Private investors eyed for $27.5 million global project on cold chain that boosts pharma, food safety, food security

April 24, 2021

A multilateral cold chain project is looking for private sector investors in a “low carbon” cold chain system that involves a Covid 19 vaccination storage facility and a “hub” of  facilities that will boost Philippines’ food-pharmaceutical safety and food security.

   A project totally costing $27.5 million, the “Global  Partnership for Improving the Food Cold Chain in the Philippines” (GPI-FCCP) is putting up cold chain facilities critical to the country’s food industry. 

   Cold chain has also now become critical to the health of the country’s population in the advent of Covid 19 pandemic .

   A project led by international funder Global Environment Facility (GEF),  the GPI-FCCP primarily involves  establishment of policies advocating use of low carbon and energy-efficient refrigeration facilities for the food system.   

   Stringent policies are important in providing a stable investment environment for investors in “green” cooling technologies.

   Cold chain covers every produce that needs cooling from the “field to the fork (transport, storage, transformation, packaging).

   Policies will involve national standards for flammable refrigerants and revision of energy efficiency standards.

   A total of 200 key stakeholders is targeted to be trained on energy-efficiency and climate-friendly cold chain technologies. 

   There is also a high level training for 50 local engineers, system suppliers and end-users on the use of global innovative cold chain technology.

   Major implementors of the GPI-FCCP are the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and UNIDO (United Nations Industrial Development Organization) .

   A co-financier is Germany’s international cooperation agency GIZ (Gesselschaft fur Internationanale Zusammenarbeit).    

   GIZ now looks for private sector companies as part of distributing Covid 19 vaccines in the Philippines.

   “Vaccine cold chains have become a  new and urgent priority in the Philippines. The project also provides an opportunity to help develop integrated cold-chain strategies that build on the existing food cold chain system – ensuring better health and a reliable food supply in the Philippines,” reported the DENR.

Cold chain “hub”

   The global cold chain project is also putting up the Cold Chain Innovation Hub (CCIH).  It will be the project’s “central ecosystem of technical resources, training, knowledge sharing and stakeholder collaboration. “

   The CCIH will guarantee that ”knowledge within the field of energy efficiency, low-Global Warming Potential (GWP) refrigeration technologies, and monitoring of the cold chain will be kept in the Philippines,” according to the GEF.  That is even after project closure in 2022.

The Cold Chain; Source- DGrid Energy

Montreal Protocol

    The cold chain project came about as part of the Philippines’ commitment to the 1987 Montreal Protocol.  It is a global agreement to protect the stratospheric ozone layer by phasing out the production and consumption of ozone-depleting substances (ODS).

   The ozone is the earth’s protective layer, absorbing UV light which reduces human’s exposure to harmful (skin cancer and cataract-causing) ultraviolet radiation.

   ODS includes chlorofluorocarbons, halons, carbontetrachloride, methy chloroform, hydrobromofluorocarbons, hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), methyl bromide, and bromochloromethane.

   Refrigeration technologies have come out as top concern to have energy efficiency and low Global Warming Potential (GWP).  It is because refrigerants extensively use  hydrochlorofluorocarbons  (HCFC) that have been found to be ozone-depleting.

   The Montreal Protocol compelled signatory countries to freeze consumption and production of the ODS hydrochloroflouocarbons (HCFCs).  Developing countries should have cut by 100% their HCFC production by  2030.

   Very potent greenhouse gases, HCFCs are used as “refrigerants,   solvents, blowing agents for plastic foam manufacture, and fire extinguishers.”

   Private sector engagement will be crucial in the Philippines’ effort in obtaining knowledge transfer of the most innovative, climate friendly, and energy efficient refrigeration technologies.

How ozone depleting substances affect the atmosphere; Source- DW

Financiers

   Financiers of the GPI-FCCP  include Asian Development Bank, $10 million loan; DENR, $190,000; UNIDO, $199,500; Land Bank, $7 million; Development Bank of the Philippines, $5 million; Shecco, $3 million in supplies; and GIZ, $100,000.

   The vaccine initiative will be financed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).  BMZ supports private sector initiatives that “mitigate the economic as well as the health-related impact of the corona pandemic” of countries like the Philippines

   BMZ disclosed that projects related to the Covid 19 vaccine cold chain requirements will receive up to €2,000,000 (US$2,430,710) of funding.  This has a government cost counterpart of 50%.

