Thursday, October 05, 2006

Pag-asa sa Paglaya Multi-purpose Cooperative-Cebu

Whoever said that an ex-convict has no chance to live and be a productive member of society?

Yes, ex-convicts who have gone out of their prison cells and who have that determination to sever the tie that binds them to criminality and firmly assure themselves that they have passed through the “Bridge of No Return”, have all the reasons to be given second chances.

The objective of the Pag-asa sa Paglaya (PSP) Multipurpose Cooperative-Cebu is to give former prisoners another chance to become productive members of the society again.

It was in 1993 when PSP started its experimental livelihood project for ex-convicts and their families. They started with less equipment and less financial support but went a little much ahead. In 2004, they decided to go full-blast with the project even with the very limited resources.

As if in a miracle, the project grew beyond expectation.

Many generous benefactors helped PSP sustain the momentum of the project. PSP’s candle making venture grew with the help of volunteers and friends, until the people started to take notice that ex-convicts can be productive, honest, hardworking and creative.

Why candle-making?

Candles are aide memoirs for ex-convicts of what they desire: hope, freedom and life.

In January 2004, PSP won the “First Philippine Development Innovation Market Place” competition sponsored by World Bank. Now, the PSP Multi-purpose Cooperative has benefited more than 80 families of renewed ex-prisoners.

In August 2005, PSP received its new status as a National Cooperative,a status that gives them authority to extend operations anywhere in the Philippines.

The PSP Multi-purpose Cooperative has gone a long way since it started its struggling operations in 1993. The PSP farm in Tawagan1, Barangay Sirao,a mountain barangay in Cebu City, that temporarily served as the training and integration center of PSP, is now theirs as the farm was already donated to the cooperative in January 2004. It has an area of 10, 600 square meters.

Today PSP has its own machine that is capable of producing 60,000 dipped candles a day. Aside from candle making, PSP has expanded into organic farming and has included other services for newly-released convicts such as driving lessons, practical electricity, carpentry and biogas masonry, organic poultry, hog raising, organic food processing and many others.

The cooperative now has a total of over P6 million including capital for candle production.

PSP boasts of its own showroom for their finished candle products situated at 32 Gororodo Avenue, Cebu City.(business profile)

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