Tag Archive | "Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP)"

BISFFA members: Partnership leads to productive business

In the municipality of Talibon, Bohol, a strong partnership has been forged by Bansan Island Seaweeds Farmer and Fishery Association (BISFFA) with various national government agencies.

Bansan is located in Brgy. Sag, one of the islands barangay of Talibon. It is one of the protected islands in the province where seaweeds and mangroves are growing abundantly.

Some members of the Bansan Island Seaweeds Farmer and Fishery Association (BISFA) cooking together for their seaweed crackers livelihood project.

It is also a home to BISFFA where 72 members are composed of 24 males and 48 females. Of the 72 members, 21 are Pantawid Pamilya partner-beneficiaries. This association was organized in September 2012 with a certificate of registration from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to operate their business.

When the Super Typhoon Yolanda struck the country in 2013, it devastated Bansan Island and the rest of the Talibon Group of Islands Protected Landscape and Seascape. The aftermath of Yolanda paved the way to a new partnership of BISFFA and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

In 2014, the DENR proposed a rehabilitation program on planting of mangroves within the coast of Bansan Island and tapped the association to do the mangrove planting. It provided mangrove seedlings, input materials and payment of labor to the BISFFA members.

The BISFFA members decided to use their earnings from planting mangroves to construct their own pump boat which they can use whenever they travel to the mainland of Talibon.

On the following year, the BISFFA found another partner agency that could help them on their business, the Talibon Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) Provincial Office. The office orders tons of seaweed seedlings from BISFFA to be distributed to other seaweed associations around Bohol. It chose BISFFA because it is already DOLE and Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) registered and can provide official receipts to any business transactions.

Despite the association`s advancement in seaweeds industry, the island residents remained to be poor. The island does not have its own electric and water supply. The residents buy their drinking water in the mainland at Php 40.00 per gallon. For bathing and washing, they only depend on rainwater. If there is no rain, they buy deep-well water in the mainland at Php 5.00- Php 10.00 per container.

During day time, the residents only rely on battery-operated radio for some entertainments. In the night time, they pay the connection of a privately-owned generator for their electricity from 5pm to 10pm every day. Their payment depends on the kind of electrical power supply they used. It costs Php 10.00 per 10 watts and Php 20.00 for every television connection.

In this situation, poverty is still a major concern of the Bansan Island community folks.

Despite all these problems, some families decided to stay in the island due to its abundance of marine resources especially seaweeds and its potential income generating.

Since there are 21 Pantawid members under the BISFFA, in July 2016, the Project Development Officers (PDOs) of the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) of the DSWD assessed and conducted community economic activities solely with the Pantawid beneficiaries of BISFFA. They found out that these members need further assistance in seaweeds farming.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) through the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) funded the association with starter kits covering the complete materials and seedlings needed for them to sustain their livelihood.

The DSWD SLP granted Php 252,174.00 to BISFFA under the Skills Training on Micro-Enterprise Development (MD) track.

Due to the abundance of seaweeds in the island, the association decided to expand their business through making of a new product, the seaweed crackers. The group partnered with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Municipal Agriculture Office (MAO) for its product making, enhancement and development.

These seaweed crackers have 2 varieties of flavor, the natural and cheese flavors. They sell it at Php 20.00 for 50 grams, Php 10.00 for 25 grams and Php 5.00 for 12 grams.

With this business expansion, the local government unit provided them a building for their seaweed cracker production which they could also use as a meeting place. Moreover, the LGU provided at least 15 heads of piglets as additional livelihood income.

For now, the group’s income varies depending on the monthly orders from customers. Their regular customers are the residents, students and other sari-sari store owners in the municipality.

Aside from the DSWD, the association constantly coordinates not only among the group members but also with other agencies like the BFAR, DOLE, DTI, BIR, MAO and the Department of Agriculture (DA) for possible business expansion.

This coordination has enlightened their families whose members are now actively involved in taking individual responsibilities for the business operations and family daily routine. Every morning before the sun is up, the husbands get to check the seaweed plantation together with their older sons. After which, they go fishing while the wives are in charge of harvesting dried seaweeds ready for production process.

In this endeavor, the program participants’ families got multiple income-generating activities from fishing and from raw seaweeds to seaweed crackers.

Despite the individual differences of the BISFFA members, they are able to develop the sense of ownership of their business and deepen their understanding on the value of solidarity which lead to strengthened community ties towards development.

As the association continues operating their business, in May this year, the DOLE released the livelihood assistance worth Php 500,000.00 proposed by the group for the purchase of heavy equipment for seaweed crackers production. The BISFFA is now on the process of purchasing the equipment.

