BDA-ZamBas, PO’s pay visit to LARBECO, Basilan

Bangsamoro Development Agency- Zamboanga-Basilan Region (BDA-ZamBas), Peoples Organizations paid a visit to Lamitan Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Cooperative (LARBECO) on March 27, 2017.

LARBECO, formerly known as Yakan Plantation was bought by former Senator Juan Ponce Enrile in 1980 and was its owner until 1988. Its major products are coconut, cacao and rubber. It is one of the most successful and lucrative cooperatives in the island.

Darul Hidaya Association (DHA) and United Ulitan Association (UUA), the peoples’ organizations organized by BDA-ZamBas sought to learn from LARBECO’s success story such as management and operation.

Mr. Edilberto S. Martinez, the Coop chairman said, “Trust and support of the members to the leadership of the cooperative is of paramount importance and this has been practiced by our members and employees since the company was turned over by the government to the beneficiaries in 1994. The government bought it from Enrile.

 “Yakan Plantation was very successful during Enrile’s ownership.  When the government took over from 1988-1994 it went bankrupt. After the cooperative was turned over to the cooperative in 1994, it started to ascend again and got successful”, Martinez said.

However, Martinez admitted that the cooperative inherited some debts”.

Ustadz Abdulaziz Andoang, a PO Officer appreciated the tour and said, “We will apply the knowledge we gained from this visit especially the inter-cropping of cacao and rubber in between coconuts, coffee and abaca”.

Martinez told the PO officers that he is willing to help them in terms of technical know-how and provide seedlings too.

Mr. Tawab S. Kararon, BDAZamBas Manager explained to the Coop officers about BDA as it is a humanitarian and development aspect of the GPH-MILF Agreement signed in Tripoli, Libya in 2001. The coop leadership and management appreciated and acknowledged BDA’s vision and mission and willing to partner with it on development from now on and onward.