Sumifru bankrolls livelihood program for displaced Compostela workers

A total of 450 displaced workers of Sumifru Philippines were given a chance to start all over again through the Tulong Pangkabuhayan, a whole-of-nation approach for sustainable’s community development project for displaced workers of Compostela. 

Following the mantra “everyone deserves a second chance,” Sumifru Philippines has partnered with the Local Government Unit (LGU) of Compostela and the Provincial Government Unit (PGU) of Compostela Valley to formally launch the program at the heels of the 71st Compostela and 13th Buganihan Festival celebration last August 1.

The launching was presided over by no less than Sumifru Philippines chairman Paul Edmund Cuyegkeng, Compostela Valley Province Governor Jayvee Tyron Uy , Compostela Mayor Lima Bolo, and other stakeholders at the Coco’s Hotel, Compostela, Compostela Valley Province.

The livelihood program was designed by the partner sectors to provide legitimate sources of income for the displaced workers who were involved in the infamous Nagkahiusang mga Mag-uuma sa Suyafa Farms (NAMASUFA)-led workers strike against Sumifru Philippines that transpired in October 2018.

Cuyegkeng, in an interview, said these displaced workers, after all, deserved second chances.

“We want to help these guys. After you solved the problem, a lot of people get left behind and if people get left behind, there’s still this animosity and there will be an imbalance to the community. So we want to bring this people back here so we will have a balance community and no one will be left behind,” the chairman said.

Sumifru Philippines poured in P200,000 budget for the first month of the program. The budget is intended for the swine raising, vegetable farming, corn planting and sewing that may be availed by a maximum of 450 displaced workers.

Qualified individuals may avail any of the livelihood program. 

Those who chose swine raising will be provided with a live swine and its essentials such as food and vitamins. The swine raiser, however, will have to share 50 percent of its revenue back to the program which will be used for its expansion. In short, all the revenue will benefit another displaced worker. 

This goes also with the vegetable and corn planting which seeds will be provided by the Department of Agriculture (DA).

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), on the other hand, vowed P1M for the purchasing of sewing machines.

Aside from Sumifru Philippine’s financial commitment, other government agencies pledged their share for the community development project. 

The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) will provide livelihood seminars and accreditations while the Oplan Pagbabago of the Provincial and Local Government Units will assist the project.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP) will be in-charge in terms of security. Also helping are Service Providers/Cooperatives and the Land Bank of the Philippines.

“Fortunately all the government agencies liked it so much. If this is successful and make this work, we can carry all and give all small farmers an opportunity to avail this program,” Cuyegkeng said.

As of the launching, over 20 workers have signed up for the program.

Sumifru Philippine played a vital role in the development and economy of Compostela since it was established in 1970s.

“Unsa kayay mahitabo ug wala ang Sumifru sa Compostela?,” Compostela Mayor Bolo said.

The provincial governor, on the other hand, expressed its family’s gratitude for the company for not forsaking the municipality.

“Gikan pa kay papa Gov (former Compostela Valley Governor Arturo “Chongki” Uy) nga nihangyo sa Sumifru nga dili ayaw gyud biyai ang Compostela, hangtod karon nag pabilin gihapon sila para mag hatag ug panginabuhi sa katawhan,” the younger Uy, in his speech, said.

Recently, Compostela recognized Sumifru Philippines for its various economic and development contributions for the progress of the province.