Emission reduction targets

   The GPI-FCCP targets to cut emission of carbon dioxide (CO2) by up to 5,722 metric tons (MT) directly. It also aims to cut CO2 emission indirectly by up to 479,815 MT.

   The project will also have a forecast of Philippines’ growth in energy demand  and its climate impact.

    Emission of carbon due to refrigerants is estimated to contribute to 20% of total carbon emission. Moreover, energy consumption accounts for the highest 80% in carbon emissions.

   “Worldwide it is estimated that 40% of all foods require refrigeration, and 15% of  electricity consumed is used for refrigeration . With the rising concern over climate change, global warming as well as the insecurity in development and fluctuations in energy costs , there is increasing pressure to make significant reductions in carbon emissions and energy use,” GEF said.

Food exports

   Adequate cold chain facilities are critical to the Philippines with its growing population.  Its current capacity of 300,000 MT  in cold chain threatens the quality of food it feeds to its people. With inadequacy, Philippines will also have difficulty sustaining its export/import potential.

   The GEF report indicated the cold chain project will support the country’s increasing agricultural exports  that reached $1.03 billion as of 2016.

   The country’s cold storage sector was earlier projected to have reached a market value of $1.4 billion by 2020.

   “The sector is highly fragmented, with more than 100 players active in the market.  What’s currently lacking is end-to-end, integrated cold chain management to consistently allow all players on the network to connect,” according to the GEF report.

   Poor practices in cold chain operations in countries like the Philippines has led to the “waste of electricity to feed the cold chain, release of powerful greenhouse gases, and post harvest losses.”

   It is estimated that post harvest losses account for 30% of total production.  The absence of a good cold chain is a major reason for this, among others.

   “Lack of proper maintenance and knowledge very often translates into an inadequate management of the life cycle of refrigerant gases. More refrigerant leakage means less efficient equipment and higher emission of high GWP (global warming potential) gases into the atmosphere,” according to a Global Environment Facility (GEF) report.

Network of experts

   The CCIH is so far eyed to be run by any of the following training institutions—De La Salle University Laguna, TESDA Green Technology Center or the University of the pHIlippines Los Banos Post Harvest Horticulture Training and Research Center.

   The CCIH will maintain the network of experts in the project.  It will run cold chain technology exhibition and training center.   (Melody Mendoza Aguiba)

Pork price to remain expensive despite tariff cut; pork imports skyrocket by 150% in the first quarter

April 17, 2021

The tariff cut  that now prevails under Executive Order (EO) 128 is totally useless as pork price is seen to remain expensive, and pork import has already skyrocketed by 150.7% to 110.419 million kilos in the first quarter of 2021 even without the tariff cut.

   The United Broilers and Raisers Association (UBRA) said in a position paper filed with the Senate that inflation will not really soften just because of a tariff cut on pork imports.

   “The stated purpose of EO 128 to bring down pork prices to affordable levels and dampen inflation will not happen,“  according to UBRA President Lawyer Jose Elias “Bong” Inciong.

   Data from the Bureau of animal Industry (BAI) showed that even if a tariff cut has not yet been implemented, there was already a substantial increase of 150.70%  or 66.376 million kilos in pork imports early this year.

   This is from an import volume of 44.031 million kilos from January to March 2020 to 110.419 million kilos in the same period of 2021.

   For prime cuts like bellies and pork cuts, the increase in pork imports has also been significant at 254% or from 10.719 million kilos in January to March 2020 to  38.024 million in the same period of 2021.

   It is notable that the period accounted for started even prior to the onset of the effects of the Covid 19 pandemic lockdowns.

   “Covid was not yet a major problem during the first quarter of 2020.  These increases in importation occurred without any cuts in tariff.”

   The Department of Agriculture (DA) itself set a Suggested Retail Price (SRP) for imported pork  that is not really significantly cheaper than prevailing prices. The SRP for kasim is  P270 per kilo, and for liempo, P350 per kilo.

   “If this is the expected retail price after reducing the tariff for pork, then there is no improvement in the situation of our  consumers.  Since there will be no significant change in retail prices, why forego badly needed revenues by reducing tariffs on imported pork?” said Inciong.   

