KORONADAL CITY — Officials of a big agricultural marketing cooperative of Blaan people in Kiblawan, Davao del Sur underwent a two-day financial management workshop facilitated by a private firm helping boost its productivity and links with marketing partners outside.

Kiblawan Mayor Joel D. Calma said on Tuesday that he is grateful to the Sagittarius Mines Incorporated (SMI) for its capacity-building intervention last week for officials of the KITAB Marketing Cooperative, whose members are ethnic Blaans in Barangays Kimlawis, Tacub, Abnate, and Bulol-salo.

The SMI was contracted by Malacañang to operate, starting this year, the state-planned Tampakan Copper-Gold Project covering the adjoining towns of Kiblawan, Malungon in Sarangani, Columbio in Sultan Kudarat and Tampakan in South Cotabato. 

The center of the project’s operation shall be in Blaan ancestral domains in Tampakan, where experts from Europe and the central office of the Department of the Environment and Natural Resources said, based on surveys in years past, have at least US$200 billion worth of copper and gold deposits awaiting extraction.

“The SMI has not even operated yet since it started setting up about two decades ago yet it has already spent huge amounts of money for its humanitarian and other pro-poor projects in Kiblawan and in the three other municipalities where it is to operate soon,” Mr. Calma said.

The recent workshop attended by officials of the KITAB cooperative focused on trading and entrepreneurial skills, cash disbursements and recording, financial bookkeeping and transactions journal and ledger recording, according to Kiblawan’s municipal treasurer, Rebecca Labuayan. — John Felix M. Unson

#Capacity #building #Blaan #folk

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