativity and turn your idea into products and processes.

Overcoming challenges and finding fulfillment

Starting a business is by itself an accomplishment. Running a business tests an entrepreneur’s capability in securing and managing resources. How well a business turns out depends on the owner’s ability to face challenges and overcome difficulties.

Helping others

In the process of running a business, an entrepreneur employs workers, and pays them income which improves their lives. An entrepreneur who succeeds and grows also helps suppliers, sub-contractors, dealers and other businesses connected to him succeed and grow too.

Building an entrepreneurial legacy

A business can be a lasting legacy to the family. It can ensure employment for some members of the family. It can create an enterprising culture than can be handed down through the generations.


Department of Trade and Industry

Filed under: Business, Business Ideas for OFW Families, Livelihood, Motivation, Negosyo Tips, People who inspired Us,

Business for OFW’s Returning to the Philippines

Identifying Small Business
Opportunities in the Philippines

Identify small business opportunities in the Philippines now and get started! Don’t wait until your contract abroad expires or until you retire before you start your own business.

You have the advantage of being gainfully employed as an Overseas Filipino.
Venture into a business using your specialized skill/knowledge, experience and capital that you gained from working and living abroad.

The process of identifying small business opportunities and choosing the number one opportunity should help you proceed.

Use these three simple steps to help you move forward.

Step 1: Create a list of potential small business opportunities in the Philippines and choose your top three options.

Write down ideas as they hit you – do not edit your thought. Make your list as ideas flow. Look for possibilities when reading the newspaper, or watching a talk show on TV, or browsing the Internet.

Take your time building this list, and then make a short list of three business opportunities. Choose the top three that you love the most. Get the three ideas that you are passionate about and that you think would appeal to customers.

Do not limit your choices to offline business ideas. The Web has provided a very good chance to set up a business and succeed online, so include online business ideas as well. Click here to find how you can take advantage of the way people use the internet for an online business.

Step 2: Assess and choose your number one from the list.
There is no magic formula in choosing the best small business opportunity that will succeed. Some guidelines can help, but use your own judgment in making a final decision.

  • Consider “profitability”. Demand and supply affects profitability. Demand is the desire of people to possess or make use of your product or service while supply is the amount of competition you face for your chosen business idea.
  • Reflect on your knowledge and passion. A business that you know best or are willing to learn and excites you the most would stand out. Malcolm Forbes once said, “The biggest mistake people make in life is not trying to make a living at doing what they most enjoy.”
  • Look for a business idea that has a “fair” return on investment. Decide what is “fair” to you. It is ok to have a business and not make money if you do it as a hobby. But why not earn from your hobby as well?
Step 3: Consider franchising.

Your number one choice may be among the small business opportunities in the Philippines under franchising.

Franchising is a good option. You will enjoy the popularity and support of the franchiser and other franchise holders. The franchiser will guide you in running the business as you start out.

Check several franchisers of the same product or service. Visit their offices and attend product or service presentations to help you decide which is the best franchise for your business. Some may have special offers for Overseas Filipinos.

Finding the right franchiser to work with is just a part of running a successful business. What matters is your passion and interest to what you will be doing. Go back to Step 1 as needed to find the right business for you.

Go through these steps in identifying small business opportunities in the Philippines. The right business opportunity may be just under your nose…

Some Ideas for Small Business Opportunities in the Philippines

Learning how to invest in real estate with these 4 techniques can provide Overseas Filipino Workers extra income. Borrow private money and tell lenders that this is one of the safest ways to invest money.

Setting up an Internet cafe business offers huge potential for Overseas Filipinos. Start making your internet cafe business plan now before coming home for good to the Philippines.

Internet cafe business has a huge potential in the Philippines. This internet cafe business plan and franchise sets up the business right for OFWs and Overseas Filipinos.

Filed under: Business Ideas for OFW Families, Invest in Sorsogon, Kwentong OFW, Livelihood, OFW Corner, OFW Livelihood Training,

PLDT-SME Nation’s ‘Bossing Ako’ Campaign Aims to Inspire Filipino Entrepreneurs

PLDT-SME Nat ion is going all out in serving the nation’s small-and-medium entrepreneurs (SME) through its massive campaign that aims to ignite Pinoy ingenuity for business: “Bossing Ako.” The “Bossing Ako” campaign aims to encourage more Filipinos to strive to become their own boss by becoming entrepreneurs. It also seeks to inspire Filipino small-to-medium scale entrepreneurs to continue striving for success and courageously meet the challenges of growing their business.

“We are on a nationwide campaign to encourage a new generation of Filipino entrepreneurs. The Philippines needs more entrepreneurs in order to ensure our economic future. Today, about 90 percent of income in the Philippine economy is generated by SMEs. As we move forward into the 21st century, we’ll need more SMEs to provide more jobs, more income and more purchasing power,” says PLDT-SME Nation Vice President and Head Kat Luna-Abelarde.

The nationwide campaign was kicked off with the launch of the song “Para sa mga Bossing” performed by OPM rock music icon Rico Blanco collaborating with Journey lead vocalist Arnel Pineda. The song’s release introduces a new anthem and rallying cry for Filipino entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs-to-be:
“Ang asenso maaabot/Sa bagsik nitong prinsipyo/Ang talino’t pagsisikap/Ibubuhos sa negosyo/Bossing ako/Aking tagumpay/Sa ‘kin nakasalalay…”

SME Ambassadors

Apart from the launch of the “Para sa mga Bossing” anthem, PLDT-SME Nation has a parallel effort that focuses on icons of Pinoy entrepreneurship. This effort focuses on the success stories of these SME icons—to provide models, inspiration and even wisdom to SMEs and help them succeed just as well.

These SME icons are designated as “Pinoy Bossings” and include:
Mother Lily Monteverde of Regal Films for starting from SME into a pillar of the Filipino film industry; Jay Aldeguer of Island Souvenirs for promoting his passion and love for the country through his tourism souvenirs business; Joey Concepcion, entrepreneurship advocate and Founding Trustee of Go Negosyo; and PLDT Chair Manny V. Pangilinan as the ultimate “bossing.”

Also representing the “Bossing Ako” movement are Les Reyes of Reyes HairCutters, Gardy Cruz of Pancit Malabon Express; Raphael and Jenni Soon of North Park, Ronald Pineda of Folded & Hung; Benjamin Liuson of The Generics Pharmacy, Darius and Carlos Hizon of Pampanga’s Best; Louie Gutierrez and Dulzzi Gutierrez of Silverworks; and Vicki Belo and Cristalle Henares as the mother-daughter tandem for beauty and medical practice.
“The entrepreneurs we tapped for this campaign are all great examples of SMEs that others could look up to for inspiration. The selection is both diverse and of top-notch quality, representing various business industries in their success stories,” says PLDT-SME Nation Marketing Head Amil Azurin.

