PCC holds business enhancement training course for dairy entrepreneurs

The Philippine Carabao Center (PCC), through its Business Development and Commercialization Unit (BDCU), held a workshop for dairy entrepreneurs under the agency’s “Business Enhancement Series Training (BEST)” program on August 25 at the PCC national headquarters and gene pool in the Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija.

The BEST program seeks to enable dairy cooperatives to independently own and manage their enterprises as viable business undertakings. It comprises a series of trainings and workshops to equip the co-ops and its members involved in dairy processing with knowledge and skills in plant operation, production standardization and store management.

The pioneering groups which underwent the training were members of the Nueva Ecija-based Catalanacan Multi-Purpose Cooperative and Eastern Primary Multi-Purpose Cooperative, along with staff of Milka Krem, which is PCC’s central processing plant cum product outlet.

“Business enhancement series training means we are expecting you to do your best on your endeavors. The top management of PCC is expecting a lot from you. From this day forward, you will be taught on how to not depend on PCC because you, yourselves can do better if not the best. You just have to trust your own capabilities because PCC only has limited capacity. Thank you for choosing to learn, and thank you for being your best,” Dr. Liza G. Battad, chief of PCC’s planning and special projects division, said in her welcome remarks.

Initial activities lined up in the BEST program seek to address current difficulties faced by farmers as they upscale their production and distribution, such as inconsistencies, spoilage, stock-outs, communication failures and misunderstandings. The activities culminate in a series of training-workshops that encourage quality consciousness and continuous improvement to effectively integrate and sustain knowledge and skills gained from the program.

“From what we observed, there are some problems arising in the cooperatives. We noticed that they need to change their perspective on certain things so that they’d be able to easily address the problems in their respective cooperatives. We cannot fully teach them the system they need to apply. As businessmen or as entrepreneurs, it should come from them on how to establish a good system and manifest continuous improvements. They should know how to identify the problems and address solutions. There are small things they do that could contribute in the development of their enterprise,” Jan Czarina Salas, business development analyst, explained.

According to Salas, the program involves three major activities. First is the “BEST Me Workshop” to orient participants on the right attitude and perspective towards dynamic changes happening in their environment. Second is the “BEST Problem Solving Approach Workshop” to effectively sustain the application of knowledge learned from prior activities and for them to gain clear understanding and confidence in strategically dealing with problems arising from their day-to-day operations. Third is the “BEST: Inter Dairy Kaizen Competition (IDKC)”. It is a venue for the program’s participating teams to present their Kaizen (Japanese word meaning “change for better”)-inspired problem-solving procedures based on their identified problems from the previous activity. The groups then present their outputs based from detailed instructions in the previous activity. Outstanding presentations in two categories, namely, dairy plant processing and dairy sales and marketing, are given due recognition.

“We don’t want them to just learn how to do business, but also to ignite the business-consciousness inside of them and make it their core, every member of the dairy processing team is an entrepreneur,” she further said.

Aside from the major activities, the program also provides support activities, such as dairy plant standardization, benchmarking tour and store management training.

“The program is strategically designed and implemented to develop independence and confidence by trusting their capabilities, especially those that will be harnessed by the program. Creatively, we will use the motivating force of “competition” to encourage them to perform excellently and more consciously about the relevant factors, especially those that are just driven by emotions and behaviors,” Zadieshar Sanchez, PCC-BDCU project evaluation officer, stressed.

Kimberlie Alejo-De Vera, former Kaizen trainer at Toyota in Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija, served as the resource speaker for the training.

“Sometimes, we see problems as problems, we don’t see it as something that needs solutions. Always remember that a problem is an opportunity to excel. It is a matter that we have to make an effort to solve,” she pointed out on how dairy entrepreneurs should face their problems encountered.

The next set of trainings under the BEST program is scheduled for September and December this year.

PCC now in sync with enhanced eNGAS and eBudget system

“In just one click, we can now easily generate and track financial reports from the computer regarding how much funds were utilized and disbursed by our agency by using the enhanced eNGAS and eBudget system software that were developed by our national government,”Jean Gasmeña, chief of Philippine Carabao Center’s (PCC) administrative and finance division (AFD), declared in the aftermath of the “Enhanced eNGAS and eBudget System Roll Out” training held August 3-7 at the PCC national headquarters and gene pool in the Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija.