United Broilers and Raisers Assn President Lawyer Jose Elias “Bong” Inciong

   UBRA asserted government should rather let tariff rate at 30% in-quota and 40% out-quota.

   The farmers’ group lamented that the current pork crisis is not only a result of the local hog industry’s  contraction of African swine fever (ASF).

   Rather, it is the natural consequence  of the Philippine government’s intentional plan in the last 25 years to depend on importation and neglect its own Filipino farmers’ welfare.

   “The executive branch was never serious about developing Philippine agriculture and fisheries.”

   It is unfortunate that government really intended trade liberalization to keep retail prices of critical goods such as pork  low.

   When it joined World Trade Organization just before turn-of-the-century in 2000, government merely hoped free trade will compel local producers to be competitive.

   However, this is a plan bound to fail.

   “Retail prices have remained expensive for consumers because of a disconnect with farm gate prices  and even with imports.  Worse, many consumers lost their jobs and livelihoods and became OFWs (Overseas Filipino Workers.)”

   While other countries took advantage of beneficial provisions of WTO’s free market offer, the Philippine government just opened up its industries to exposure to cheap imports.

   But it neglected its own farm sector by failing to implement WTO’s provisions for domestic support, trade remedies, and Sanitary and Phytosanitary measures.

   “The Philippines, unlike other government interpreted this (market access) to mean only import liberalization,” he said.

   “Domestic support is about production and consumer subsidies and by extension, even export subsidies.  This is an area where the Philippines has performed very poorly through the failure to implement laws like the AFMA (Agriculture and Fisheries Modernization Act).”

   Neither did government implement trade remedies (anti-dumping, countervailing, safeguards measures) to protect local farmers against unfair trade.

   “The government waits for the industries to suffer damage before acting,” he said.

   A blatant government negligence is in its failure to put up the National Information Network (NIN) specifically mandated under AFMA’s Sections 38-45.

   By such failure to establish a data system in trade and related information, government has failed to invoke trade remedies.  This  while other governments built their own data to establish  evidences long before an unfair trade problem arises.

   Even when it comes to SPS which should have protected the local pork industry from entry of ASF and other diseases, it failed. 

   Unfortunately, even up to now since the advent of trade liberalization more than 20 years ago, the Philippines does not yet have the first border inspection facility at the ports.

   “The absence of a first border inspection area at customs is one of the most damning indication of the  disinterest of government in agriculture.  It is the reason ASF got inside our country.”  (Melody Mendoza Aguiba)

Bayer puts up community vegetable farm in Calauan, Laguna, partners with Don Bosco TVET Center

April 17, 2021

Life science company Bayer has launched a second vegetable farm to benefit relocated communities in Calauan, Laguna. This is part of the company’s bid to augment food and livelihood requirements for families where needed.

   Situated beside Southville 7 in Barangay Dayap, the 2,200-square meter farm is intended to support the regular feeding program in the community and contribute to providing an income source for community residents turned farmers.

   “We’re excited to have this second opportunity to reach out to communities and promote agriculture for both food and livelihood,” said Vinit Jindal, managing director of Bayer Philippines. “Our colleagues are passionate about bringing our Bayer vision to life—Health for All, Hunger for None, and this is just one of the many ways on how our contribution can make a positive impact in society.”

   Prior to the Bayer Kubo project in Calauan, the first urban farm was inaugurated in Taguig in January 2020 before the COVID-19 pandemic hit the country.

   “When we first launched the Bayer Kubo project in Taguig, we had hoped to bring in medical expertise who could impart knowledge on healthcare topics as part of our capabilities,” said Bryan Rivera, head of communications and public affairs, science & sustainability of Bayer Philippines. “As the pandemic led to restricted people movement, we had to postpone these activities. However, the urban farm became a blessing for residents as this allowed them to make good use of their time through growing food right in their backyard.”

   The crops initially grown in the Calauan vegetable farm include sweet corn, squash, tomatoes, and bottle gourd. The site also has a seedling nursery and a kubo that serves as a venue for training activities related to recommended farming practices.

Bayer Philippines Managing Director Vinit Jindal (center) leads harvest of squash at Bayer’s community vegetable farm in Caluan, Laguna

   For the two projects, Bayer partnered with Rise Against Hunger Philippines as the latter has been active in distributing food through its food bank network, especially during the COVID-19 crisis.

