PGMA offers microfinancing for media coop

Erly Garcia/ PNS

Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo surprised the officers and members of the Philippine Tri-media Multi-purpose Cooperative (PTMC) last Saturday when she endorsed the group to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Taytay sa Kauswagan Inc. (TSKI) for microfinancing.

The president, who inducted the PTMC officers Friday night at Sarabia Manor Hotel and Convention Center, said she wants the media group to become part of “mainstream microfinance” so that it can engage in a livelihood project for the benefit of its members.

PTMC chairman Rufino “Pinoy” Gonzales II thanked the President for her genuine concern for the Iloilo media.

He recalled that last year Pres. Arroyo also extended help to some members of the Iloilo media who were affected by typhoon Frank.

Gonzales said microfinancing would eventually lead the cooperative and its members an opportunity to financial viability and independence.

DTI regional director Dominic Abad, who was also present during the President’s announcement, vowed to assist the PTMC in the said endeavor.

PTMC, founded in May 2009, is composed of active media practitioners from print, radio and television. It is registered with the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) with registration number ILO-5305-XL.

Its officers are: Antoinette Toledo (Manager), Maricar Calubiran (Secretary), Remegio Castor (Treasurer), and Christopher Fernandez (Auditor). The Board of Directors are: Gonzales, Erly Garcia, Jose “Jun” Lojero, Florence Hibionada, Francisco Pastrana, Rexfel Trivilegio, Robert Nem, Norwin Dela Cruz and Jason Pagunsan. Director Jerry Carual of the Presidential Close-in Photographers Office (PCPO) serves as the adviser.

Gonzales said PTMC is also open for membership to other media practitioners. “They just have to follow our rules and regulations because this is a cooperative and not just an ordinary organization,” he said.

PTMC’s first project was the relief operation for the typhoon Ondoy victims in Marikina City dubbed “Oplan Balus Bulig” where the cooperative, with the help of partner media organizations Z100-FM, The News Today, News Express, Tatak Ilonggo and Talking Point, donated six huge boxes of used clothings and several boxes of bottled water.

PTMC also facilitated the donation of US$5,000 from Offering of Filipinos and Friends for Emergency Relief (OFFER) from Houston, Texas which were given to selected beneficiaries also in Marikina City.