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DAR turns over second processing center in Samar town

PUBA processing center
Samar Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer II (PARPO II) Alfonso Catorce formally turned over the upgraded processing center to the Parag-Uma ngan Batad Association (PUBA) in Gandara, Samar.

March 26, 2023

GANDARA, Samar – Native broom producers and members of the Parag-Uma ngan Batad Association (PUBA) in this town rejoiced when the upgraded processing center for their broom production was finally turned over to them on March 6 this year by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR).

“This is a dream come true for us, batad (local term for native brooms) producers,” said Susan Magaro, president of PUBA, as she thanked endlessly DAR officials during the said occasion.

Magaro described their processing center before as a mere small makeshift building. Whenever it rains, the rain drips on the roof, she added.

With the newly-constructed building in Barangay Casab-ahan, which is made of concrete materials and good roofing with storage for the raw materials and finished products, the members can now work comfortably.

Samar Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer II (PARPO II), Alfonso Catorce, who led the turnover ceremony of the P250 thousand worth of upgraded facility funded under DAR’s Village Level Farm-Focused Enterprise Development (VLFED) program, encouraged the members of PUBA to improve the quality of their products in order to have an increased income.

PARPO I Segundino Pagliawan on the other hand, advised the 96 PUBA members, where 85 of them are agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs), to maintain the facility and foster cooperation to sustain their livelihood activities.

The chief of the Program Beneficiaries Development Division (PBDD), Thelma Alfaro, told the members “Kun kita magkakaurusa, waray makakapugong hit atun pag-uswag” (If we will unite, nothing can stop our progress.).

Aside from DAR officials, present also during the said occasion were representatives from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Municipal Agriculture Office and the local government unit (LGU) who likewise expressed their support to PUBA.

Municipal Agriculturist, Lucas Rebay, committed to provide applicable technology to escalate the number of tiger grass, which is the raw material used in making “batad.”

Though DTI trained them in tiger grass production, pricing and costing, as well as quality control and labeling, DTI Samar Provincial Director, Engineer Meilou Macabare, promised PUBA to help in the promotion of their product to penetrate bigger markets.

Meanwhile, Municipal Administrator, Alfredo Delector, assured the LGU’s support in marketing PUBA’s products.

Municipal Agrarian Reform Program Officer (MARPO), Nilda Velasco, disclosed that even before DAR formally organized PUBA into an agrarian reform beneficiaries organization (ARBO) in 2017, its members were already into “batad” making.

They sell their brooms at P100 each for the ordinary one, while the jumbo-type costs P200 each, she added.

Further, Velasco shared that this is the second processing center provided by DAR to ARBOs in this municipality. According to her, the first processing center was provided to Concepcion Farmers Association for their coco vinegar processing.