Beyond Hot Pandesal: Agata Communities Get a Taste of the Sweet Life


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    Women of Barangay Binuangan pass their otherwise idle time at home to learn skills in baking and pastry making for possible livelihood opportunities and better food security in their community.

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    Mayor Raquim Cuyos’ bakeshop was temporarily utilized by AMVI training participants for selling and marketing their products to the community.

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    The ideal way. Training participants were freely equipped with the right paraphernalia, equipment and ingredients for the whole duration of the training, including transportation allowances.


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    Community Relations Officer Kahlil Tabernero joins the participants in the experience of baking and gathering insights that they can cascade to the next batch of trainees.

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    All rolled-up. Agata’s extensive skills development training on bread and pastry making for communities enhances potentials and economic opportunities among women and the youth.

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    The real test. Students from adjacent Doňa Rosario High School snack on affordable and tasty products from the training participants.

Members of Agata host communities receive bakery and pastry livelihood training

Tubay, Agusan del Norte / February 2017 – Inspired by the Filipino breakfast staple that is the hot pandesal – a salty breakfast bun that gave rise to thousands of neighborhood stores nationwide – Agata Mining Ventures Inc. (AMVI) rolled-out its latest community livelihood course that aims to also inspire participants to engage in bread making, manage their own bakeshops, bring food to the community, and serve bakery products during events hosted by people’s organizations, which are potential income-generators.  Last month, the company conducted a training seminar on Baking and Pastry Making for women and the youth of its host coastal barangays in Tubay, Santiago, and Jabonga Municipalities of this province.

Some 15 training participants were provided transportation allowances, and baking tools and equipment that were later turned-over to them through the company’s Social Development Management Project (SDMP) fund.  A Manila-based trainer also flew-in to develop their bread and pastry making skills as well as share his experience in managing bakery operations – how to sell and market homemade spaghetti, pizza and donuts then eventually establish an alternative source of livelihood.

AMVI is a joint nickel laterite mining project of TVI Resource Development Philippines Inc. (TVIRD) and MRL Nickel Philippines.  Since the roll-out of its SDMP, the company has provided jobs and livelihood training for its adopted communities, most notably in the fields of agriculture and livestock.

Continued partnership

No less than Tubay Vice Mayor Raquim Cuyos provided the training venue in his personally-owned bakeshop for the duration of the 15-day course.  “The training can provide employment opportunities to the communities.  There is a rising demand in baking and pastry making in the market and these skills can be utilized by the women and the youth,” said the Vice Mayor.

Key officers of the Binuangan Women’s Organization also agreed that the training has been helpful since it can generate potential added income for housewives while also providing food for their community.

Agata Vice President for Community Relations and Development Edsel Abrasaldo is likewise optimistic about the outcome of the training, which was conducted particularly for Barangays Binuangan, Tagpangahoy, Tinigbasan and La Paz.

“The skills development training for beneficiary communities for possible alternative and additional livelihood have always been part of AMVI’s sustainable intervention to boost the improving economic conditions and empower the people,” Abrasaldo explained.  The company official has been a proponent of the ongoing development partnership between the company and the local government units.

A stable livelihood

Recognized for both its environmental and social programs, Agata upholds TVIRD’s guiding philosophy in providing stable livelihood to the community by developing people’s skills and effectively helping them manage their natural resources.  The company has also partnered with indigenous tribal organizations to implement income generating programs that will help sustain their communities.

Agata’s indigenous Mamanwas have responsibly managed their royalties generated from the company’s mining operations. The tribe established community stores, rice and agricultural product, agroforestry ventures, livestock raising, and acquired vehicles for transporting goods and their fellow lumads.  The women in the community have likewise been trained in weaving nets from coconut-based abaca – which in turn safeguards the ocean and bodies of water against siltation and erosion.

In partnership with the Villar SIPAG Foundation, residents along Agata’s adopted Kalinawan River were also trained in making handicraft utilizing water lily materials that are abundant in the area.  Finally, the community’s out-of-school youth have also acquired NC2 TESDA Certification Training on Driving and Light Vehicle Maintenance, which enhances their opportunities in the local transportation sector.

Owing to the increased economic activity and employment generated by its mining operations – and its support to education and socio-cultural activities – Agata received favorable commendations from both the local governments of Tubay and Jabonga as well as the provincial government of Agusan del Norte.


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