(April 2011) Pig Livelihood Project 2011

Eight women of the Bato community each received a loan of P1500 from TAP-BPV to start a pig livelihood project. Given in February of this year, the loan is the fourth to a group of non-employed mothers since this project started in 2009. With the monthly contributions of two generous TAP Philippines board members--Mr. Celestino Palma III and Atty. Gerry Paras, who both provide contributions for various livelihood projects--the pig-raising activity for women is made possible also this year.

Two board members, Marissa Fernando and Elvira Arcenas, originally provided the seed money for the first seven women loan recipients. To make sure that the women do not only learn to earn their living honestly but also continue to educate themselves in various ways, livelihood project members sign an agreement with TAP-BPV management to meet three times a week for educational activities at the BPV compound. Those who have young children are also bound to send these children for literacy tutorials and other educational activities at the compound. Loan recipients are screened to evaluate their ability to earn a living responsibly and honestly.

All of the first lendees were able to repay on time after about four months of raising and selling their pigs. Although their profit ranges between a minimum of P1000 and a maximum of P2500, the women are quite happy to have at least the money to pay their debts or to provide for the school needs of their children after the pigs are sold. Raising pigs does not entail much time and even children can participate in cleaning and feeding the hogs.

The second group of lendees also repaid promptly, except for one whose pig died of unknown disease and was forgiven the debt. Thereafter, a new rule was instituted for the lendee whose pig died from sickness to pay one half of the loan received. Members of her group, out of discipline and solidarity, would contribute to pay for the loss. Also another rule was added for new borrowers to pay a P100 interest for the loan. The sum of all the interests paid would be set aside for use in future loans.  

The third batch of lenders were able to repay the amount of P1,600 in February, after which another loan was given to those who qualified to continue in the project. Not all of these borrowers raised pigs; one chose to buy and sell rice.

Three new borrowers joined the fourth group of women in the project and were awarded their first loan. Unfortunately, two of these new lendees saw their pigs die, again of an unknown disease, just one month after they bought their pigs.

The women appreciate this pig-raising project, but we are reviewing the pros and cons of all our livelihood projects, which include food processing (production of banana chips and malunggay polvoron), to make them sustainable. Our goal is to help the women acquire gainful work and, when resources become available, teach them new skills for more productive living.

We want to thank our donors who so faithfully follow up on our work and tirelessly provide support as needed. Your suggestions for more effective and efficient new livelihood projects are welcome.