   “The community residents here in Barangay Dayap are eager to take care of the farm as they know it would bring them a source of income while supporting the regular feeding program of Rise Against Hunger,” said Jomar Fleras, executive director of Rise Against Hunger Philippines.    

   “In our agreement, part of the produce will go to the feeding program, the farmer volunteers, and managed by Don Bosco Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) Center in Calauan.”

   Rise Against Hunger is an international hunger relief organization that distributes food and life-changing aid to the world’s most vulnerable, mobilizing the necessary resources to end hunger by 2030.

   Father Jeffrey L. Mangubat, administrator and technical director of Don Bosco TVET Center in Calauan, was grateful for having the project established within their training facility.

Bayer Kubo becomes a center a training center not only for farming but health concerns regarding the Covid 19 pandemic, and even family planning for the Calauan, Laguna community

   “We see this as a gateway to encourage the community to look for ways to become self-sustaining by getting involved in farming, whether big or small. We believe that this is not the last initiative of Bayer and Rise Against Hunger as we uplift the lives of families through the Bayer Kubo project and future engagement activities,” he said. (Bryan Rivera)

Education think tank pushes legislation institutionalizing online learning

April 10, 2021

An education think tank has pushed for a legislation institutionalizing online or “blended” education as evidences show internet-based learning is creating renewed zealousness for learning among young students across all levels.

   The Covid 19 pandemic just compelled many schools to resort to online methods of teaching upon the pandemic’s advent early last year.

   This means online learning becomes part of the blended learning mode. “Blended” also involves the traditional face-to-face system and the use of radio and television, according to the Department of Education.   

   Repeated studies of education expert Philippine Normal University (PNU) has been proving that online education is inevitably becoming pertinent in twentieth-century education.

   Researches over the last 10 years compiled by Dr. Edna Luz Raymundo-Abulon of PNU even indicate that technology, as part of other education strategies, can spell the difference in Philippines’ reversing the “brain drain” phenomenon. 

   Apparently, the brain drain phenomenon — where Filipino teachers choose rather to work abroad than teach here– is caused not only by the low wage at home, but also the lack of opportunities to growth.

   New methods in teaching through technology may turn out to be the hope toward brain gain— winning back home lost teaching workforce.

   The PNU research is a compilation of 89 published researches in recognized refereed scientific journals  and 38 research reported to the Educational Policy Research and Development Center (EPRDC). 

Blended Learning. Source: Let’s Learn English

   The researches were authored by PNU teaching professionals and conducted from 2010 to 2020.

   The report supports PNU’s mandate under Republic Act 9647 which designated PNU as the country’s  National Center for Teacher Education (NCTE).  It made PNU a center  on innovations and alternative systems and their utilization and application to teacher training and development.

   PNU teacher-researchers are among those that instruct the country’s learners in grade school, high school, college (HEIs), and teaching leaders and administrators.  PNU has also trained many teachers in more difficult subjects under STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Agriculture, and Mathematics).

   The use of technology in (via blended modality) in higher education has been proven to be effective.  This was especially true for teaching Learning Management Systems—a software for administering of educational or training programs (Balagtas et al. 2018).

   Even for learners in basic education, technology has been known to be enhancing learning.  A study  on MyOpenMath, an online learning management system in grade school, was found to help young pupils not only learn Math efficiently.

   More so, the study of Sarmiento and Prudente discovered that a practical function of MyOpenMath is it prevents copying of homework among students.  That ensures pupils’ authentic Math learning.

   To explore students’ thoughts regarding blended learning, students’ perception has been solicited in another PNU study (Mancao and Morales, Abulon, Ermita & David).  The study showed that blended learning—integrating online lectures with classroom lectures — is an “efficient and effective” way to teach or learn college courses.

   But while college students have positively welcomed the use of internet and gadgets (laptop, netbook, mobile phone) as part of education, the problem oftentimes is the lack of readiness in using these.

   Cost of gadgets and internet connection remain to be a major hindrance to online learning.  Moreover, the presence of qualified teachers adept in software and hardware is another problem.

   This is where a legislative policy may come in. That is to ensure that gaps in blended learning is collectively addressed by the Department of Education, Department of Information Communications Technology and relevant agencies.

   As the government has a thrust to enhance education on STEAM ((science, technology, engineering, agri-fisheries, and mathematics), the PNU report stressed that new pedagogies (teaching methods) including the use of technology must be introduced.