With preparations on-hand in wrapping up the first phase of the campaign with the release of the song and the unveiling of the 12 SME ambassadors, a big launch is set to take off by mid-June; followed by a grand celebration of the “MVP Bossing Ako Awards Night,” named in honor of PLDT’s Chair Manny V. Pangilinan by October in partnership with Go Negosyo.
For more info on PLDT-SME Nation, call 101-888 or visit

Filed under: Business, Business Ideas for OFW Families, Entrepreneurs, Livelihood,

Demand for goat products draws more farmers into goat farming

By Danny O. Calleja

Sorsogon City (20 May) — Farmers here and other parts of Sorsogon province have recognized goat raising as environment friendly and profitable farming venture.

City councilor Roberto Dollison, head of the three-year old Sorsogon Goat Raisers Association (SGRA), on Tuesday said “from backyard raisers, our group is mulling on converting into a cooperative and turn bigtime entrepreneur to take advantage of the demand for goat products like breeders, meat and milk.”

Each of the 25 members of  SGRA had an average of 10 heads of goat stocks of various breeds and raising them is already a quite good number to start for bigtime farming, Dollison said.

The country had still a meager number of goats even with the shift in diet preferences and the growing demand and interest for goat meat in the local market. The goat population is presently estimated at 3.3 million and rising continuously, Dollison ,quoting a recent report of the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI), said.

One big problem, he said was the cost of breeder goats that as of the present, a six-month old native female at 10-12 kilograms already commands a price of P2,500. A four-month old meztizo weanling costs P4,000 and bucks for breeding are now at P11,000 to P20,000 per head.

But a recent report of the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCARRD) said that this problem does not stop raisers and breeders from dipping their hands into this low-risk profitable livelihood.

Goats adapt well to any existing farming system and feed on forages and other farm products although raisers also use concentrates, it said.

“Goats are very popular among Filipinos because they require low initial capital investment, fit the small hold farm conditions, and multiply fast,” PCARRD explained in its investment briefer.
“Culturally, goats are integral to every special occasion such as birthdays, baptisms, weddings, and fiestas. Hence, they command a higher price compared with other meats in the market.”

These ruminants require low maintenance because they eat tree leaves, grasses, weeds and agricultural by-products. “Goats require less feed than cows and carabaos as about 10 native goats can be fed on the feedstuffs sufficient for one cattle and about seven purebred dairy goats can be fed on the feedstuffs adequate for one dairy cow.

“Although a goat is small, it can produce as much as four liters of milk a day if it is purebred and is given a ration to meet all of its nutritional requirements,” the PCARRD added.

A PCARRD study conducted found out that goats are multi-purpose ruminants producing 58.4 percent milk, 35.6 percent meat, 4.3 percent hide and 1.7 percent fiber. It said that these small ruminants could provide the answer to improve nutritional requirements of the predominantly rural farm families scattered all over the archipelago.

As goat production requires low initial investment and small risks compared to other livestock, it is therefore an attractive undertaking among resource-poor families. In addition, women and children can raise the animals, making it a sound option to augment the country’s programs on livelihood. Goats provide livelihood to about 15 million Filipinos across the country, according to PCARRD.

Despite this, goat farming is still not very popular among Filipinos and no one exactly knows how many goats are there in the country.

PCARRD claims that the total goat inventory is “steadily increasing” at 2 percent per year. This supply is still not enough to meet the current demands. “We expect that the increased demand will last to 2020 when the project supply can meet the demand of the consumers,” PCARRD said.

The optimum potential of goat as one of the main sources of milk and meat has not been fully tapped in the country.

The Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS) of the Department of Agriculture (DA) reported that the total number of goats in the country is about 3,355,574. Most of the goat farms are concentrated in Southern Luzon and various parts of Mindanao.

In Mindanao, Dollison said, goat farming was considered a “sunshine industry.” The country’s second largest island has a large Muslim population and goat meat is considered Halal food. There is also a big demand in the international market, particularly the Middle East.

In Sorsogon, Dollison said more and more people were raising goats in their farms that aside from providing them a steady income from the milk and sales of breeding stocks, they have discovered one thing about the animals.

“Their manure is a good source of fertilizer,” he said. SGRA’s combined stock of about 250 goats provides organic fertilizer for our farms planted to rice, rootcrops, vegetables, coconuts and fruit trees that since fertilizer costs have gone up, more and more farmers are turning to goatraising, Dollison said.

There are at least 12 known goat species in the world but only a relatively small number of breeds are economically useable. The Philippine’s native goat is small but hardy. It weighs about 25 kilograms at maturity and produces only about 350 grams of milk with butterfat content of around 4.6 percent daily.

The Dadiangas goat is common in General Santos City is a mixture of native, Nubian and Jamnapari goats and some animals may even have some Alpine or Saanen blood. The milk production and butterfat content are marginally higher than native goats and they do best in the drier areas of the country.

Of the introduced breeds in the country, Anglo Nubian performs the best along with the newer introduced Boer goats. The dairy breeds such as the Saanen, Toggenburg and French Alpine perform relatively poorly.

For those who cannot afford a purebred stock, starting with the best female goats available in the locality is the best idea and bred them with purebreds or upgraded stock and by selecting th desirable offspring and discarding the undesirable ones, a good stock will emerge later, Dollison said.

For commercial or large-scale operation, the production inputs are aplenty. Fixed investment includes land, goat house, fences, pasture area, water pump, feeding trough, spade, wheelbarrow, and ropes.

“You have to buy breeding does and breeding bucks. Operating expenses include veterinary medicines, drugs, and vaccines; feed supplements and goat rations; and repair and maintenance of goat house, fences, equipment, and pasture. Fixed and seasonal labor is also required,” he said.

PCARRD said, with minimal initial capital investment of about P67,000 for 25-doe level, P174,500 for 60-doe level, or P349,000 for 100-doe level, positive net income and return-on-investment (ROI) are realized, even as early as the first year.

The ROI for five years is 67 percent from a 25-doe level operation under semi-confinement scheme and 60 percent from 50- and 100-doe level operations under pure confinement system. Payback period is two years, the PCARRD added.

Goats have gone a long way from being just poor man’s cows. These animals have proven to be more than just four-legged mammals that generate milk and meat. They survive in almost any kind of environment that is dry and where feed resources are available, making their potential as one of the main sources of farm income.

Given all those advantages, PCARRD said it has picked up on this renewed interest on goats and is now laying various science and technology (S&T) initiatives to continue coming up with better quality stocks, promote goat reproduction techniques and encourage new and fresh approaches to manage goats and the business of raising them.

Along with the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFDA), PCARRD has initiated trainings on effective goat management to further promote its competence.

After analyzing the cost and returns of raising goats, they proved that it is a low-risk profitable livelihood. Assuming a goat raiser has five does at P2,500 each, an initial investment of P32,000 can mean extra income of at least P14,800 in sales of goat stock after two business years.

PCARRD has also initiated its 1,000-goat farms program that aims to launch 1,000 smallholder farmers into full-time commercial goat raisers to continue the wave of effect that goat raising has started.

