LGU provides fund for poor vendors

Mayor Rodolfo Gantuangco handed over the check to Carmelito Bacus, president of MMK-MPC, in a simple ceremony at the Women Resource Center (WRC) last Nov. 14.

This was the second financial assistance the LGU has granted to the group, according to Bacus.

Last July, it handed down a financial assistance of P300,000 to market vendors who would avail of loans without interest from the city government.

“This money will surely benefit the vendors who needed much capital for their business. This will prevent them from being hooked to usurers,” Gantuangco said.

Aside from the fund, the market vendors received from Filipinos abroad a number of resource materials for the WRC’s day center and conference room. The materials, including cooking equipment, were handed down by City Councilor Joseph Evangelista who has just arrived from the United States after attending a two-week training on anti-narcotics.

Evangelista, former chair market and slaughterhouse committee of the Sangguniang Panlungsod ng Kidapawan, received the materials from Filipinos while staying in the US.

Meantime, the WRC, one of the projects funded by the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction (JFPR), is now fully operational, said Evelyn Bacena, project implementing unit (PIU) coordinator of the Social Protection for Poor Women Market Vendors in Mindanao (SPPWMV) in Kidapawan City. It was inaugurated and turned over to MMK-MPC last August.

The Japanese government-funded storage facility and training center was part of a poverty-reduction package for women vendors in the city.

The building is equipped with storage facilities, including freezers, and lavatory equipment such as washing machines and dryers that could cater to at least 800 market vendors, mostly women, at the Mega Market.

The WRC would also serve as training center, drop-in center for children of women market vendors and clinic.

The project is a JFPR grant to the Philippine government through the Asian Development Bank (ADB). The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) is the executing agency of the project.

It has been designed to support the DILG’s Mindanao Basic Urban Services Sector Project (MBUSSP).

The project has provided sustainable gender-sensitive social safety nets for Mindanao’s poor women market vendors and helped improve the quality of their working environment.

The capability-building component of the project has provided technical and managerial skills development to women market vendors and facilitated access to micro-credit facilities.