   “Proper assistance must be given by universities in implementing new pedagogies. For instance, with blended learning, standard templates, class schedules, and online rules must be developed (Mancao et al., 2015).”

   “In any new or innovative strategy to be implemented, it must first be determined that there are enough resources, instructors must be properly trained, and students must be involved in ensuring that these pedagogies are properly applied.”

   Blended learning is actually being suggested as a solution to addressing the problem of large classes across all levels in the Philippines.  Ideal class size may just be 20-30 students per class.  But it is not uncommon to find classes of 40 and above even in grade school.

   “Studies looked at approaches that can be used in order to address limitations like large classes.   One such study examined the effective teaching strategies that can be applied in large classes (Reyes & Dumanhug, 2015). Another study looked at an innovative approach that can integrate technology in teaching—blended learning,”  reported Abulon.

   The fact remains the gaps in technology use in schools have to be addressed.

   One basic facility that has to be enhanced in higher learning (college and graduate) is the online library.  PNU itself promotes a web-based research management system as part of developing a university research portal.

   At PNU, the web-based research portal developed has provided a fast, systematic, and organized research management system that keeps record and tracks all research activities in the university.

   In higher education (college and graduate schools), there should be policies to ensure that the curriculum is relevant to present needs of the society.

   “Archaic ways which no longer serve their purpose must not be retained (e.g., Anito & Morales, 2019).”

DepEd’s Blended Learning Mode

   “Higher education could greatly benefit from technology, such as in the delivery of training using a blended modality (Balagtas et al., 2018).”

   Moreover, a PNU research found out online learning is not only effective.  Important, it can also be fun and enjoyable as one class in a Teacher Education Institution (TEI) showed.   A TEI is a school focused on training teachers. 

   “The use of low-cost tablets wherein online and offline course-related activities were implemented to an intact class in a TEI was piloted for a semester.  It found out that learning became enjoyable with the tablet because of the many useful apps that could optimize learning (Cacho et.al, 2017).”

   The use of smartphones (in-class and after-class) was also explored in a class of pre-service teachers (Cacho 2017).

   “The study highlighted the functionalities of the apps in android phones commonly used by the students in relation to better access to relevant information. There is cohesiveness during collaborative learning activities.”  (Melody Mendoza Aguiba)

Govt asked to cut onerous 26-27% agri insurance tax that hinders entry of cash-rich private sector investors

April 2, 2021                                                                                                                   

The government should slash the onerous tax of 26-27% on non-life and agriculture insurance premium that blocks entry of cash-rich private sector investors that can significantly accelerate rural farm activity through financing.

  The misery of Filipino farmers is often blamed on the dearth of facilities on micro-financing and its constant aid micro-insurance.

   But agri-finance expert Dr. Jaime Aristotle Alip asserts in a webinar hosted by the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study & Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) that cutting tax on insurance premium will significantly raise the number of private insurance offerings. 

   Alip is  chairman emeritus and pioneering founder of  the country’s largest microfinance firm CARD MRI (Center for Agriculture & Rural Development Inc.-Mutually Reinforcing Institutions).

   He said tax on non-life insurance, including those for crop or agriculture insurance, should be around the rate of life insurance which is only at a minimal 2%.  Other non-life insurance with high tax he cites are disaster insurance and health insurance.

   “If you want private sector participation, you must level the playing field.  You should lower down non-life premium tax (including tax for crop or agriculture insurance). I think there will be many private sector players (given this),” said Alip during SEARCA’s microinsurance forum.

   SEARCA held the virtual forum “Agricultural Investment Risks:  Empowering Smallholder Farmers through Micro-Insurance” as part of its thrust toward Accelerating Transformation Through Agricultural Innovation (ATTAIN).

   Government does need to subsidize agri insurance because the regime will be market-driven.

   “It will be the law of numbers and the law of efficiency (that will work).  The gap must be addressed.  Lawmakers should make non life insurance affordable,” Alip said.

   Alip, a Ramon Magsaysay awardee (2008), stressed micro-insurance plays a significant role in boosting private sector investment in micro-financing or in extending loans to small farmers.

     Once there is insurance or a guarantee program for farmers’ loans, banks are automatically willing to lend even to small farmers, Alip said.

