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Various SIFI livelihood-assisted ARBOs (Agrarian Reform Beneficiary Organizations) from all over Negros flocked the two-day workshop on Debt Management at THE SIFI Training Center in Talisay City.

Workshop participants identify their respective roles.

The SIFI Livelihood Program, headed by Cristina May Poblador conducted the workshop with the theme: “Debt Management: Uphold Farmers’ Dignity through Sustainable and Democratic Organization Management” on November 29 and December 1, 2022. A total of 27 participants from Northern and Central Negros attended on the first day, while 20 ARBO representatives from Southern Negros participated on the second day.

Poblador said that debt management is just an objective towards the main goal of the multi-series workshop which is poverty alleviation. Gil Portillo, the resource speaker for the seminar, said that labor dignifies men and that dignity is identified through the 7 aspects of a human being – spiritual, social, economic, political, cultural, intellectual, and physical aspects.

Moreover, Edith Villanueva, President and COO of SIFI, shared that Negros has a kind of “crop mentality” that cannot be found in other places. She said that sugarcane is harvested after a year and people are often left with no choice but to depend on loans and utang until profit is obtained. “We have to make policies that people can follow in borrowing and paying,” she added.

“Debt management is a conscience.” Portillo reminds the representatives that the values and principles of a person will affect the way they deal with debt. He added that the mission and vision of an organization should serve the interest and welfare of its people.

In photos: Resource person Gil Portillo explains the importance of an organizational structure through an activity.

With this, the participants were tasked to identify organizational structures and member roles. The activity further expounded factors and issues regarding procedures, transactions, and accountability within an organization.

ARBO representatives shared in the open forum that some of them were unaware of their respective organizational structure and roles because of low member involvement. However, they committed to impart the lessons they learned to their members to better improve the supervision in their organization.

In photos:
SIFI Livelihood-assisted ARBOs from Northern-Central Negros (left) and Southern Negros (right) together with Gil Portillo, workshop resource person, and Cristina May Poblador, SIFI Livelihood Officer.

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