DISOP Philippines

A Leaf of Hope: The Gerry Tabugon Story

“I am Gerardo ‘Gerry” Tabugon, a resident of Barangay Bugho, Hinunangan, Southern Leyte. I am married to Ma. Fe Tabugon and we have two (2) female children. My source of living for the last 15 years was a bus driver. I travelled daily from Tacloban to Maasin. Being a bus driver, I experienced a miserable life. The bus operator policy implements a weekly rotation. I do not have enough food to feed my family, we have no farm, because, we have no land to till.”

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“Year 2000, I went home to Barangay Bugho. For 5 months, I have no work. We stayed with my in-laws, but, after few months, they let us transferred to another house. So, we look for a vacant house to live. Our neighbors provided our daily food. After few months, again I was able to drive a jeep. Then, I started raising pigs using commercial feeds. But, the income was almost enough to pay for the cost of the feeds.

In the year 2006, I started raising sow and boar. After a year, I became a technician of a feed company. It was then that I experienced treating diseases on swine and other livestock.

Year 2010, the CJ Feeds sent me to a training on Artificial Insemination (AI) for swine. By then, I became a private technician by the different feed companies in the Municipality of Hinunangan.

After a year, SPIADFI implemented a project in our barangay funded by DISOP and Heifer. Our organization, the Bugho Farmers Association (BFA), where I am the current president, was provided with different trainings on organizational and technical. One of these trainings was how to make organic fertilizer and feeds. From then on, I started using organic feeds and I experienced remarkable increased in income. Heifer-International also identified me as one of the Community Animal Health Workers (CAHW) in our project. It benefited and reinforce my skills more because they sent me for a 2 weeks training in Macrohon, Southern Leyte. In addition, the Philippine Carabao Center (PCC) in collaboration with LGU and SPIADFI sent me to Ubay Stock Farm in Bohol for 1 month training and provided me with complete veterinary kit.

From my income of the enterprise and as a livestock technician, I was able to construct a concrete house and bought a motorcycle with side car to be used in giving boar service to other barangays and municipalities. I was able to send my children in private high school and college in Maasin. Besides, I was able to also deposit savings regularly.

Although, CJ hired me as a fulltime technician, the bulk of my income is still derived from my swine enterprise. I also obtained additional income from being a consultant on how to construct organic pigpen. I continued paying my benefits and liberated from debts, provided basic needs to my family and parents and able to hire a regular assistant. Being a fulltime technician of CJ, I was able to provide quality services to my co-farmers since I have already budget for gasoline. Before, I only rely on SPIADFI Staff who will take me from one partner family to another who needs my services.

Before the project, I thought I cannot provide quality life for my family, but, now we are already happy. At present, I have 5 boars and 3 sows.”

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