ZAMBOANGA CITY – Project HOPE Agricultural Cooperative (PHAC), a DOLE-initiated and assisted livelihood project, received financial assistance from the Department of Science and Technology IX (DOST 9) during a short program held on July 24, 2020 at Project HOPE DEMO Farm, San Ramon, Talisayan Zamboanga City.The check amounting to Php 345,735.00 will be used to procure a chili-processing equipment, an essential tool in the production of Chili products such as chili paste and flakes.

DOST 9 Assistant Regional Director Thelma Diego turned-over the check to PHAC President Mary Jean Gonzaga. Also present during the turn-over were DOLE 9 Regional Director Atty. Roy L. Buenafe, NWPC Commissioner Jose S. Suan, Zamboanga Ecozone Chairman Raul Regondola, SOPHIL President Engr. Jaydrick Yap and PHAC Beneficiaries.

Dir. Diego mentioned that the DOST is glad to extend the assistance to PHAC and advised the members that the project will be successful if they remain committed and dedicated.

She also said that the assistance includes training on Food Standard, Packaging, Laboratories, and Sanitation.

Gonzaga, in behalf of PHAC, expressed her gratitude to DOST for the help extended to the cooperative as it will surely boost their production and greatly help all beneficiaries.

Project HOPE is a holistic inter-agency intervention to address the displacement of workers and their dependents during the closed fishing season. The project also aims to supply the vegetable requirements of the canning factories. It envisions to showcase ZAMBOECOZONE as an agri-industrial park in the region and transform workers to entrepreneurs. END/With reports from Emma P. Lim, DOLE 9 Project Development Officer