DTI-12 releases P14.5M to small businesses in South Cotabato

KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews/02 October) — The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in Region 12 has released around P14.5 million in financial grants in the last nine months to various microenterprises in South Cotabato province under the Grassroots Participatory Budgeting (GPB) program.

Ibrahim Guiamadel, DTI Region 12 director, said Thursday the funds comprise the area’s initial allotment this year under the GPB program, which is a flagship initiative of the national government.

He said the grants mainly facilitated the implementation of 20 community-based entrepreneurial projects in the municipalities of Polomolok, Tampakan, Lake Sebu, Norala, Sto. Nino, Surallah and T’boli.

“We have already transferred 27 percent of the project cost. To date, one project in T’boli has already been completed while the rest are still ongoing,” Guiamadel said.

The completed project was the beads-making venture of selected residents of T’boli town that received a funding of P275,000, he said.

The official said the implementation of three other projects — loom-weaving, brass-casting and eco bag-making — that have a combined allocation of P822,600 are ongoing in T’boli town.

In Polomolok town, he said two projects — an information and communication technology center and pasalubong center — worth P1.5 million are being implemented.

He said the program is also supporting five projects in Tampakan town worth a total of P3.3 million.

These are the production of engineered bamboo, coco coir and fiber, processing of meat and coconut food products, and the establishment of a tindahang pinoy and pasalubong center.

In Lake Sebu, the agency has allotted P550,000 as support to sustainable livelihood projects that comprise T’nalak-weaving, beads-making, handicraft-making, hand-loom weaving, embroidery-making, wood-carving, brass-casting, food processing and bamboo products development.

Around P4.1 million worth of projects are ongoing in Sto. Nino town composed of indigenous paper bag-making, production of engineered bamboo products and rice-based products, and jewelry-making.

Three other projects — food processing, pottery-making, handicrafts and creation of a business permits licensing system — worth a total of P1.1 million are being implemented in Norala and Surallah towns.

Formerly known as Bottom-up Budgeting, GPB is a participative approach instituted by the Department of Budget and Management.

Under the scheme, the executive department identifies various programs and projects to help address the development needs of poorest cities and municipalities in the country. (MindaNews)