In the end, even with problems on seasonality of demand, fluctuating prices of goats and breeders, high costs of feed, wavering veterinary services and high taxes and business permits to start with, raising goats will continue to flourish and find its optimum potential in the future, it said.

That is because 63 percent of the world’s total meat consumption can be credited to goat meat. According to, people-from Mideasterners and African to Latin American and Arabs prefer goat meat than any other veal-like meat around the world. (PNA Bicol) [top]

Filed under: Livelihood, Negosyo Tips, Sorsogon News Updates,

Sorsogon exec hails bamboo as a cash crop

CASTILLA, Sorsogon—Vice Gov. Renato Laurinaria of Sorsogon is urging farmers and landowners in the province to grow bamboo because of its potential as a cash crop.

Its versatile qualities make bamboo not only a material for chopstick-making, poles, furniture, handicrafts, fishing gears and housing, among others, but mainly a source  vegetable that would generate good income for growers due to its demand from both the domestic and international market, the vice governor said on Monday.

Research and studies show that bamboo shoots contain 18 amino acids and less carbohydrates, crude fat and crude fiber which make it an ideal vegetable for health-conscious people, Laurinaria said.

The Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau has reported that bamboo’s main nutritive values seem to be associated with hematopoiesis, or the regeneration of high-energy containing compounds and improvement of protein metabolism.

“I have initiated a bamboo-planting program under our community-based Resource Management Project along riverbanks and on hilly terrains here during my nine-year term as mayor of this town.  That was before I was elected provincial vice governor. I have since been pushing for a province-wide initiative,” he said.

Other farmers in the locality have planted bamboo around their farms as fence or as windbreak that do not easily die or get damaged by typhoons, drought and even by fire.

The Castilla plantation is now a source of bamboo shoots that command a good price in the local market. Considering that grated and boiled shoots sell at around P25 per kilo, Laurinaria said, the many shoots weighing over a kilo each that are harvested from a clump is already a good source of income.

Compared with other agricultural crops that are planted every year or even twice a year, bamboo is planted only once and dies only when it has flowered after 30 years, making it more advantageous for farmers.

There are no problems in planting materials because farmers can start with native varieties, locally called botong, kawayan, oras and marurugue, all source of edible shoots.

“Since our climate is tropical, the Philippines had become bamboo’s natural home as it can be grown even near the residential areas and on any type of soil,” Laurinaria said.

Citing a publication of the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCARRD), he said planting bamboo for shoot production entails digging a hole of 2x 2×1 meter in dimension, which must be filled with soil and composts.

Planting materials either in the form of cuttings or prerooted cuttings preferably, should come from one-year-old culms rather than from older ones, although they could be used.

The cuttings with one whole internode and two nodes are the best. Internodes which are not hollow should not be used. The recommended distance of planting is 8×6 meters, he said.

The PCARRD publication, Laurinaria said, also reported the two ways of planting cuttings, which are not prerooted, prior to setting them in the field. These are the horizontal and the vertical systems.

For the horizontal, the cuttings are laid horizontally in the hole with the eyes at the sides then covered with two-thirds layer of soil.

The vertical system is done by burying the lower node 5 centimeters below the surface of the node with the soil covering and reaching the upper half of the next internode.


Written by Danny O. Calleja / Correspondent   
Friday, 12 March 2010 19:36

Filed under: Agriculture, Livelihood, Sorsogon News Updates,

Groundwork for OFWs computer and financial literacy kicks off

Did you know that among Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), there are so-called 45-day millionaires?

From what I understand, these are those guys who earn really big money and truly once their US dollar, for example, paychecks are converted to Philippine peso, the bills amount to millions.

Why 45-days?

I have not found the answer to this yet, but if we go by the stories of some folks “throwing parties for two weeks”, plus the additional days of shopping, and gift giving, and what have you, one month and a half month could be it.

Another explanation could be that after 45-days, the OFW has to return overseas and resume earning dollars again.

Had it not been due to their basic computer literacy training, many of them might still be trapped in this 45-day millionaire syndrome.

Alas, there is a way out.

Against this backdrop, graduates of the “Tulay”, the Microsoft Unlimited Potential Program Community Technology Skills Program for Overseas Filipino Workers, have began to organize themselves into either alumni groups or cooperatives with business and livelihood projects for members.

An example is the OWWA Microsoft Tulay Alumni Organization of graduates from the Cordilleras and Baguio. Headed by Ediltrudis Irma Person of Tulay Batch 1, her members engage in livelihood activities such a detergent products, Internet café operations, transient homes management, restaurants and meat processing.

In the process of being formalized is the Tulay OFW Cooperative based in Butuan City and spearheaded by former OFW Elisa Capon-Moran. A start up venture being contemplated is smoked fish production.

“OFWs who are trained with basic IT skills have the advantage to explore other business opportunities. With their new found skills, the window of possibilities is endless,” said Susan Ople, president, Blas F. Ople Policy Center and Training Institute.

This month, the BOPC received from Microsoft Philippines more than $200,000 in cash and software grants for the expansion of the “Tulay” for OFWs program.

In the Philippines, “Tulay” was launched by Microsoft in 2004 in partnership with the Department of Labor and Employment, specifically its attached agency Overseas Workers Welfare Administration. Its objective is to provide technology tools and skills training to OFWs and their families.

In 2008, Microsoft started working with the Ople Center, a private non-profit organization that has partnered with OWWA, to put up more learning centers.

“Over the years, “Tulay” has been successful in boosting opportunities for Filipino migrant workers and their beneficiaries. We are happy with the development of “Tulay”. Through the expansion of new training centers, more and more OFWs and their families can take advantage of these opportunities,” said Carmelita Dimzon, Administrator, OWWA, in a press release.

In her progress report and new directions announcement, Ople underscored, “Once empowered…now that they are computer literate, their horizon suddenly expands.”

Thus the challenge of bringing them up to the next level from computer literacy to financial literacy. Combining computer literacy with financial literacy, as she put it.

“We are looking also into possible tie-ups with local government units to pilot test a more OFW-friendly business environment,” she said. “We would like to increase the number of OFWs and their dependents who are able to obtain new sources of income, better jobs, and or put up small businesses after graduating from the Tulay program.”

She underscored, “Given options and when pointed to the right direction, a “Tulay” graduate is empowered enough to consider pursuing other computer courses or opening a small business.”

Since 2004, over 20,000 people have been trained under the “Tulay” program. With the expansion of the program and opening of new centers, “Tulay” is expecting 258,000 individuals to benefit from the program in the next three years.


Filed under: Education, Encouragement, Financial Literacy, Kwentong OFW, Livelihood, OFW Corner, OFW Livelihood Training,

OFWs’ financial future

While it is well known that the reason the Philippines escaped a recession is due in part to the huge remittances from the country’s overseas Filipino workers, there is a lingering fear that these OFWs, save for those with financial savvy or with the benefit of financial education, face an uncertain future when they reach retirement age.

Many of our OFWs, it must be noted, do not have access to a financial-literacy program that should come from the government or any advocacy group. Without that, the OFWs are bound to continue with their wasteful spending ways that do not take into consideration their future well-being.

