From Scholar to Licensed Customs Broker

SMI has remained committed to helping develop sustainable communities within the Project area. In 2018, a total of PhP36.7 million was invested for education and skills training, community health, community infrastructure, enterprise development, and information, education and communication. These programs reached at least 19,183 individuals and 2,131 households in the barangays and municipalities hosting the Project.

SMI continues to work with local government units, tribal communities, and other partners in the public and private sectors. Together, we plant the future today while we harvest the fruits of our partnerships from years gone by.

Catch these inspiring success stories of individuals, families, and organizations in the 2019 issue of Panag-uban, our annual community development magazine that is soon to be released this September.

I am the fifth of seven children, and farming was the livelihood of my family. The income of my parents was not enough for our food, and for my and my siblings’ education. When the barangay, with the support of Sagittarius Mines, Inc. (SMI) offered a scholarship program, I saw hope and immediately grabbed the opportunity.

I was a scholar for eight years, from 2004 to 2013, and half of my tuition fee was subsidized every semester. I completed my high school at Holy Cross of Kiblawan and graduated with a degree of Bachelor of Science in Customs Administration from the Davao Merchant Marine Academy–College of Southern Philippines in Davao City.

After college, I stayed for one year in our barangay and tried my luck in local politics as Barangay Kagawad, but I lost in the 2013 barangay elections.

In June 2014, I decided to leave my hometown and seek better opportunities in Metro Manila. I enrolled in a review center for the Customs Brokers Licensure Examination, took the examination in November 2014 and, with God’s help, passed it.

In May 2015, I complied with the requirements for accreditation as a Licensed Customs Broker with the Bureau of Customs, under the trade name M.A. Bituro Customs Brokerage, registered in Buhangin district in Davao City. Now I am affiliated with DSF Consolidated Freight Services and Altron Logistics, a prominent logistics and brokerage company in Pasay City.

I am proud of what I have become, and I want to inspire others so that they will also grab the opportunities that come their way. I am thankful to SMI. The scholarship gave me the courage to face challenges in life and continue my education. I hope that SMI will be given a chance to give more opportunities to help young people and their communities.

Mark Anthony N. Bituro is from Barangay Kimlawis, Kiblawan, Davao del Sur. He was a scholar of SMI-Barangay Council scholarship program. He completed his high school at Holy Cross of Kiblawan and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Customs Administration from Davao Merchant Marine Academy–College of Southern Philippines in Davao City.


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