MAFI, EDC spearhead sem-break jobs for Scholars
A physical survey and inventory of around one hundred forty (140) hectares of banana farms operated by the Mount Apo Ten-Kilometer Radius Multi-Purpose Cooperative, Inc. (MATKRMPCI) was awarded to the MAFI Scholars Association (MSA) in an effort to establish a productive linkage between the community livelihood activities funded by Energy Development Corporation (EDC) and MAFI’s college scholars.
These banana plantations, managed by MATKRMPCI with the support of EDC, are located in the barangays of Kidapawan, Magpet and Makilala. These banana plantations were established to provide additional livelihood opportunities to the members of MATKRMPCI and the communities where the plantations are located. The on-site monitoring activity which was contracted out to MAFI scholars was a timely opportunity for the college scholars of Mt. Apo Foundation, Inc. (MAFI) to earn extra income during their semestral break. According to Engr. Ferdinand Santos, EDC consultant for this project, “the idea will be more of helping the scholars not only in the financial aspect but to train, exercise and prepare them for future undertaking that involves developing team efforts, efficient group management and work valuing process.” Atty. Ermelo N. Libre, MAFI Executive Director also added that “this kind of part-time job in partnership with big companies is a good training exposure to our scholars. In addition to extra allowance they will earn, the scholars will also learn valuable working ethics and concepts that will be useful in their future careers”.
Last October 23, 2011, forty (40) MAFI scholars were engaged by EDC for field inventory of the banana plantations. The activity includes the physical counting of banana plants, suckers and tissue replants and classification of banana conditions as formative or on fruiting stage. The job awarded to MAFI scholars is expected to be finished in five (5) to six (6) days.
This banana inventory activity was the second working partnership between MAFI and EDC. The first was in December of 2008 where MAFI and its college scholars were given an opportunity to plant 6,000 Tinikaran seedlings at EDC’s reforestation project in Maag, Mt. Apo. That joint undertaking was tagged as “Trees-for-Christmas”, an effort to bring back the endemic trees inside Mt. Apo Natural Park. EDC, through its Environmental Management Division (EMD) is regularly working with volunteer groups or organizations for participation in their tree planting programs for the rehabilitation and protection of the last frontiers around Mt. Apo.