Stories abound about OFW families facing bleak prospects once their principal end the workers’ stint abroad. Having failed to save for their future because of their wasteful ways, these OFW families become mendicants in their own neighborhood. And with nary an income, they are reduced to dwelling on “what ifs.” Which is a pity considering that they once were branded as modern-day heroes and saviors of the economy. What kind of life awaits them when they have not learned the rudiments of saving for their future, or simply of saving part of their income? This is a challenge the administration should seriously consider—to show its gratitude, to say the least, to those who saved the country from economic ruin.

OFW remittances, now averaging $1.5 billion a month, boost the country’s flagging dollar reserves on account of its mounting trade deficit. Without this hefty contribution from the overseas workers, the government could have come under the same money woes that characterized the last years of the Marcos government. At the time, the country, having lost its financial credibility, had to buy the dollars from the informal market and had these flown to Hong Kong where the letter of credits for the imports were then sourced. Thus was born the so-called Binondo Central Bank manned by then-trade minister Roberto Ongpin who has, of late, reinvented himself as a heavy hitter in the stock market.

It is incumbent upon the government to ensure that the OFWs get to know about the investment instruments they can invest their money in, while the going is still good. It is equally important for the government to see to it that these OFWs get the kind of investment advice that should serve them in their twilight years, when the need for a nest egg becomes much more pronounced. While there are financial-literacy programs that some government agencies come up with or breast-beat about, the fact is the investment bug has not caught on as can be evidenced by the increasing number of OFW families at their wits’ end trying to make ends meet.

This lack of concern from the government on the need to provide financial literacy for the 10 million-plus OFWs could be traced to the number of failed finances of many OFW families. How come there has been no visible effort from the government to make sure these OFWs distinguish, for instance, the difference between “need” and “want?” It is simply mind-boggling for the government not to reach out to the OFWs on this score. OFW families should have basic financial-literacy programs in place, such that they get to know that sometimes what they “want” (which could be a higher-priced car) could actually be taken care of by knowing what they “need,” which is that they need just a vehicle, no matter how lowly or cheap it may look.

Sad to say, the government appears to have failed in this because its concerns were only focused on the dollars that these workers remit. It is time, therefore, for the government to stop the lip service and address in earnest our OFWs concerns, foremost of which is to help them to have a grasp of financial instruments. This should no longer be a difficult task, considering that many overseas workers’ families have now become all too familiar with the subprime meltdown, the trillions in dollars and euros that the United States and the European zone pumped into their respective banking institutions and prospects of another Big Depression.

Perhaps, it is time, too, for the government to save the OFWs from the likes of the Legacy scam where high-interest rates proffered on hapless victims made them form a beeline to the bank, not knowing that the banking group has failed the test on solvency, liquidity and capital ratios. It is sad to note here that many of the victims who fell prey to the scam were overseas workers. A friend told me that an OFW from Canada was hysterical after the news of the Legacy group’s closure brought her P2.5-million savings to just the maximum limit of bank insurance, plus the frayed nerves that went with the hassle of talking to government regulators.

Written by Lito U. Gagni / Market Files

Filed under: Business Ideas for OFW Families, Encouragement, Financial Literacy, Kwentong OFW, Livelihood, OFW Corner,

From OFWs to Entrepreneurs

WHAT businesses do overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) invest in once they decide to resettle back in the Philippines?

Food franchises, according to sources, in the form of inexpensive fast-food stalls are almost always the first business ventures that OFWs go into, in the hope of making a quick profit at minimal capital.

Following in second, as of recent years, are the manufacture and production of soaps and/or detergents. Third place goes to the making of bead accessories. Also in the running is the propagation and sale of potted plants.

Ultimately, though, the success of these homegrown businesses depends less on their market appeal and more on the passion, patience and knowledge, present and potential, of the OFW-turned-entrepreneur.

Points out Pinoy ME Foundation president Dan Songco: “OFWs need to go into a business that they can be passionate about. One phenomenon about start-up businesses is how entrepreneurs lose interest after a while. A business usually takes two to three years before it becomes profitable. If entrepreneurs do not believe in the business they’re engaged in, they might give up before the business turns a profit.”

Songco elaborates: “The stories about successful businesses that we’ve heard are those where entrepreneurs engage in something that their parents, relatives, or former employers were involved in. They learned the ropes through their past exposure to the business. The most successful entrepreneurs are those who speak passionately about their business. They enjoy what they do so they put their heart and soul into it.”

In short, OFWs thinking of putting up a siopao stall or hotdog stand should do some serious soul-searching and ask some pertinent questions: have they ever been inclined to the culinary arts even as a hobby? Are they good at cooking and take pride in it?

Elena F. Baluyot, marketing officer of the Center for Small Entrepreneurs (CSE), gives the brass tacks when it comes to putting up a small food business or becoming part of a mini-franchise: “The initial outlay is P120,000, which includes royalty fees and training for approximately three months. Profits will depend on the product and location. Or you can just add the products to the stocks on your shelves if you have a sari-sari store. The franchise owners will check your location and the traffic around it and give you an estimated time for your return on investment (ROI).”

Baluyot continues: “The P120,000 is starting capital for two months. Small franchises usually take six months to regain it. For the next four months starting on the third month, expenses will be about P4,000 a month. Profits are normally rolled back into the business. If successful, after six months, a food cart can earn like P1,500 a day.”

Small products usually start with minimal capital that, when handled with expertise, can be the start of something big. CSE provides a kit worth P500 that can produce a liquid detergent that can be sold up to P2,000 in bazaars, stores, or directly to consumers. Other enterprising souls can manufacture a leather jacket at the cost of P35 each and sell it for P200 each.

One former OFW who was able to create her own brand of soap with the help of a chemist now manufactures it in large quantities and markets it to hotels in Dubai, her former city of employment. The cost per soap bar is P30, but she can sell it for as much P200 per piece.

Baluyot uses this to point out the advantage of an ex-OFW’s network: “You can see the needs of your potential market. If you’re a nurse in an establishment, you can inquire about the material that they use in their beddings, for example. What are the needs of your fellow OFWs? If they’re living in the UK, what are their clothing needs, and can you send them material from the Philippines that can help them deal with the cold? Your friend has a friend who has a friend who has a friend.”

One potential business that has a growing market and a lack of suppliers has to do with herbs and potted plants. Edsa Garden House sells at reasonable cost to Filipino garden lovers, plants that are rich in vitamins and minerals, such as rosemary, wheatgrass and stevia. They do this for two reasons: to educate them about greens that can keep them healthy, and to encourage them to propagate these in their own backyards as a hobby or business. To date, Edsa Garden House sells 101 varieties of herbs.

Michael Caballes, Edsa Garden House’s horticulturist and consultant, describes the various opportunities:

“You can start with pots, and you don’t necessarily need a hectare of land. You can work with 500 square meters, which can be occupied by 25 pots. Buy a mother plant and then plant this directly in the soil. Cut the branches from the mother plant and replant the cuttings to make them root and grow in pots, and then sell the individual pots in the markets, bazaars or supermarkets that are now beginning to sell potted herbs.

