By ALFREDO P HERNANDEZ
THE Larap-PIM Association (LaPIMa) will expand its projects aimed at helping families of less-fortunate members.
This was disclosed by Samuel Tatom, LaPIMa secretary, in emails sent to members and batch mates who are based overseas.
The MWBuzz was furnished copies of said emails.
Tatom said LaPIMa has been active in five major projects, namely high school scholarship program, Tesda vocational and technical skills training scholarship program, piglet dispersal program, financial assistance for medical treatment and assistance to the families of deceased members.
He said from 2005 to this year, his group has spent about Php151,000 to carry out such projects.
LaPIMa comprises Larap residents, most of whom are graduates and students at the Jose Panganiban National High School (JPNHS).
Tatom said that every year, Larap has a number of students finishing high school who have no prospects of pursuing further education due to financial difficulties.
A number of them are children of marginal fishermen, small farmers, owners of small stalls at the local market, market vendors and those with low-paying jobs elsewhere.
“We feel that we, at LaPIMa, have to look after them to the best we can and our scholarship program is trying to address that,” Tatom told MWBuzz.
The group’s scholarship program had seen four graduates from the JPNHS, namely 1) Mark Kevin Lozares (2008); 2) Kenneth Pandes (2009); Charlene Rosello (2010); and Janine Cuba (2011).
Ms Cuba is taking a four-year accounting course at the Mabini Colleges in Daet, under a scholarship scheme supported by the Elep-Tatom Family, through LaPIMa.
Three other students are still in high school but who are to graduate one after the other starting 2014: 1) Maria Paula Alvarez -- 2nd year, to graduate in 2014; 2) John Michael Mendoza -- 3rd year to graduate in 2013; and 3) John Joven Flores -- 4th year to graduate in 2012.
The cost of such scholarship support is Php60,000, Tatom said.
LaPIMa’s Tesda scholarship program has four beneficiaries right now, namely 1) Aaron Kevin Escarcha - welding; 2) Reymark Secuya - welding; 3) Julius Ibasco - welding; and 4) John Joven Flores - automotive.
They will graduate this month from a four-month course that began last September at Tesda center in Labo, Camarines Norte.
The cost of their studies is K46,000.
The association had initiated a piglet dispersal project to help poor member-families augment their income.
Beneficiary families received one piglet each which they raised till it reached the marketable weight – usually after four months -- and sold at the public market in Larap.
Beneficiaries are supposed to set aside an amount from the sales proceeds to buy a new piglet, which they could grow again.
This way the piglet cycle is not interrupted, assuring the beneficiary families future income, Tatom said.
“We also extended financial assistance to the 10 families of our deceased members at a cost of Php10,000,” says Tatom.
He said that they also extended medical assistance to some families at a cost of Php8,000.
Tatom said they are doing fund-raising activities to boost LaPIMa’s finances, “so we could help more member families educate their children and also provide them a source of livelihood.”