This development has convinced the members that having the right project and right input from partner agencies help their business grow. ###


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Jonalyn Lombrino: Life is better now

Jonalyn Lombrino, 35, lives in the municipality of Minganilla, Cebu. It is an urban area where most of the jobs are found in the malls, mini store, shops, restaurants, and the like earning a minimum wage per day. The competitiveness of people living in the city, made it difficult for Jonalyn Lombrino to look for a job that fits her qualification.

Jonalyn Lombrino attends to a customer who buys medicine from the pharmacy where she works as pharmacy assistant.

She is married to Bobby Lombrino, 41 with whom she has three (3) children namely, Erika Jhane Lombrino, 13, Grade 8 and twins Mary Claire and Claire Anne Lombrino, 11, Grade 6.

Before, Jonalyn worked at a bakeshop as saleslady earning around Php 5,000.00 per month and Bobby is a security guard earning Php 10,000.00 a month.

According to her, life was so difficult knowing that their monthly income is not enough to raise their 3 children.

In January 2017, the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) of DSWD provided a Skills Training on Pharmacy Services NCII to qualified SLP participants and Jonalyn was one of them.

In the training, she never doubted her capabilities, instead, she showed dynamism to learn and finish the course despite the sacrifices she encountered especially for her children. She focused on her training and was determined to graduate and find a job for her family.

Days after her graduation, she participated in the community-based training in haircut and hair coloring NCII and conducted community outreach, offering free haircut to some remote areas to hone her newly acquired skills.

Jonalyn never wasted her time by doing productive things like training in haircut and hair coloring while waiting for the response to her applications.

Jonalyn got a surprise when one of the famous pharmacies in the province of Cebu called her and accepted her application.

Dako kaayo og tabang ang training sa DSWD SLP nga Pharmacy Services NCII kay nakahatag kini og oportunidad sa mga labing nanginahanglan og trabaho sama kanako. Karon nga naka-trabaho na ko, dili na kaayo mi lisod kay kung unsay need sa mga bata mahatag ra dayon namo (The DSWD SLP training has helped us a lot because it provided opportunities to us program participants, who need to find work like me. Having a permanent job, our life now is far better than before. Now, I can provide some of the things that my family needs especially for my children),” said Jonalyn.

She is now part of the Pharmacy’s Toledo City Branch as Pharmacy Assistant. She receives around Php 10,000.00 monthly income with the inclusions of SSS, PhilHealth, Pag-ibig and other benefits she can able to enjoy.

Out from her income, Jonalyn has already invested in their family sofa sala set and bought her own motorcycle.

Nausab gyud among kinabuhi sukad ko nakatrabaho kay mas miarang-arang na ang among kinabuhi (Our life has changed since I got a full time job. Life is better now).” ###


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223 individuals receive 2.5M livelihood assistance

The Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office VII (DSWD-7) has released the Php 2,510,000.00 Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) assistance fund to the 11 newly accredited associations, consisting of 223 program participants. These participants are from barangays Sawang Calero and Mambaling, Cebu City.

The Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) participants from Mambaling and Sawang Calero, Cebu City.

Three (3) SLP associations from Mambaling namely Puntod Alaska Rag Makers, Sitio Tugas Native Delicacy Operator SLPA and Avocado Barbeque Vendors SLPA have been granted Php 230,000.00, Php 270,000.00 and Php 140,000.00 respectively.

For barangay Sawang Calero, eight (8) SLP associations have received the livelihood assistance. These are Sawang Dried Fish Vendors SLPA, Php 210,000.00; Sawang Blk 6-A Fish Vendors SLPA, Php 280,000.00; Sawang Blk 7B Buwad Vendors SLPA, Php 280,000.00; and Sawang Blk 7 Hipon Producer SLPA, Php 230,000.00.

Other groups have different chosen livelihood projects. The Sawang Blk 5 Buy and Sell Retailer SLPA has received Php 300,000.00; Sawang Blk 1-A Food Vendors SLPA has accepted the Php 130,000.00 for its food vending business. The Sawang Blk 4 Entrepreneurs SLPA and Block 5 Sawang Sari-sari Store Proprietor’s SLPA both have been granted with Php 220,000.00. ###


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Making his dream a reality, a Jose Baal story

Kung wala ko kapangisda sauna di me kasud-an apan karon nga naa na koy permanenteng trabaho pinaagi sa DSWD-SLP, dili lang panud-an akong mahatag sa akong pamilya kon dili apil nasad ang ilang mga panginahanglanon nga lisod naku mahatag sauna (If I could not go fishing before, we would not have viand. But because of the opportunity that DSWD-SLP has given me, I could not only provide for the viand to my family but also the things they need that I failed to give them before),” said Jose Alex A. Baal.