The training is part of continuing efforts of the national government aimed at improving efficiency, accountability and transparency in the use of public funds, particularly in the context of the public financial management program (PFMP).

The PFMP is being implemented in accordance with the PFM Reform Roadmap: Towards Improved Accountability and Transparency, 2011-2015, with assistance from the Australian government, which committed A$30 million to the PFMP. The PFM Reform agenda aims to improve and harmonize the financial management processes and information systems of the Philippine civil service.

“The program envisioned that five years from now, as part of harmonizing the PFMP processes, all fund utilization and disbursement by the government will be easily created and uploaded to a website,”Gasmeña said.

The enhanced eNGAS (New Government Accounting System) and eBudget software was developed by information technology (IT) experts from the Commission on Audit (COA) for use in the submission of financial reports required by the Department of Budget Management (DBM), COA and Department of Finance-Bureau of Treasury (DOF-BTr) from government agencies.

“Likewise, it is adapted to the international standard for financial accounting and now being used by government bookkeepers, budget officers and accountants nationwide,” Gasmeña said.

“It is also compliant with the Philippine Public Sector Accounting Standards (PPSAS), Revised Chart of Accounts (RCA) and Unified Accounts Code Structure of the government,” she stressed.

For PCC’s part, Gasmeña mentioned that the training was important for the agency to comply with mandatory rules or systems that were introduced by the government.

By using the software, she said, there will be congruency and uniformity with the terms, codes, and account titles used in their reports. Moreover, it is user-friendly and can generate financial reports in lesser time and with more accuracy, she said.

“It can also be of help to PCC in making sound decisions relative to its budgetary planning,” she further said.

Meanwhile, in his message during the closing ceremony, Dr. Arnel N. Del Barrio, PCC acting executive director, said that the training is of great help to PCC in complying with pertinent standards.

“I believe that one measure of how a particular agency performs well is through its effective and proper use of its budget. Being more transparent with regards to our fund utilization and disbursement is I think very important to show to the public how well we manage our activities and funds,” he pointed out.

The training was attended by 34 staff from PCC’s national headquarters and 13 regional centers nationwide. They included the agency’s accountants, budget officers and bookkeepers as well as personnel from its information technology (IT) and cash units.

IT and financial accounting experts from the Commission on Audit (COA) served as resource persons, namely, Marlon R. Marquina, Romeo C. Cruz, Jorgen C. Fulleros, Michelle M. Gargarra, Lara Jane M. dela Torre and Sarah Joy M. Labino.

PCC launches Dairy Box Dairy Delicatessen one-stop shop

The Philippine Carabao Center (PCC) recently launched a market venue called “Dairy Box Dairy Delicatessen” to bring the carabao farmers’ buffalo-derived products closer to the market.

The Dairy Box carries the tagline “Go local, go dairy”, which is anchored on its purpose of serving tourists and locals interested in buying freshly made products that use buffalo’s milk as main ingredient.

The one-stop shop showcases and sells pasalubong (gift or present) treats and pastries of the Catalanacan Multi-Purpose Cooperative (CAMPC) and other local dairy buffalo farmers’ cooperatives.

Among these products are espasol de leche, macapuno, bibingkang gatas, macaroons, leche flan, bibingkang kanin, pulvoron, tibok-tibok, sapin-sapin and chicharabao. Other upcoming products that will be soon available in the shop are buko pie, lechetin, yema (duche de leche), piayema, dairy tarts, dairy empanada and mini cupcakes.

The Dairy Box looks forward to becoming a “go-to” destination for travelers, thereby contributing to food tourism in Nueva Ecija.

The one-stop shop is strategically located along Maharlika Highway, Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija, just beside Milka Krem, which is PCC’s central milk processing facility.

Essentially, the Dairy Box is an infrastructure support for smallholder dairy farmers designed to provide them with an opportunity to gain access to the commercial market for greater income.