“Some of our customers used to buy in retail, sell in the weekend market, and end up propagating plants for their own business. One guy would buy 100 pots of stevia, plant them in his land in Baguio, and then resell them.”

Edsa Garden House usually sells their potted plants at P30 a piece, with discounts for volume sales. Would-be farmers who can plant, grow, and sell plants can find a welcome market in restaurants and hotels that need a steady supply of herbs for their dishes.

Caballes elaborates, “Chefs need something like a kilo of rosemary a day. The problem is consistency of supply. Luzon is visited by typhoons six months in a year. During rainy season, they can’t get supplies. They either get herbs from abroad or resort to processed goods in the absence of fresh ones.”

To assist would-be farmers, Edsa Garden House also provides information to buyers on the plants they’re buying. They usually hold workshops on the basic methods of propagation, the growing of herbs, the selection and nurturing of the soil, pest and disease control, and the profitability of certain herbs. Initial investment for potted plants on a 200-square meter plot of land can be as little as P20,000.

Pearl Banaag, Edsa Garden House’s marketing consultant advises patience for the would-be herb and plant grower. “Like any other business, the regular supply of herbs can take two years to become profitable,” she says. “You also need a caretaker to look after your plants.”

Caballes gives other guidelines: “Propagation and finding a market can be difficult initially. You also need time to learn about the plant, to study what it needs, how it grows, and so on. Study the plants’ behavior, understand the pests and their possible diseases. Plants are also affected by different weather patterns. Individual growers should first focus on the top three selling herbs. Do that for a start, and when you are confident, expand and venture to other herbs.”

Understanding the product and the market, along with record-keeping, are fundamental in starting and growing a business. Baluyot continues: “We also teach basic marketing, which means understanding the trend and what people want. It’s about knowing functionality, the traffic, the need, and the location of people. Record-keeping is fundamental in keeping track of what goes in and out of your business as well as the supplies that should be ordered.”

Finally, Baluyot says, being a businessman means separating the personal from the professional, which makes record-keeping necessary: “Don’t mix family expenses with business earnings.” •

By Cora Llamas
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 16:59:00 01/16/2010 

Filed under: Livelihood, OFW Corner,

More OFW Households save & invest

Due to fears of displacement and possible unemployment as the effects of the global financial slowdown continue to unfold, families who rely on remittances sent home by a family member working abroad are learning to save or invest.

In a recent survey conducted by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), 44.8 percent of 524 respondent families which rely on remittances in the fourth quarter 2009 allotted portions of remittances to savings.

The ratio was 39.9 percent during the third quarter.

The central bank said the percentage has significantly increased from only 7.2 percent in the first quarter of 2007.

Households using remittances for investment also went up from 2.3 percent in the first quarter of 2007 to 7.1 percent in Q4 2009.

But the ratio is slightly lower than the 7.6 percent registered in the third quarter.

“OFW households utilize their remittances primarily for savings, food, education, medical expenses and debt payments in Q4 2009,” BSP said.

The survey said 95.2 percent of respondents spent remittances on food and other household needs.

Of the households, 65.8 percent used remittances for education expenses, 62.2 percent for medical expenses, and 49.2 percent for debt payments.

The percentage of OFW households that utilized remittances to purchase consumer durables and motor vehicles was broadly steady at 26.0 percent and 6.7 percent, respectively from 26.5 percent and 6.8 percent in Q3 2009.

Those that apportioned part of their remittances for amortization or full payment for houses dropped to 10.5 percent from 12.1 percent in the previous quarter.

BSP deputy governor Diwa Guinigundo earlier said the results of the survey “reflect the uncertainties in the global economy.”

“Most OF families are concerned that the global economic slowdown that is resulting to recession in most of the developed economies may result to displacement of OFWs,” Guinigundo said.

But the BSP said the fears might be exaggerated.

It said remittance flows were shored up by the continued strong global demand for professional and skilled Filipino workers and the wider access of overseas workers and their beneficiaries to a broader array of financial products and services.

BSP said these factors support the optimistic outlook for sustained growth in remittances through the rest of 2009.

Remittances from overseas Filipinos coursed through banks rose significantly to $1.4 billion in September 2009, posting a year-on-year increment of 8.6 percent.

As a result, cumulative remittances for the nine-month period increased by 4.2 percent to reach $12.8 billion.

By : Jimmy Calapati

Filed under: Kwentong OFW, Livelihood, OFW Corner, Overseas Jobs,

Never give up, Never Backdown, Never lose faith – Face the GIANT

Its a great movie with inspirational message that made me think of my point of view as well. Am i facing that GIANT right now?

When your back is AGAINST the WALL…

When it seems there is NO WAY OUT….

You have to face your fears…..FACE THE GIANTS













Filed under: Arts and Literature, Baratilyo Updates, Buhay Sorsoganon, Campus Talk, Churches, Community Service Group, Concerned Sorsoganon, Encouragement, Expat Living in Sorsogon, Family, Friends and Society, Food and Drinks, Get Involved, Government, History, Hobbies and Recreation, Inspiration, Jokes & Humor, Kasangayahan 2009, Kumustahan, Kwentong OFW, Livelihood, Love, Courtship and Marriage, Mountaineering Groups, Promote Tourism, Public Service, Religion, Senior Citizen Assoc., Sorsoganon Everywhere, Sorsogon Expat's, sorsogon riders association, Sorsogon Student Awardee, Sports Center, Travel & Adventures, Travel and Lifestyle, What's Happening Here?, , ,

Creating people-centered jobs and communities

Creating people-centered jobs and communities
In Pilar, Sorsogon, the Provincial Alliance of NGOs and POs for Development (Pangopod) helps establish water systems in response to basic needs of residents
See all stories on this topic

Filed under: Community Service Group, Livelihood, Sorsogon News Updates

Emerging honeybee industry plagued by pests, diseases

Emerging honeybee industry plagued by pests, diseases
Business Mirror
The researchers also reported that A. dorsata colonies abound in Matnog, Sorsogon, while Melipona sp was found only in Guinobatan, Albay, and Goa,

Filed under: Livelihood, Sorsogon News Updates, ,

Ano ang ginawa mo para umasenso?

Here’s a few tips that might be of interest to you…

Everyone one has some kind of a success slogan in their lives in terms of personal, practical, family and social gains. However, this slogan or goal will not be achieved unless we strictly follow several steps and cling to some habits which are:

– Be realistic in what you pursue. Aspire for big dreams but follow the right way.

– Create your own personal experience thru your diligence and it’s ok to observe other successful people around you.

– Have faith in what you achieve as a gift of life to you and never underestimate your abilities.

– Know that life with all its problems is untreatable but workable. Pave your way through it and maneuver to overcome all obstacles.

– You succeed when you teach people how to deal with you and how to address you. Take over your life and be your own master.