Jose Alex A. Baal, a Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) participant, now, heads the security force of a foam company.

Jose is from Northern Poblacion, San Francisco, Camotes Island, Cebu. This island is one of the tourist attractions in Cebu province where fishing and farming are the main sources of income.

He is married to Merly Baal, 42, a housewife. They have (3) children namely, Aj Mherl Baal, 7, Grade 3, Precious Jade Baal, 5, Kindergarten and Julius Baal 3, day care.

Jose was a farmer in their town for almost 10 years. He used to plant and harvest corns, from which his family relies most of its income. He roughly earned Php 3,000.00 a month from farming. For them to survive, he went fishing everyday solely for his family’s consumption.

Merly, his wife, has no work. She has been taking care of their children. Their life before showed how poverty dwelt in their lives.

In October 2016, the DSWD through the SLP provided a Skills Training on Security Services NCI to the qualified SLP participants in the municipality. Partnered with the Lancer Security Agency in Cebu City, the activity took the standard 21 days of training.

Jose showed distinct competence during the training. He displayed genuine interest to learn techniques and ways to become a better trainee. As a result, he excelled in his performance during the training. Out of 25 participants from Camotes Island who joined the training, Jose was recognized as the sharp shooter of the batch which gave him an edge over his co-trainees.

On January 3, 2017, his effort paid off when the main branch of a foam company hired him as its head of guards. “Kalipay ug pasalamat akong gibati sa maong programa sa DSWD SLP kay nakakita na intawn kog regular nga trabaho. Naa nakoy ikabuhi sa akong pamilya.” (I am happy and thankful to the DSWD SLP for I now have a stable job. I can proudly say that I can now sustain the needs of my family)

After Jose got hired as the head guard of the company, he immediately transferred his family in Talisay City, Cebu from Camotes Island for them to be together in their new home.

Nagpasalamat kami sa Ginoo kay naghatag gyud Siya og pamaagi nga nakaapil si Papa sa SLP, unya naa na siya’y trabaho. Lipay kaayo mi kay makakaon nami og lami nga pagkaon ug makapalit na si Papa og mga duwaan namo (We thank God for He make ways for Papa to be part of the SLP, and now he has permanent work. We are happy because Papa can now buy good food and toys for us),” said Aj Mherl, eldest of the Baal children.

Jose is now working in the company for more than a year. He receives a good monthly salary with the inclusions of SSS, PhilHealth, Pag-Ibig and other benefits provided to employees.

As a bread winner, Jose always saves money for his loved ones especially for his children’s educational expenses. ###


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Batuan SLPA produces amakan for local and national trades

Brgy. Rizal, Batuan, Bohol is considered to be the “Amakan” capital of the municipality. Amakan is a bamboo walling made of woven bamboo strips commonly used in walls and panels.

Living up to this title is the Rizal Amakan Pantawid Sustainable Livelihood Program Association (SLPA) who ventured into backyard amakan production through the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP).

Mothers are on fire in their new business. They are the members of Rizal Amakan Pantawid SLPA in Batuan, Bohol.

Before they became program participants of the SLP, most of the SLPA members have already been engaged into amakan weaving since the area has high production of bamboo. Each one has an individual business out from it. They admitted that they could hardly sell the amakan products since they don’t have regular buyers.

The DSWD Municipal Action Team (MAT) of Batuan introduced the program participants to the livelihood program.

On May 23, 2016, the Rizal Amakan Pantawid SLPA was organized by Project Development Officer Vito L. Butal and Janeth Gallo under the Micro-Enterprise Development track. The association was provided with Seed Capital Fund (SCF) in the amount of Php 240,000.00.

The association has 40 members – 35 females and 5 males. All of them are also Pantawid Pamilya partner-beneficiaries. The PDOs have assisted them in realizing this project. They facilitated the members’ attendance to several trainings like Financial Literacy training, Time and Management and Recording training in preparation for the operation of their business.

In December 2016, the association has started operating the amakan production. The members agreed to sell the amakan per ply. The plain 4×6 feet amakan costs Php 125.00 and 4×8 feet, Php 175.00. For decorative amakan, 4×6 feet costs Php 100.00 and 4×8 feet, Php 120.00.

The group is able to save for lot rental for their amakan stockroom, which they themselves built. The association president offered the free use of the lot.

