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3rd district constituents empowered via livelihood, education

| by: Roger Serna

Third district PB Grecilda ‘Gigi’ Sanchez partners with various agencies to provide livelihood and education projects to her constituents to sustain their daily needs.

She tapped the services of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR); the Technological Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda); the University of the Philippine’s (UP) Department of Computer Science Business Cluster for Information Technology; and the Department of Science and Technology.

Sanchez initiated the planting of spinosum seaweeds in the seawaters off the coasts of Asturias, Balamban and Tuburan by women’s and farmers’ organizations. This is in cooperation with the BFAR, the Seaweed Industry Association of the Philippines (SIAP) and Shemberg Biotech Corporation.

Spinosum is a good source of carrageenan. It usually thrives in the shallow part of the sea just below the low tide line, on reef areas and on sandy-corally to rocky substrates in areas where water flow is slow to moderate.

Carrageenan is a product derived from certain types of red algae, a seaweed.It works as a thickener, stabilizer and emulsifier, keeping mixed ingredients from separating and giving certain types of food a smooth texture and flavor.

It is often used in dairy-based foods, like ice cream, yogurt, and cottage cheese, because it reacts well with milk proteins. Carrageenan is also found in jelly, pie filling, chocolate, salad dressing and even as a fat substitute in processed meat. Because it comes from algae, it can be used as a substitute for gelatin for vegetarian and vegan products.

Other non-food items like toothpaste, personal lubricants and air freshener gels may also include carrageenan. Some types of fire fighting foam also use carrageenan, which thickens the foam and helps it become sticky and more effective.

Sanchez, in partnership with the Office of Vice Governor Agnes Magpale, conducted a joint series of training for “Soap Making Livelihood Program.” A total of 1,000 residents of Toledo City, Pinamungajan, Tuburan, and Barili availed of the training and received certificates.

With UP, Sanchez offered skills enhancements held at Pinamungajan National High School. Beneficiaries included both employed and jobless constituents of the third district with no computer backgrounds.

The graduates either applied for employment or engaged in their own small businesses.

Education is also part of PB Sanchez’s agenda for her district. She extends financial assistance and offers scholarships to interested and qualified residents of the district.

Some out-of-school youth in Pinamungajan and Toledo City received financial assistance for their required equipment and tools in free trainings offered by TESDA – Toledo City. About 10 deserving students from low income families were enrolled at the University of Cebu and Southwestern University through a partnership with PB Sanchez.

She likewise initiated an education enhancement program in partnership with the Department of Science and Technology whereby review classes were conducted in public national high schools of Aloguinsan, Barili and Asturias.

The review is aimed at increasing the number of passers for the qualifying examination administered by the DOST for government scholarships in mathematics and sciences.

All these efforts were directed at giving the constituents of the third district the opportunities to improve their lives.