   CARD pays insurance claims fast — precisely because there has already been a pre-deposited insurance premium for the disaster, calamity, or typhoon.

Ramon Magsaysay Awardee Dr. Jaime Aristotle Alip pioneers micro-financing in the Philippines

   “Within 8 hours we’ll pay.  If there’s an issue (problems) involved, in 48 hours we will pay.  The speed of payment shows how serious you are.   Microinsurance should be believable.  It should just be  like a  deposit when there’s a claim.  You pay it right away,” he said.

   Insurance or a loan guarantee is critically important in financing the marginalized farmers, in enabling them to get out of poverty.

   If farmers are paid right away, they will be able to re-invest in agriculture again after a misfortune.

   “Insurance is an important safety net so that the poor will not slide back to poverty.  If we’re able to pay farmers right away, their loyalty and affinity to insurance will be there,” he said.

   Because of digitization, CARD accelerated its payment systems.  It now pays  through mobile means (celfone).

   With the Covid 19 pandemic’s lockdowns, its clients do not need to go to its offices.  They can make payments, deposit, and withdraw online.

   CARD was put up in December 1986.  It has grown into a group of 23 mutually reinforcing institutions (MRI).

   “My vision was for a bank owned and managed by the poor.  I believe the reason why poor people are poor is not because of lack of access to resources.  It is the lack of control over resources,” he said.

   “After 10 years, we put up the first microfinance institution in the country, the CARD Bank, owned by its members.  We completely turned banking system upside down.”

   CARD Bank cut all bureaucracy in lending.  It releases loans just two days from application.

   It does not require collateral from borrowers.

CARD’s digital initiatives enable it to pay insurance claims fast.

   Instead of requiring small borrowers financial projections or feasibility studies and numerous documents, it just requires a one-page form for loan application. 

   Now it has spin-off companies engaged in lending in both rural areas and urban areas.

   It has the CARD MBA (mutual benefit association) owned by members and a non life insurance business linked with Pioneer Group

   “All policies, all regulations within the standard of the Insrance Commission, are implemented by the owners. What is our value proposition for these companies? Since they own it, we have a very small premium,” he said.

  Overhead cost of the company is only 1-2% while some insurance companies incur 40-60% overhead cost.

   CARD now has 3,482 offices in 85 provinces covering 1,577 municipalities and cities and 40,440 barangays.

   “The last frontier of the country is in Tawi Tawi, in Sitangkay.  We are present there,–

30 minutes away from there by pumpboat, you are in Malaysia.”

   It is in Balut Island in South Cotabato; 45 minutes to 1 hour from there, you are in Indonesia. It is also in Batanes, right near Taiwan.

    It has 17,157 full-time staff.  It has offices for OFWs (overseas Filipino workers) in HOngkong, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia, and Vietnam.

      “This is how we are exporting the technology of CARD in micro-financing and micro-insurance.”

   As of January 2021, it has so far served 7.43 million clients; insured 27.219 million individuals; has outstanding loan of P30.77 billion; savings of P28 billion; operational efficiency, 117.1%; financial sufficiency, 114.89%, number of stockholders, 120,252.

   It accounts now for 20% percent of the entire microfinance industry in the country.

   It has extended 14,761 scholarships; 9,783 graduate scholarships; and 4.693 million with access to its health services.

   It accounts for around 80% of entire insured Filipinos.  Those it insures are mostly in the poverty level who are given the chance to bounce back economically in times of difficulty and loss.

   Its repayment rate before the pandemic was 99.9 percent.  It faltered a bit due to the pandemic and is now recovering in repayment rate to a more stable 93-95%.

   “   “We’re not just in the business of microfinance and imicroinsurance. Were in the business of poverty eradication,” said Alip. “Our major focus is on very poor women.  If you’re able to help poor women to do business, their priority will always be the family, food for the children, education for the children.”

  These are among its functions:

  1. It owns hospitals, clinics and keeps doctors and nurses.  It has a pharmacy company that supports clients with affordable and generic medicine.
  2.    It has a marketing support for farmers and businesses engaged in cottage products  to help these expand and grow.
  3. It has a school on microfinance and microinsurance. 
  4. It has health insurance and hospitalization insurance
  5.    It has training programs and a school for college courses offering Entrepreneurship, Accountancy, Information Technology, and Tourism. (Melody Mendoza Aguiba)