Sauna, simple ra kaayo akong kinabuhi, naa rako kasagaran sa balay. Apan pag-abot sa SLP sa DSWD, wa ko magdahum nga naa diay ingon ani nga suporta sa gobyerno nga maghatag og dugang kita kanamo (Before, my life was just simple. But when we have the SLP of the DSWD, I never thought that there is a government program that provides livelihood support to people, like us),” said Ma. Madelyn Carpentero, SLPA President.

In 2017, the Batuan Municipal Agriculture Office (MAO) in partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), provided a technical assistance to the SLPA participants through a skills training on bamboo product enhancement. They also offered a cash for work project in planting bamboo trees in the barangay to supply and sustain the primary source of people’s livelihood.

Each member produces more or less 5 plies in a day. The association’s regular buyers come from Ubay and Sagbayan, Bohol. These retailers deliver their amakan materials to Leyte Province. Now, the group earns about Php 50,000.00 a month.

As part of the group’s initiative to uplift the members’ spirit of bayanihan especially for the operation of their business, the association has established the patronage refund scheme. Every member will be given Php 1.00 for every ply of amakan she or he has sold.

Dako og naambag ang programa sa among kinabuhi kay nakakita nami’g regular buyers para sa among mga amakan. Usahay, makapalit kog bugas, o gamit sa mga bata sa eskwelahan, o sud-an namo ug uban pa gumikan sa halin namo niini (The program has been of help to us because through the SLP we have identified regular buyers for our amakan. I can now buy rice, or school supplies for our children, or viand out from the sales of the amakan), said Madelyn. ###


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Hard work breeds better life

Like any other young people who are aiming to have a stable job despite having no degree, Kervin Dominise never stopped searching for one until he got a permanent work.

Kervin, 21, did not have an easy life growing up in Panaguikan, Dalaguete, Cebu.

Kervin Dominise, one of the DSWD SLP participants in call center skills training now poses with confidence and pride.

“Growing up the son of a fisherman and a housemaid with five other siblings, I learn many things. Most importantly, I learn the value of hard work,” says Kervin.

Kervin’s siblings are Katrina, 25, married; Kristine Joy, 23; Junel, 19, grade 12 level; Maria Althea, 12, grade 6; and Alexsam, 6, grade 1. His sisters Katrina and Kristine Joy have no stable jobs.

At an early age, Kervin saw how his parents Samuel, 50 and Nelisa, 41 strove to provide food on the table. After he graduated from high school at the age of 16, he went to Manila and worked as a helper to his relatives for ten months. Then, he came back to Cebu and for four years he helped his father catch tuna to earn a living.

Then, Kervin’s parents got sick.  After 30 years of surviving the rigors of catching fish for a living, Samuel retired as fisherman due to health issues. Nelisa halted being a housemaid for 20 years because she also got sick.

Although Samuel has retired from being a fisherman, he is now into fishnet making. He earns an income of at least Php 3000-Php4000 monthly out from it. But this is not enough to feed the family.

This prompted Kervin to find another job that could help them earn additional income and he ended up a jeepney conductor in Cebu City for four months. He hurdled all the hardships just to meet the family’s needs but still, it was not enough for them.

In December 2016, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) provided a Call Center Skills Training to the qualified SLP participants. The short course took almost two months and ended in January 2017.

Holding on to his dreams and plans for his family, Kervin never had a second thought in joining the training and grabbing this opportunity.  The skills training provided by DSWD through the Call Center Training Academy in Cebu City.

“Dili gyud diay babag ang imong educational background as long as naa kay tinguha nga mokat-on ug mokab-ot sa imong pangandoy (Our educational background is not a hindrance if you desire to learn and achieve your dreams),” Kervin said.

After the training, the SLP provided Php 5000 to the participants including Kervin to help them in terms of complying with all the requirements for their employment.

Knowing the high demand for BPO work, Kervin immediately applied to various Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) companies in Cebu City. For two months, he applied around six companies and nothing good happened. Kervin became hopeless that time since his allowance from the DSWD SLP could no longer suffice his needs while looking for a job.

He went home to Dalaguete, made fishnets, sold them and earned money. After almost a month after he got enough money to support his job search in the city.

“Nagkugi ug nisalig ra gyud ko nga maka trabaho ko (I worked hard and I believed that I would eventually find the right job),” Kervin said.
After a couple of failures and rejections, the determined Kervin applied again in Qualfon Company. Kervin got hired as a Customer Service Representative. He is now a regular employee for almost 1 year now. He receives Php 15,000.00 monthly income with SSS, Philhealth, Pag-ibig, Health Insurance and other benefits that the company provides for its workers.