– Forgiveness is one of the powerful keys to success.

– Look at life as a journey and you’re one of the passengers. So, you have to accommodate in every stop you come through or face.

– Always and always think of success and successful ideas. Attract positive thoughts and stay away from negative and frustrated people because they sow their failure and spread negativism.

– Targets parallel with actions. If you have a perfect and organized plan which is unaccompanied by proper actions, your plan thus is futile.

– Never stop learning new things. Try to read once in a while and educate yourself because knowledge is a powerful tool.



– Perseverance. So, never give up because success is like a long distance marathon which you may not win in a day or two.

– Learn from your failures and don’t be ashamed to admit your mistakes to attain reality which will lead you to the true success and not the fake one.

– Manage your time and evaluate what you possess and stay away from distraction.

– Don’t be afraid to be creative even if you fail. Edison failed 999 times before he invented the lamp. To be different is to be creative.

– Learn how to understand others and learn new things from them. No one can live alone on an isolated island so you have to interact efficiently.

– Be honest and somehow trust other people. On the other hand, try to be responsible and dependent.

– Support others in their views if they were correct. Don’t always object or refute without a proper background or you’ll lose your credibility.

– Organize your priorities as they should be.

– Understand yourself first before you demand others to understand you.

– Be self-confident and have self-esteem. Utilize your strength points.

– Never follow the herd spirit and always think of your future.


By: shamelabboush:>What have you done to succeed? Tips for successful life.

Filed under: Encouragement, Livelihood, Negosyo Tips,


BUSINESS AND LIVELIHOOD TRAININGS (In-house / Institutional Training Courses)      



2. TRAINING SCHEDULES (August 2009 | September 2009)

In cooperation with private business partners and entities, standard training sessions are conducted, both at the center  training facility and those of the clients.



Socialized Training Courses

Livelihood training sessions are conducted in partnership with various private institutions for a selected group of audience.

Negosyo to Go

“Negosyo2go” is a “one stop shop”, “do it yourself” business scheme that offers clients a choice of at least five easy to do business templates such as perfume making, fashion accessory making, laundry soap, dishwashing liquid preparation, corporate give-away production .

Negosyo 2Go is for people who are looking for easy-to-start, easy-to-do and easy on the budget kind of business!

The six easy steps to a take-home-business.

Step 1. Register in any of the business templates offered, for free!
Step 2. Attend the easy to follow, hands-on instructional modules provided by industry experts.
Step 3. Purchase your desired volume of materials and supplies to yield the volume of product you want.
Step 4. Add value to your new products by attractive labeling and packaging.
Step 5. Sell your product at the designated sales area.
Step 6. Visit the business area for consultation on micro-financing and business registration.


Contact Person:
Technology Resource Center
2nd Flr. TRC Building #103 J. Abad Santos cor. Lopez Jaena Sts., Little Baguio, San Juan City
Tel. No.: (02) 727-6205 loc. 208, 209

Filed under: Livelihood, OFW Corner

Seaweed farming changes fishers’ life for the better

Agri-Commodities – Business Mirror
Written by Danny O. Calleja / Correspondent
Monday, 31 August 2009 21:21

PILAR, Sorsogon—For fisherman Ramiro Panganiban, 43, of this remote coastal town, his successful venture into seaweed farming started from plain curiosity.
From drift-gill net fishing that allowed him to feed his family on a mere subsistence level, he shifted to seaweed farming learned from fellow fishermen six years ago.
“I was driven by my curiosity when I started with it. I just tried exploring the possibility of better earnings,” Panganiban told the BusinessMirror over the weekend.
At that time, he also learned about the seaweed project of the municipal government here where he became one of the farmer-cooperators and appointed chairman of the Seaweed Farmers and Traders Association (SFTA) in his barangay of Dao, Panganiban narrated.
The seaweed showcase project was under the community-based participatory action research in the municipality implemented by the Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR), Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) regional office for Bicol, Sorsogon State College (SSC) and the Pilar local government unit.
Implementation of the project in 11 coastal barangays of this third-class municipality by the northern coastlines of Ticao Pass was started in 2003. The barangay Dao SFTA then was composed only of three seaweed farmers including Panganiban as chairman.
As farmer-cooperators, the group was provided with the project materials for seaweed farming such as straw, rope, a banca and 15 kilograms of seeds as starter. Two years later, the group grew to 138 members.
“My only motivation then in engaging into this venture was the projected additional income that I could raise and take home to my family. My fellow farmer-cooperators and I were optimistic it would bring about changes in our economic lives even as we were not much aware of the statistics of seaweed production,” Panganiban said.
He said that a little bit later, “we came to learn about the importance of this crop to one person’s life and the economy of the country. With the learning and assistance shared to us by BAR, BFAR and SSC ranging from seaweed-farming technology to marketing, we were able to turn things better for us.”
Asked about the benefits he and his fellow farmers get from seaweeds farming, Panganiban answered jubilantly, “Plenty!”
In a span of three years, each one of them was able to own a boat, earned enough for the basic needs of their family, sent their children to school, put up savings and improved their houses from wood and nipa shanties to concrete with galvanized-iron roofing, he said.
“Before seaweed farming, all we could afford after a long day of fishing was a kilo of rice and a few more coins for table salt, coffee and sugar. Now, we buy rice in sacks and stockpile groceries at home good enough until the next seaweed harvest season,” Panganiban said.
From the 250-square-meter farm that he maintains, Panganiban said he could harvest an average of 900 kilograms of fresh seaweeds per harvest that when dried and sold earns him P50,000. A whole year allows two harvest seasons for cultured seaweeds.
“Since we are members of SFTA, marketing and pricing of our produce is not a problem. The association serves as a sure market outlet for them,” he explained.
The most widely cultivated species of seaweed here is the Eucheuma (Kappaphycus alvarezii) species due to its high marketability and demand compared to seaweeds like K. striatum or Saccul and the spinosum type now known as E. denticulatum, Panganiban said.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, commercial production of seaweeds through farming is at present limited to a few countries in East Asia, making it a high-value crop with great demand in the world market. The Philippines is noted for the culture of seaweeds particularly Eucheuma and Caulerpa) along with Japan, China, Korea and Taiwan.
Eucheuma has two types: the cottonii (guso) and the spinosum (agar-agar). Both of them can be exported in dried forms. Of these two, cotonnii grows faster and is easier to farm.
Panganiban also explained that propagation of seaweeds requires a body of water where they are endemic and abundant in algae eel grasses and sea animals. The sea bottom should be of hard sand or rocks with the water moving and holding the seaweed loosely. Water depth should be at one or two feet at low tide.
“Our seawater here passed that requirement, that is why we now consider our place a mine of gold because of the benefits we are deriving from seaweeds,” he said.
And because seaweed farming is not very much time-demanding, Panganiban said he could still perform his old fishing activity, this time with a larger drift-gill net he had purchased out of his earnings from his newfound venture.
“Additional income and fish for food of my family, that’s it,” he said.

