Pusong Camarines Norte (PCN) Micro-finance through Pig dispersal and Recycling: A global-local link to development

The present global economic crisis and the country's external debt servicing are reflected on the minimal budget given to Education and Health Departments - two important offices that caters to two major needs of both urban and rural populations. According to the estimate of the Freedom from Debt Coalition, the health and education budgets amount to merely 6.57% and 30.06% of what the government is securing for debt service. The response of many Filipinos is to migrate to wealthier countries to augment their income and to sustain the basic needs of their dependents. Those who have no chance to migrate are left behind to face the consequences of the country's economic situation.

The Pusong Camarines Norte is an e-group of out migrants from the province of Camarines Norte who are mostly based in the United States and other parts of the globe. Their constant communication and sharing about the situations in the province which they "left behind" led to their idea of "not only talking" but also of "making things happen" through pig or swine dispersal and recycling. The strategy is to infuse a positive contribution to improve the economic life of the people left behind in the Philippines (starting from the Province of Camarines Norte) through innovated micro-financing minus the cash. This micro-financing is through swine dispersal and recycling for another batch of recipients. The cash donations by expatriate members are converted into female swine which is dispersed to recipients. After the female swine born offspring, redistribution to another sets of recipients ensue (recycling). This program is novel for the fact that it is managed long distance through internet and trust. In less than three years, the program has spread in several key towns in the provinces. To date, some province-bound beneficiaries are starting to create a cooperative for the sustenance of the project.

 The initial success of this civil society's activity of infusing local development through global connectivity (or the world-wide-web) addresses two basic realities: (1)The power of computer literacy and access to it, and (2) The recognition of culture. Access to computer technology made local community's global connection and communication easier. Moreover, pig or swine among many Filipinos are literally piggy banks. It has been a backyard fixture used as source of emergency fund of the household.

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