“It’s been a dream of PCC to launch a one-stop dairy hub that will focus on marketing quality products made by our local dairy cooperatives. It is about empowering our dairy farmers to continue to grow through provision of opportunity for value-adding, thus giving them additional income. Given the right market at the right place at the right time, at the right quality and packaging we believe in PCC, that dairy production will improve a lot,” PCC Acting Executive Director Arnel N. Del Barrio said in his message during the Dairy Box’s grand opening.

Present during the occasion were farmer-members of the CAMPC and Eastern Primary Multi-Purpose Cooperative as well as key officials from the Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PhilMech), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), local government unit of the Science City of Munoz (LGU-Munoz) and PCC staff.

The grand opening coincided with signing of two Memoranda of Agreement: (1) between PCC and PhilMech for the “design and development of an engine-driven baling machine”, and (2) between PCC and CAMPC, DAR, DTI, and LGU-Muñoz for the “village-level processing center enhancement program”.

Dairy farmer-trustees discuss DTI’s shared service facility in general assembly

Farmer-trustees of 11 cooperatives, which were recipients of shared service facility (SSF) from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), recently met in a general assembly at the Philippine Carabao Center (PCC) national headquarter and gene pool in Munoz, Nueva Ecija to discuss various matters related to the said facility.

The SSF are milking machines for use by the PCC-assisted dairy co-ops in Nueva Ecija, which is the agency’s National Impact Zone (NIZ) under the Carabao Development Program (CDP).

The units consist of two double-bucket type milking machines and two milk cans, each with 40-liter capacity. The milking machines come in two types: electrical and gas engine-driven

The SSF grantees are the Nag-iisang Masikap Primary Multi-Purpose Cooperative (PMPC), Pulong Buli PMPC, Bagong Pag-asa sa Bagong Talavera PMPC, Casile Dairy PMPC, Simula ng Panibagong Bukas MPC, Ayos Lomboy Dairy Cooperative, Buklod Producers Cooperative, KAPAGENA, Kabulihan Producers Cooperative, Dimasalang Sur Credit Cooperative, and San Vicente Dairy Producers Cooperative.

According to Dr. Peregrino G. Duran, team leader of the PCC dairy herd improvement-enterprise development program, the maximum utilization of milking machine is highly recommended to keep it in good working condition. He also pointed out that only the province of Nueva Ecija received the most number of milking machines under DTI’s SSF scheme.

During the assembly, which was held on July 30, issues on the status of the milking machines that are either not functioning well or not fully utilized were thoroughly discussed.

Engr. Eladio N. Duran, DTI small and medium enterprise development division chief, encouraged the farmer-trustees to work together to address these problems. He also suggested that any farmer-cooperator who wants to borrow unutilized units can submit a letter-request to DTI to avail of the equipment.

“You need to utilize the milking machine otherwise it will become rusty and eventually unserviceable. It is also significant for all of you to know the importance of regular milking of the animals to prevent mastitis and to boost its milk production potential,” Dr. Felomino V. Mamuad, PCC deputy executive director, reminded the farmer-trustees.

One of the farmer-beneficiaries shared his strategy for his animal to be accustomed to machine milking.

Para masanay ‘yong kalabaw ko sa milking machine, ang ginagawa ko ay pinapaandar ko lang ‘yong milking machine, hinahayaan ko siyang masanay sa tunog habang manu-mano kong ginagatasan ‘yong kalabaw. Pagkaraan ng isang linggo, nasanay na ‘yong kalabaw sa tunog at naging madali na ang paggamit nito (For my carabao to be accustomed to milking machine, I just let it hear the sound of milking machine while I am manually milking it. After one week, my carabao is already used to the sound and it becomes efficient to use),” Arnold Cunanan, member of Simula ng Panibagong Bukas MPC, narrated.

Earlier, the farmer-trustees were provided basic know-how on the repair of the milking machine in a demo-training on May 26 with Engr. Benjamin De Guzman of the National Dairy Authority as resource person. He did an actual presentation on the proper maintenance of the milking machine, how to prevent it from being broken, and how to do the repair works.

A total of 47 participants attended the July 30 assembly. Aside from the farmer-trustees, staff members from the PCC and DTI also participated in the activity.