ZAMBOANGA CITY – Workers from the fishing and canning industry and their families are expected to benefit from the Adopt-A-Farm Project which the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) 9 initiated in partnership with Project Hope Agricultural Cooperative (PHAC) and Century Pacific Food Incorporated (CPFI).

Regional Director Atty. Roy L. Buenafe said that the Project Helping Others Prosper Economically “Adopt-A-Farm” follows the concept of allowing canning companies to assume a designated area in the Project HOPE demo farm by funding raw materials and farm inputs for vegetable production which they will eventually purchase from the farmers.

“CPFI is the first company to come forward and be part of the project. The farm is projected to produce at least 1,353 kilos of Chili Trinidad Moruga Scorpion (TMS) per year which will be priced at 600php per kilo. This will help the Project HOPE beneficiaries to earn and augment their income especially during the yearly closed fishing season from December to February,” Dir. Buenafe shared.

Dir. Buenafe, PHAC Chairperson Jose J. Suan and Ariel S. Onesa representing CPFI Vice President for Human Resources and Corporate Affairs George Leander Q. Wang III inked the Memorandum of Agreement during the Labor Day Celebration on May 1, 2021 at the KCC Mall de Zamboanga, Zamboanga City. The agreement shall be in full force for 5 years and is renewable.

The PHAC will oversee the management of the farm and engage with other agencies for provision of technical skills training to workers. DOLE 9 will shoulder the labor cost of the farm workers to be funded under the Tulong Panghanapbuhay para sa Ating Displaced/Disadvantaged (TUPAD) Workers Program.

Project HOPE is a holistic intervention for the fishing and canning industry workers and their dependents displaced during the annual closed fishing season which includes emergency employment, training, retooling and livelihood. It focuses on eco-livelihood farming as an enrolled project under the Trabaho Negosyo Kabuhayan framework and will provide beneficiaries an alternative source of income through agricultural farming.END/Karen Grafia