Recently, a total of 20 community enterprises were awarded by Villar SIPAG (Social Institute for Poverty Alleviation and Governance) of the nationwide search for the most outstanding and promising community enterprises in the country that provide good practices or innovations to reduce poverty.

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The Villar SIPAG Awards for Poverty Reduction, launched August last year, intends to recognize the exemplary achievements of community enterprises as models of good practices in poverty reduction.

Villar Foundation received almost 200 entries which came from the National Capital Region, Northern Luzon, Southern Luzon and the Visayas and Mindanao regions. Some of the community enterprises which joined for the awards were nominated by their respective local government units. Others directly applied to join the competition.

Awarded as the 10 Most Outstanding Community Enterprises are the Andres M. Soriano Employees Fresh Fruits Cooperative, Baclaran Vendors Development Cooperative, Baclaran Parañaque; Bukluran Multi Purpose Cooperative, Dasmariñas, Cavite; Kalasag Farmers Producers Cooperative, San Jose City, Nueva Ecija; Malapatan Multi Purpose Cooperative, Malapatan, Sarangani; Nueva Segovia Consortium Cooperative, Caoayan, Ilocos Sur; Paglaum Multi Purpose Cooperative, Misamis, Occidental; People’s Alliance for Progress Multi Purpose Cooperative, Panamao, Sulu; San Francisco Associations of Differently-Abled Person Multi Purpose Cooperative San Francisco, Agusan Del Sur; and San Joaquin Multi Purpose Cooperative, Sarat, Ilocos Norte.

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Named as the 10 Most Promising Community Enterprises are Catmon Multipurpose Cooperative in Catmon, Sta. Maria, Bulacan; Davao Ventures Employees Cooperative, Calinan, Davao City; Danlugan Farmers Multi Purpose Cooperative, Danlugan, Pagadian City; Davao Oriental Coco Husk Social Enterprises, Inc., San Isidro, Davao Oriental; Ipil Market Vendors Multi Purpose Cooperative, Ipil, Zambaonga Sigubay; Light House Cooperative; Paco Soriano Pandacan Development Cooperative, Paco, Manila; People’s Officials, Employees and Community Multi Purpose Cooperative, Polanco, Zamboanga del Norte; Southern Iloilo Area Multipurpose Cooperative in Oton, Iloilo and Valenzuela Development Cooperative in Valenzuela City, Metro Manila.

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Manny Villar

With social responsibility as its guiding principle, Villar SIPAG founding chairman, former Senate President Manny Villar said it has initiated, implemented and supported various projects to improve the quality of life of people in the communities where they live.

But as Senator Cynthia Villar cited in her speech during the awarding ceremony: “Goodness is its own reward. The virtues of hard work and persistence are its own rewards.” She urged the winners to continue to persevere and improve their lives and those of the people around them.

The lady senator herself has established over 300 community enterprises all over the country. These are an offshoot of her green social enterprises on water hyacinth weaving, coconet weaving, organic fertilizer making, charcoal making, citronella oil making, handmade paper making, and waste plastics recycling.

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Cynthia Villar

Villar, who is also known as ‘Misis Hanepbuhay’, shared that she and her husband values the virtues of hard word (sipag) and perseverance (tiyaga). Their success story has inspired and continue to inspire many Filipinos.

“I am glad that we have inspired many individuals and groups of people with our own stories of hard work and persistence. The more people who will work towards the goal of providing livelihood and jobs to the people, the faster we can realize our collective goal of lifting our fellow Filipinos out of poverty,” she cited.

The 10 Most Outstanding Community Enterprises and 10 Most Promising Community Enterprise winners were chosen based on the criteria for each categories- effectiveness, significance, financial viability, sustainability and adaptability.

Aside from the criteria set in the selection process, a team of validators headed by Prof. Edel Guiza of Asian institute of Management (AIM) conducted series of screenings, site validations and interviews for the past four months.

Among the questions asked in interviews delved in the management of the business, creation of jobs in the community, and the increase in the household income of its members.

The top 10 awardees in the Outstanding Community Enterprises received a cash reward of P250,000 while the 10 winners in the Most Promising Community Enterprises received P100,000 cash each.

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