Barangay Pantad in Dumalinao is blessed with an abundance of fishery resources, due to its location on the coast of Illana Bay and the presence of numerous fishponds. This has been a great boon for the local economy, with seaweed production being a major source of income for many families. The Brgy. Pantad Women’s Fisherfolk Association has been at the forefront of this industry since 2015, and they have now started producing seaweed crackers. This is a great way to diversify their product range and increase their income potential. Thanks to the hard work of these women, the community of Dumalinao is thriving.

To enhance their livelihood, the association engaged with the Labor Department for a grant. DOLE 9 provided a livelihood grant worth Php 497,580.00 to LGU-Dumalinao in 2018. On February 12, 2020, the starter kits for the seaweed crackers production were officially turned over to Brgy. Pantad Women’s Association. The group received a pressure cooker, LPG tank with burner, working tables and other equipment for their seaweed processing project. Members of the association also underwent an orientation on occupational safety and health.

Aside from DOLE’s assistance, the association also received other assistance from National Government Agencies such as the Department of Agriculture (seaweed seedlings, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (Training on seaweed crackers making), and Department of Trade and Industry (Simple Bookkeeping). According to their treasurer Lilia Tejana, the association saved at least Php300, 000.00 from its 20 percent share every time a member sells raw dried seaweeds and production of crackers.

The provision of starter kits helped the beneficiaries augment their income despite the crisis they encountered, especially during the time of pandemic. The beneficiaries become more innovative in handling effective marketing strategies and using internal and external resources.

“Sa among kalisod isip usa ka asosasyon namong mga kababainhan dinhi sa pantad, wala mi gadahom sa kalipay na among matagamtaman human nadawat namo ang project kits na among gi request sa DOLE ug kani dakong tabang gyud sa among negosyo ubanan sa among pamilya. (Despite of the struggle in our association, we didn’t expect our joy after we received the livelihood kits from DOLE, it really helps to augment our income and to sustain the basic needs in our family),” says Arelia S. Ursal, Brgy. Pantad Womens Fisherfolk Association President. END