ZAMBOANGA CITY, February 9, 2021 — A Memorandum of Agreement was signed between the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) 9, Western Mindanao State University (WMSU) and Project Hope Agricultural Cooperative (PHAC) on January 28, 2021 during an industry meeting of the Fishing and Canning at the Zamboanga ECOZONE, this city. DOLE, WMSU and PHAC agreed to work together by defining roles to ensure Project HOPE’s good structure, progress and sustainability. The project, which aims to provide an alternative source of income through agricultural farming for displaced workers in the fishing and canning industry, has been conceptualized in 2017. 

As defined in the MOA, DOLE shall serve as the secretariat, WMSU thru the College of Agriculture will provide technical assistance and transfer of technology in the implementation of the economic livelihood component of the project and the PHAC will oversee daily operations of the farm. 

DOLE 9 Regional Director Atty. Roy L. Buenafe led the signing together with Dr.  Ma. Carla A. Ochotorena and PHAC Board Chairperson Jose J. Suan. Zamboanga ECOZONE Chairperson and Administrator Raul Regondola, DOLE 9 Mediator-Arbiter and Project Hope Acceleration Team Head Atty. Verna Kate B. Santos and WMSU Vice-President for Research and Extension Services & External Linkages Dr. Teresita A. Narvaez stood as witnesses. 

Director Buenafe led the oath of office of newly elected coop officers. He assured them of DOLE’s commitment and full support to the project.

“I urge each one of you to work hard and to take care of the project,” he said.

PHAC Chairperson Suan in response emphasized that since the project is mainly for the affected workers of the fishing and canning industry, he committed to lead the cooperative to success, to protect and secure the investments poured into the project. END