Filed under: Livelihood, Negosyo Tips

Seaweed’s potential experimented on


Could mean big business for Bicol region

THE BUREAU of Agricultural Research (BAR) has developed 20 products from processed seaweeds, opening up a new potential for the fisheries commodity in the Bicol region.
Some of the products that could open a new market for seaweed farmers include seaweed candies, seaweed noodles, seaweed chips, nata de seaweeds, seaweed jam, seaweed chocolate, seaweed longanisa, and macaroons with seaweed.

“We developed and created new products which are not only affordable but are also nutritious,” said Aida S. Andayog, manager of the Regional Fisheries Research and Development Center.

New products that will likely open a new market for seaweed farmers include seaweed candies, seaweed noodles, pickled seaweeds, seaweed chips, nata de seaweeds, seaweed tart, seaweed jam, seaweed chocolate bar, seaweed longanisa, macaroons with seaweed, fish lumpia with seaweed, seaweed morcon, seaweed marmalade, seaweed kropek and seaweed juice.

“These products have competitive advantage in the market considering the uniqueness, taste, and nutritional value,” Ms. Andayog said.

“Seaweeds are a low-calorie food, with a high concentration of minerals, vitamins, proteins and digestible carbohydrates, and some lipids,” she added.

Seaweeds, which are rich in iodine, iron, magnesium, sodium, calcium and phosphorous, is used here and abroad as an ingredient in human and animal food, cosmetics, fertilizers, medicines and also in wastewater treatment.

In 2003, an on-farm research and a seaweed nursery were put up by the agency through funds from a community-based participatory action research project.

The facility became a model seaweed production farm for the coastal municipalities of Sorsogon and eventually, in the whole region, the BAR said.

The project, dubbed the “Product Development/Improvement and Commercialization of Seaweeds in Bicol Region,” was targeted to create a comprehensive development and commercialization of seaweeds and processed seaweed products in the region and to put up village-level seaweed production and processing enterprises.

Trainings and seminars were held to educate seaweed farmers on the principles of good manufacturing practices and sanitation standard operating procedures required for export products.

Furthermore, products underwent sensory evaluation to assess the product appearance, odor, flavor and textures and its nutritional value through nutritional evaluation, the BAR said.

The project is funded by the BAR under its National Technology Commercialization Program that aims to promote agribusiness in the country and create jobs.

Early this month, the BAR said it was developing pigeon pea coffee as a healthy alternative drink. Products also being developed from pigeon pea include organic vinegar, basi wine, handmade paper, vermi-compost, syrup, cookies and other flat bread baked from pigeon pea flour.

Filed under: Livelihood, Sorsogon News Updates,

DOST develops pili pulp oil extraction technology in Sorsogon

By Danny O. Calleja

SORSOGON CITY, Aug. 26 – The Sorsogon provincial office here of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has developed a technology that provides a simple method of producing oil from pilinut pulp.

It now serves as an alternative to the process introduced by the National Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (NIMBB) of the University of the Philippines in Los Baños, Laguna which uses enzymes in extraction and chemicals in refining pili pulp oil.

The NIMBB process, while proven efficient is rather complicated and requires substantial investment and not suitable with a micro or village-scale pilinut processing venture, according to Melinda Yee, the leading producer of pilinut pulp oil here.

The technology introduced by the DOST provincial office, on the other hand, is composed of simple cooking and filtration tools that process oil extracts from freshly harvested pilinuts using minimal heat.

“Because the process retains the aroma and natural green color of pili pulp, the resulting oil can be considered of premium or virgin quality,” Yee said.

Yee is maker and distributor of Leslie Organice Pili Oil which is now enjoying wide patronage in the local market and gradually penetrating the international market because of its various nutritional, pharmaceutical and cosmetic uses.

Yee said she started producing the organic oil in 2004 after discovering the pili pulp contains an essential oil that can be used as salad dressing and shortening, as well as the base for canned sardines and other food preparations.

It can also be used as ingredient in pharmaceutical and cosmetic products, having antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties that help heal wounds and allergies.

The color of pili-pulp oil is similar to olive oil’s greenish-yellow tint. It has 56.7-percent oleic glycerides, 13.5-percent linoleic glycerides and 29.3-percent saturated fatty acids.

An analysis by the DOST shows that the oil has very low free fatty acid content of 0.06 percent and moisture of only 0.04 percent, which favors longer shelf life.

Meanwhile, the results of the chemical and nutritional analysis of pili-pulp oil compared with olive oil reveal that it has more beta-carotene content, a source of vitamin A and caroteneoids, phytosterols and tocopherols (vitamin E).

These substances are known as powerful antioxidants that protect cells and neutralize unstable free radicals. It is also a good source of protein, iodine, minerals and calcium.

Yee said the oil is suitable for people with delicate skin and are health-conscious because it is organic and contains and anti-aging element that prolongs the onset of wrinkles and helps prevent acne and pimples.

It is also being used as massage oil for muscle pain and arthritis.

She also supplies pili-pulp oil to a manufacturer of bath soap, massage oil and anti-dandruff shampoo.

“I started with manual extraction employing three persons to extract up to 400 liters of virgin pili oil from 10,000 pieces of fresh pili nuts. With this technology provided to me by the DOST since early this year, I was able to increase my production by almost 50 percent,” Yee said.

This new technology satisfies the demand of local organic groups which took interest in the product for naturally processed, chemical-free and virgin quality pili pulp oil for food, health and cosmetic applications, she said.

Using manual extraction, the DOST technology was tested on different varieties of pili obtained from different areas in Sorsogon province.

Oil yield, computed as percentage by weight of whole fresh pilinut, varies widely and is clearly associated with the variety of pilinut.

However, the maximum yield recorded so far is about six percent, which translates to about 65 milliliter per kilogram of fresh whole nuts.

Establishing the varietal differences in oil yield requires further study. But oil recovery is expected to increase if a suitable mechanical pulp press or extractor becomes available, Yee said.

Pili oil has always been featured in traditional medicines and herbal remedies in Bicol region where it abounds.

Indigenous knowledge gathered attest to its efficacy in treating skin diseases such as scabies and de-worming capability for livestock such as pigs and chicken.

Recent testimony to its ability to cure diabetes was published by Fernando Simon of YAMANKO enterprises.

Some groups that advocate and promote organic products reportedly believe in the potential health benefits of pili pulp oil, which they claim could equal or even surpass that of virgin coconut oil.

The simplicity of the new technology allowed for its easy diffusion through technology transfer trainings to pili processors, traders, and farmers in Sorsogon, according to Engr. Manuel Lucena of the DOST Bicol regional office based in Legazpi City.

The introduction of the technology generated renewed interest among local stakeholders and is paving the way for the establishment of the pili pulp oil production industry in Sorsogon.

At present, raw pili pulp oil sells at P500 per gallon.

