BALANGA CITY, Bataan – One hundred sixty residents of coastal villages of this component city recently underwent a formal training in “cocomat” weaving for their alternative livelihood initiated by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the City Government here.
“This project is part of the government’s Manila Bay Rehabilitation Project to prepare the informal settlers living along the riverbanks in converting coconut husks into a viable source of income after they are relocated,” Mila Ramirez of the DENR-Bataan office said. The trainees were from the coastal villages of Bagumbayan,Tortugas, Pto. Rivas Ibaba and Itaas
“Bahagi rin ito ng pangangalaga sa ating kalikasan at upang mabigyan ng silbi ang inaakala nating basura na magamit sa makabuluhang bagay na pwedeng pagkakitaan,” Ramirez added.
She also said that aside from the raw materials the beneficiaries were also given fabricated weaving machines, twinning machines and strainer.
Nerissa Mateo, Chief of the City Agriculture Office, told newsmen here that aside from “cocomat”, the materials given to the trainees were also developed to other products from coconut husks into dishwashing pads, lanterns and lamp shades. “The products will be brought to Makati City for the LIKHA- Central Luzon on September 29 through the help of DTI-Bataan,” Mateo added.
Meanwhile, Raul Mamac, Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) urged all sectors to help his agency to maintain the project for the beneficiaries to further benefit and be self-sustaining residents of their communities.