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PIA Press Release

Cebu launches micro-financing for mothers of severely malnourished children

By Minerva BC Newman

Cebu, Philippines (11 February) -- The Province of Cebu will launch on February 14 and 15 a micro-financing "Grameen" like program for mothers of the severely malnourished children of the 14 pilot municipalities that are enrolled in the Early Childhood Care & Development (ECCD) program of the province.

Provincial Board member Agnes Magpale, SP chair on women, children and family affairs said that the project is called "Grameen for Women Entrepreneur Now! (GWEN). It is part of Governor Garcia's 12-Action areas for Cebu's economic development.

The "GWEN" program will be launched on February 14 and 15 in Argao and Tabuelan respectively and the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the governor and the 14 town mayors will be on February 11at the Social Hall, Capitol, Magpale added.

Magpale further said that the 14 ECCD towns are Argao, Badian, Balamban, Bantayan, Daan-Bantayn, Madredijos, Minglanillla, San Francisco in Camotes, Sogod, Tabuelan, Tudela, Tuburan, and Poro. These pilot municipalities have been identified as having the most number of malnourished children in the ECCD program.

Evelyn Senajon, provincial ECCD coordinator said that the ECCD program of Cebu has a funding of approximately P23.5-million; P16.5-million of which comes from the National Council for Women and Children (NCWC) while P7.071-million comes from the provincial coffers representing its investment plan for women and children.

Senajon added that the 14 pilot ECCD municipalities of Cebu are automatically enrolled in the "GWEN" micro-finance project where at least 20 mothers of each barangay of the 14 ECCD municipalities are identified as the beneficiaries.

A total of 6,400 mothers (beneficiaries) shall group themselves into fives (5) and one of them shall serve as the treasurer of the group. Each member of the group is given a capitalization of P500.00 for any micro-livelihood of their choice. The amount is payable in one year with a 1% interest.

"This is really micro-financing. Mura'g mahug nga tag-P2.00 per day lang and ilang bayaran for one year," Magpale told the members of the Provincial Council for the Welfare of Children (PCWC) during its regular meeting recently.

"Ginagmay nga negosyo alang sa mga kababayen-an nga mahimo nila within their community. Mga negosyo nga pwede maka-support sa mga programa sa ECCD such as feeding and hot meals program," Magpale added. (Small business that the women can do within their communities. Businesses that can support the ECCD such as feeding and hot meals program.)

Magpale further said that the treasurers of the groups shall remit the daily payments to the Barangay Treasurer who will also remit the collections to the municipal treasurer who will also be responsible for remitting the amounts to the Provincial Treasurer.

"The Province is allocating some P3.2-million for the Grameen project. At the end of the year, it is expected that the seed amount becomes P3.9-million. The P700,000.00 gains become its forced savings that will also be used for re-capitalization of the program," Magpale said.

The KALIPI, an accredited NGO of the PCWC has been recommended to undertake the "GWEN" project with Connie Gestopa, a retired DILG employee was hired as consultant to the project. (PIA-Cebu) [top]

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