In support of the industry’s development, the DOST regional office is currently working to develop technologies on mechanical extraction and other non-chemical approach in oil refining, Lucena said. (PNA)

Filed under: Livelihood, Sorsogon News Updates,

Sorsogon pushes cassava production for bio-ethanol


Sorsogon pushes cassava production for bio-ethanol

By Danny O. Calleja

The viability of cassava as source of bio-ethanol has been determined and Sorsogon province is a good prospect for a massive production of this lowly root crop, Vice-Governor Renato Laurinaria said here Tuesday.

“If cassava is becoming an important bio-fuel crop in other countries with more advanced national programs for bio-fuel production, our soils are also capable of large-scale production of the crop not only for food, livestock feeds but mainly for bio-ethanol,” he stressed.

Sorsogon has a vast agricultural land area both in the upland and lowland that is generally suited for cassava because of evenly distributed rainfall and “we can easily come up with an area for a plantation required by the operation of an ethanol distillery plant”, Laurinaria said.

A recently concluded study on bio-ethanol production from cassava commissioned by the Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR) said an estimated 10,000 hectares of cassava plantation would be required for an ethanol distillery plant’s optimal operation.

This area is necessary to produce cassava flour for the production of the 30 million liters of ethanol per year which is the required capacity, the study conducted for the BAR last year by the International Society for Southeast Asian Agricultural Sciences (ISSAAS) said.

“Castilla alone can already provide 5,000 hectares for this endeavor,” Laurinaria said, referring to the same tracts of land his administration has started to develop into cassava plantations during the latter part of his incumbency as mayor here.

The municipality sits on a 18,620-hectare territorial land and 76 percent or 14,228 hectares of it is agricultural, mostly unirrigated rice fields, coconut and root crop plantations.

The cassava produce of the municipality is being taken in by B-Meg Feeds of San Miguel Corporation (SMB) for its livestock feed mill in Pili, Camarines Sur.

Laurinaria’s term as mayor expired after completing nine years in 2007. He ran for vice-governor in the local elections in the same year and won.

His successor has abandoned the town’s cassava production project, leaving the farmers on their own and denying the local government’s pre and post harvest supports.

“I am going to revive that cassava project on a province-wide scale, this time for bio-ethanol production because I was inspired by the BAR findings on its changes into this industrial undertaking that could make Sorsogon an active participant in the national government’s initiative to make use of our agricultural crops in producing environment-friendly fuels,” he said.

It will, at the same time, provide more jobs for the local workforce and income for farmers and landowners in the province, Laurinaria added.

Although agricultural products in the country specifically grown for use as biofuels include several crops, RA 9367 or the Biofuels Law at present mandates only coconut for biodiesel and sugarcane, sweet sorghum, cassava, and corn for bio-ethanol.

The bio-fuels law took effect in 2007 but the mandated minimum blend of one percent coconut bio-diesel or coconut methyl ester (CME) was first implemented for all diesel engines.

The law says a minimum two percent of bio-diesel should be implemented by 2009 as well as the minimum blend of 5 percent bio-ethanol (E5) for all gasoline engines. The 10 percent blend of bio-ethanol (E10) is scheduled for implementation by 2011.

Nonetheless, the E10 blend is available in the market today with sugarcane probably holding the biggest share of the market at present as records from the BAR show it does best in terms of productivity compared with other sources of bio-ethanol.

The ISSAAS study comprehensively covered all important aspects that need to be considered in producing bio-ethanol from cassava — from production to post-harvest, processing, marketing, organization and management, and, most important, financing.

From the point of view of financial analysis, the study considered three types of investors that would likely go into it. These are corporate and joint venture-run cassava plantation, ethanol processing (primary and secondary) and integrated cassava plantation and ethanol production.

The ISSAAS researchers assumed that the equity of investor for the three cases is 20 percent of the initial capital investment. They likewise considered loaning the remaining capital requirement from the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) at 9.75 percent interest payable in seven years with a grace period of three years.

The hyped-up global concern over climate change and the depleting source of fossil fuels triggered the renewed interest on bio-fuels. As a matter of fact, the researchers of the feasibility study observed that cassava is becoming an important bio-fuel crop in China, Thailand, Brazil, and other countries with more advanced national programs for bio-fuel production.

Cassava got the edge as with regards to its cultural management, the study says the crop needs only minimum crop maintenance, responds well to fertilization, is typhoon- and drought-resistant, and can be harvested year-round in areas with evenly distributed rainfall.

“In general, areas suitable for sugarcane production are also favorable for growing cassava,” the study says.

According to the study, cassava has a very high starch-to-sugar conversion ratio. This high starch content means that a high percentage of sugar can be converted from it, and which, in turn, is needed to produce bio-fuel.

The study likewise heralded it as the cheapest feedstock among the major starch-based feedstock for ethanol production.

“Average costs of feedstock per liter of ethanol from molasses and corn are quite high, while those using sweet sorghum is comparable to that of sugarcane. Potentially, feedstock from cassava can be produced at the lowest cost. With high feedstock yield levels, ethanol yield from cassava becomes comparably better than those from sugarcane or sweet sorghum,” the study illustrates.

Part of a feasibility study is a sensitivity analysis on the financial viability of a project. In this particular study, the researchers pointed out sensitivities of cassava’s bio-ethanol production depending on the prevailing price of tubers, changes in yield levels, variation in overall production, and total production cost.

“Cassava can also be the most expensive among the major feedstock depending on prevailing prices of tubers or derived products. Cassava used for food preparations are purchased at a higher price than those used for industrial purposes,” it revealed.

Generally, the study’s computation shows that an increase in tuber yield by 10 percent will increase the average net income by 32.5 percent. On overall production, slight reductions of at least five percent in production cost will increase average net income by 10.1 percent, return on investment by 2.3 percent, and shorten the payback period by 0.3 years.

“The major components of cost are direct labor cost (44.6 percent) and direct materials (30.4 percent). The biggest cost item for direct materials is the cost of fertilizer (73.9 percent) while harvesting expenses accounts for the larger fraction of direct labor costs,” it added.

Filed under: Livelihood, Negosyo Tips, What's Happening Here?,

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  • Never Enough
    Frank Borman commanded the first space mission that circled the moon. He wasn’t impressed. The trip took two days both ways. Frank got motion sickness and threw up. He said being weightless was cool—for thirty seconds. Then he got used to it. Up close he found the moon drab and pockmarked with craters. His crew took pictures of the gray wasteland, then becam […]


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September 2020



  • Arctic shipping lane opens due to ice melt; cargo ship completes the journey
    On September 28, 2018, the cargo ship Venta Maersk docks in St. Petersburg, Russia, more than a month after departing from Vladivostok on the other side of the country. The successful traversal of the Russian Arctic was a landmark moment for the international shipping industry, as well as a ...
  • Fidel Castro announces that Cubans are free to leave the island
    On September 28, 1965, six years after he led the Cuban Revolution and four years after the failed U.S.-backed Bay of Pigs Invasion, Fidel Castro announces that any Cuban who wished to leave the island was free to do so. With Cuban forces no longer blocking civilians from leaving, a massive wave of ...




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