Enactus UNC is an accredited nonacademic organization in the University of Nueva Caceres that focuses mainly on community extension services. This organization implemented a livelihood project that helps the settlers of Liberty Village, a residential area established for illegal settlers from different barangays in Naga City. The government secured them a lot in a formal settlement area, but with minimal access to livelihood. This group of settlers has a basic knowledge in agriculture and has a desire to form a for-profit organization to provide themselves another source of income. It is in these situations that we see entrepreneurial opportunities for the settlers of Liberty Village, Cararayan, Naga City.
After further assessing the community, and through the guidance of academic advisors and business experts, the student leaders of Enactus UNC implemented a community empowerment project MusHOME, that provides an opportunity for the newly relocated families to have a sustainable income through the cultivation and production of oyster mushrooms. Our team has successfully helped them register their business to the Cooperative Development Authority last 24th of January 2019 and named them as Liberty Village Agriculture Cooperative (LVAC), with 24 members as cooperators.
We consulted, collaborated, and formed partnerships with several government offices such as Cooperative Development Authority (CDA), Department of Agriculture thru Naga City Agriculture Office, Local Government Unit of Naga City thru Ginhawang Nagueño Program (GNP), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), and university offices and organizations such as Institutionalized Community Extension Services (ICES), College of Business and Accountancy (CBA), and Junior Philippine Institute of Accountants (JPIA). This project was made possible through the partnership built with the GNP securing a funding amounting to P48,962.00 and community extension fund of the university amounting to P18,962.50 that gave us a total of Php 67,924.50 budget, where Php 16,505.80 was used to build a 2×3 mushroom growing house and make 500 fruiting bags, and a donated lot where the structure stands.
Since the said community is now a registered cooperative, several organizations chose to help, improve, and sustain the project. Through the collaborative efforts of CBA-MBA of UNC and by BIGG’S Incorporated, a 2×3 meters mushroom growing house now becomes a 3×5.5 meters mushroom growing house. Additionally, the partial materials received from Ginhawang Nagueño Program were used by the cooperative members to improve the flooring of mushroom house while the other materials were used in constructing a new outlet that will be used in selling rice and mushrooms directly to the public. Furthermore, several training and seminars were conducted for them to successfully manage the project. We conducted a seminar-workshop on oyster mushroom production and cultivation that was facilitated by City Agriculture of Naga. The members were also introduced to the processing of mushroom by-products, in collaboration with Entrepreneurial Class. Moreover, the Financial and Business Literacy Seminar-Workshop in partnership with Junior Philippine Institute of Accountants (JPIA) educated them on the proper recording of cash and other related matters that would further develop their business and agricultural skills. A Reorientation Seminar was also conducted with the continued support of Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) through Mr. Oroseo Tuy II, a CBA faculty member, that truly helped the members to know more about their Cooperative and encouraged them to be involved in their future operations.
Despite the challenges that our project has faced causing nominal income earned from natural calamities and contamination for instance, this project still managed to create an impact in different aspects: a.) Economic impact, the legality of business, the organization was registered as cooperative. More community members became interested in joining the cooperative and more organizations would like to help improve the business; b.) Social impact, 24 individuals are with new and improved agricultural skills where one of their members became a Barangay Agriculture Technician and then became a Resource Speaker for similar training that enhanced his communication skills, other than his skills in farming. Later on, he was hired by the City Agriculture Office as a farm worker of food processing and mushroom production last 3rd day of February of 2020; c.) Environmental impact, we help reduce the abundance of agricultural wastes and recycle them, such as rice straw and sawdust that are mere wastes of farms and the wood industry. These two substrates were used to make a mushroom habitat. Also, the community members utilized the mushroom waste through the Vermiculture Project. The House African Night Worms provides an additional source of income by converting mushroom waste into organic fertilizer. With the things being said, a development plan was created to continually improve the project. The goals are to: a.) improve the marketing and pricing strategy of the cooperative in selling their products; b.) secure markets to help them increase their sales; and, c.) introduce to the cooperative the proper spending of money, pay off debts quickly (if any), and manage their finances well.
Through this project and other related programs creating difference and impact, Enactus UNC has qualified for the National Finals 2019 proudly representing Naga City and waving the flag of University of Nueva Caceres. Our team won the fourth place in Pitching Competition of Enactus National Finals last July 27, 2019 at Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay City. Teams of different universities around the Philippines competed and showcased their community and the livelihood they have provided for the community they chose to help. With the strong pressure and competition, the Enactus UNC team confidently conquered the national stage in front of business, government, and academic leaders.
But with the declaration of Corona Virus as a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO), there is an increased effort to prevent the spread of the virus, which has meant the cancellation or postponing of many events and activities. This pandemic greatly affects the community we support and so does the business that has been established. But as entrepreneurs, we viewed everything with a silver lining and took it as a step forward. This pandemic was only one of the challenges experienced by our organization because a number of typhoons hit the Philippines, particularly our region. And the strongest typhoon in 2020 – Typhoon Rolly with an international name Goni, made landfall on the southeastern tip of Luzon in the Philippines in November, which peaked at 265 kph with storm surges, unleashed heavy rains and damaging winds. This became the biggest turning point in our project. The mushroom house, the Bigasan Outlet, and the vermiculture project were completely destroyed and damaged by the said typhoon. But the cooperative members are stronger than all of these setbacks for they were able to start and stand again. Through the efforts of Institutionalized Community Extension Services of our University, Local Government Unit of Naga, donors, volunteers, and community members, the new mushroom house is now under construction – a stable and strengthened house that would be able to withstand the drastic weather changes.
Enactus UNC has proven that its members and former members were not just school ready but life ready. The activities enabled students to participate actively both inside and outside school errands enriching their potentials in the most beneficial way. In addition, the learning and input students have gained in the room discussions and peer to peer collaboration were effectively carried out and implemented outside the classroom and the school as well. This evident manifestation of student-learning application in real life clearly shows that the Enactus organization has clearly and holistically impacted the lives of its student members and the community. As the first Enactus team in Bicol, we will continually empower people to transform opportunities into real, sustainable actions for themselves and their communities. Enactus UNC further believes that, as a united organization bringing out the best in its members, practicing collaboration and serving as a bridge towards the ones who possess a helping hand, the organization and its adopted community will soon create a larger scale of impact and acquire progress.
BUSINESS ADVISORY BOARD
Ms. Francisca M. Sabdao, MAT Director, Institutionalized Community Extension Services (ICES)
Dean Cerila C. Sanchez, CPA, MBA Dean, College of Business and Accountancy
Mr. Oroseo Tuy II, CPA Faculty, College of Business and Accountancy
Cooperative Development Authority
Ms. Analyn P. Bustamante Faculty, College of Business and Accountancy
Ms. Patricia A. Joven Graduate, College of Business and Accountancy
Dr. Maria Alida A. Mores Faculty, College of Business and Accountancy
Ms. Maribel N. Ballon Faculty, College of Business and Accountancy