Embracing faith and development
When Typhoon Glenda struck the province of Quezon in 2014, the office of Yakap at Halik Multi-Purpose Cooperative 2 (YHMPC2), fondly called as Yakap, was razed to the ground, not even office documents and other important files were spared.
“Nawash-out yung files. Pati ‘yung soft copies (nawala),” General Manager Armel Amparo recalled.
Despite this calamity, Yakap members never wavered on their faith and continued to hope for the best for the cooperative.
“Sa bawat pagbagsak, may pagbangon,” Amparo said.
Within three months, Yakap was able to build a bigger and better office and until today, they continue to serve their 1,800-strong members into providing better quality of living.
“Turuan ang wala, akayin ang mahina”
YAKAP at HALIK stands for Yurakan at Alisin ang lahat ng sanhi ng Kahirapan at simulang Asikasuhin ang Pagpapa-unlad (YAKAP) at Hikayatin at Akayin ang Lahat tungo sa Iral na bagong Kaayusan (HALIK).
The program started in 2006 by young members of the Samahan Ng Tatlong Persona Solo Dios in Mt. Banahaw, with microfinancing as its first service. This is in line with the religious organization's vision of addressing the economic needs of its members and communities.
"(Nakita ng mga miyembro na) ang microfinancing ay magiging simula ng pagtatayo ng bangko, ospital, paaralan," Amparo said.
With the guidance from their spiritual leaders, the cooperative decentralized and split into two: Batangas and Quezon. Thus, in 2008, YHMPC2 was born.
With seed capital of PHP 18,000, the cooperative entered into various livelihood activities such as piggery, junk shop, food processing, and copra trading. Their continued growth enabled them to fulfill their vision for their members.
According to Amparo, "noong panahon na maraming bagyo, si Yakap at Halik, kahit na walang pera, namimigay ng isang kilong bigas na may kasama pang sardinas at kape, para maramdaman ng mga miyembro na hindi sila pinababayaan”.
With loans from banks and other institutions and trainings from government line agencies, the cooperative expanded into aquaculture and added a farm and hardware store in their properties.
Looking back, Amparo believes that they have been blessed because they never gave up on their aspirations. They maintain their positive outlook that in every challenge, there are rewards.
*YHMPC2 is a social enterprise partner of Peace and Equity Foundation since 2018 for the development of coastal communities in Quezon province. For more details, see: New fishing boats, gears bring better income to fisherfolks in Quezon