Projects in Bacolod, Pampanga and Davao City
The first Philippines 5-O project was launched early in 1985 in the depressed area of Bacolod City in the island of Negros Occidental. Bacolod City has sixty barangays (villages). Through training and other activities, the project helps to meet the basic economic and social needs of women and their families in many of these. A Training Centre, built on 1,000 square metres of land donated to Project 5-O by a local family, was officially opened in April 1987. Over 7,000 women have been taught to make coconut by-products and to prepare sellable delicacies from local food products. Training has been given in home management, growing herbs, ornamental plants and fruit trees and associated business activities; as well as in handicrafts, survival cooking, acu-pressure and production of herbal medicines. Trainees also receive instruction in welfare, self-reliance and leadership.
Once the training courses are completed, the trainees are encouraged to set up income generating groups in their own homes, thus passing on the training they have had to others. Such groups are helped by the 5-O project with loan funds for the purchase of necessary raw materials. At intervals, an evaluation is undertaken to gauge the extent to which the “graduates” are making use of their training.
Similar with other project sites, Bacolod has recognised the need to provide supplementary services, such as primary health care including nutrition and family planning, so that women are supported in their training.
Rehoused squatters have been offered a range of training programmes, together with classes in environmental awareness.
For some years Project 5-O Philippines has sought to extend its activities in other areas, under centralised management. In 1993, the International Committee approved the launch of training seminars in Pampanga, supporting women whose lives had been seriously affected by the volcanic eruptions and subsequent mudflows of 1991 and 1992. These women then became catalysts in their displaced communities. An equally important element in the scheme is the initiation of ‘livelihood opportunities’ as a basis for development – micro trading, fruit and vegetable vending, soap production.
Courses in sewing and tailoring are conducted as a joint venture with the Government Technical Skills and Development Centre.
This project was launched in 2001, in Davao in the island of Mindanao, for the training of young women in home management, home arts and design, gardening, plumbing, carpentry, electricity, housekeeping and sanitation, laundry and ironing, cooking and food preparation. These skills will qualify the women for higher salaries when applying for jobs in households, hotels or restaurants.
Training in child care, caregiving for elderly and sick patients, were given at the Centre and also at hospitals, homes for the elderly, and children’s minding centres; which qualifies the trainees to get work as caregivers and paranurses.
The Davao 5-O project has been granted accreditation with TESDA, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, which assures the high standard of the curriculum and the qualifications of the graduates.
A database of well-trained domestic helpers is set up to meet the growing demand for skilled domestic helpers.