Reaching Out Farther

Residents of communities within and around the Plantation can look forward to more livelihood opportunities with the opening of the Del Monte Foundation Inc. Training Center in Camp Phillips, Bukidnon.

The Center has well-equipped work shops for intensive training in automotive science, electrical and welding technologies, food technology and sewing. Technical experts contracted by the Foundation serve as trainers and facilitators.

Almost 200 residents of Camps Phillips, Fabia, 9, 1 and 14 are now enrolled in short courses in welding and electrical technologies and food processing at the center.

DMFI President Rica Lorenza-Davila (far right), during the Center's launching rites, stressed the Foundation's commitment to help rural families develop their communities. The Foundation has also established Community Education Centers in Puerto (Cagayan de Oro), Manolo Fortich, Libona and Impasug-ong (all in Bukidnon).

Many residents in Bukidnon earlier trained at DMFI centers in various livelihood skills have already started out as entrepreneurs.

Del Monte has been extending assistance to its neighbors for some 40 years now. The company officially kicked off its rural development program with the launching of the Barrio Assistance Program in 1967 by then Plantation Manager Luis F. Lorenzo, Sr. Over the last three decades, various programs have been carried out for communities in Bukidnon, Cagayan de Oro and Misamis Oriental.

Modern facilities

With assistance from Del Monte Philippines, the newly-refurbished DMFI Technical Training Center has well-equipped work laboratories for welding, automotive and electrical technologies. It also includes a sewing center and a food processing laboratory. These workstations provide students with hands-on experience in their respective courses.

Plantation Communities

Families of workers at the plantation live within housing camps. Del Monte management has amply provided for these employee communities. These housing camps are well laid-out, complete with simplex houses for families, social halls, chapels, playgrounds, cooperative stores, medical clinics and a 90-bed hospital, public and private elementary and secondary schools and other community facilities. These employee communities support the growth of the company in the same token that the company supports the growth of these communities.

DEARBC inducts new president

Dominador Estrada, an active cooperative leader at the plantation, has been elected, as the new president of the Del Monte Employees Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Cooperative (DEARBC). He replaced Jose Diaz III.

Jose Diaz III relinquished DEARBC's presidency after his promotion, to Del Monte Philippines Senior Manager for Bugo Cannery Human Resource, Safety and Security Services.

Estrada was inducted into office by DEARBC legal counsel Atty. Manuel Ravanera at the DEARBC Headquarters in Camp Phillips, Bukidnon immediately after his election.

The new president's wealth of experience in cooperative leadership will be useful in his new post. He has served for many terms as President of the Bukidnon Community Consumer Cooperative and the Community Credit Cooperative of Bukidnon in Camp Phillips.

Estrada will be ably supported by DEARBC's current board of directors Apollo Alavanza, vice president; board members Wilfredo Aguilar, Barsiledez Aton, Emmanuel Babion, Karen Balbuena, Francisco Bicar, Daniel Ching, Leo Coquia, Delfin Edralin, Lorimer Jamero, Isidrito Jamin, Orlando Jayson, Juanito Quisquis, Merlyn Zambas; Perfecto Maasin, secretary; and Guillermo Guiret, Jr., treasurer.

Cave Clean-up

Young professionals and students from plantation camps, all members of the CORE (Conservation and Restoration) Group, have launched their Linis Kweba Project, with the clean-up of Sumalsag Cave in Manolo Fortich (Bukidnon), coinciding with the nation-wide celebration of Earth Day.

This environment conservation group's work includes clean-up and collection of garbage and trash left behind by visitors in these caves, and erasing markings and paintings on cave walls.

CORE is now calling on concerned citizens to help them in their volunteer clean-up work by donating materials necessary for their conservation work. They would need waterproof flashlights headlamp, helmets portable water sprays and other protective equipment.

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