“Sigurado, naa ko sa among dapit karon nangisda, o dili ba kaha nag sideline kog pangunduktor kung wala pako naka-apil sa Call Center Skills Training sa Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) sa DSWD (If it had not been for the Call Center Skills Training of the Sustainable Livelihood Program, I would have continued working as a fisherman or a jeepney conductor),” he expressed.

Kervin stands as the bread winner of the family. He never forgets to send part of his salaray to his family in Dalaguete, Cebu especially for his siblings’ educational expenses.

Learning the value of hard work helped Kervin persevered life’s difficulties and challenges. Indeed, his hard work breeds better benefits for his family. ###


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Caliongan SLPA produces preservatives-free squash-malunggay noodles

Dalaguete, Cebu is dubbed as the “Vegetable Basket of the South.” It has 33 barangays including barangay Caliongan. These barangays are mostly situated in upland areas, of which, farming and planting various vegetables are the means of livelihood.

In 2011, the Dalaguete Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office (MSWDO) formulated a women’s association in the barangay Caliongan named, Caliongan Skilled Women Association (CASWA). The association consist of 28 female members. Most of them are farmers earning below minimum wage.  This seasonal livelihood and other irregular labor work does not guarantee enough income for their day-to-day needs.

Where cohesiveness brings joy. The members of the Caliongan Skilled Women Association (CASWA) Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) of Dalaguete Cebu gladly shows its finished products, healthy and no preservatives squash noodles with malunggay.

Since the viability of the vegetable products are high, the MSWDO headed by Ms. Evelyn Sarmago in partnership with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), trained these members on vegetable processing especially squash noodles with malunggay making together with other participants from other barangays like Mantalongon to help and augment the families’ financial state.

Along the days of the training, the CASWA members have gone several challenges, financial or personal matter. Also, the group does not have enough equipment to use in making the squash noodles with malunggay, which delays their production. These made them more determined and optimistic to get involve in the offered trainings, orientations and seminars initiated by the local government unit and DOST, to be active of their venture and to continue their goal of having a business.

In December 2014, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) Implementing Project Development Officer (IPDO), Ms. Merlita L. Faburada made an assessment and validation as to the qualification of the CASWA to receive the department’s livelihood assistance based on the SLP implementing guidelines.

Fortunately, the CASWA SLP qualified for the assistance and received the amount of Php 279,655.00 charged to the Seed Capital Fund (SCF) from the DSWD SLP and Bottom-Up Budgeting (BUB). On the other hand, the LGU released the amount of Php 35,294.00 as the counterpart to the association.

In July 2015, the association got their dream machine and other equipment for the squash noodles with malunggay production. The DSWD-SLP continued the skills training on vegetable processing, technical support for vegetables noodles production and squash noodles training with packaging and labelling through the DOST.

After the project implementation, the CASWA SLP can now produce around 2,800 packs of noodles monthly depending on demand. Each pack consists of 50 grams which only costs Php 5.00. The association is DOLE registered and recognized in their municipality as the Most Active Livelihood Association. Its primary market is the Supplementary Feeding Program implemented by Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office (MSWDO) and its neighboring barangays.

The SLPA’s average monthly net income is Php 5,000, which increases during trade fairs. The shares that members get depend on their participation. Additional income is about Php 3,000 for each active member per year.

The group received logistical support from their barangay local government unit, and provided them a building for noodle production. The MSWDO also conducts monitoring initiatives and coordinates with partners, like DOST, for technical assistance to improve production practices.

One of the good practices they established as a group is cohesiveness. To generate more income, the members decided to contribute at least Php 500.00 each for their sinking fund and another Php 10.00 weekly contribution for the group’s immediate expenses like fare for the members in need and snacks during their weekly meeting.

They are also active in community services like clean-up drive in the barangay and the Alay Linis Nationwide, facilitate the decoration materials during the barangay fiesta and service to the feeding program to the kinder and elementary pupils.

Also, the CASWA SLP exercises their anniversary celebration every December as a way to remind each member the essence of solidarity in the group.

The health benefits of their products gained popularity among other MSWDOs, who requested CASWA to supply nutritious noodles for their day care centers. This enabled the CASWA members to expand their market to neighboring municipalities.

Esmeralda Borla, SLPA president was able to invest in livestock as additional source of income from her savings. She said that her participation in the SLPA helps her provide for her family and support her children’s education. ###


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Bacong Sinamay Weavers: Earning through indulging into our rich Filipino Culture

Buntis Handloom Sinamay Weavers Association (BHSWA) is one of the four associations in Bacong that generates livelihood opportunities for its residents. Out of the four existing weaving centers, one of which is owned by the BHSWA located in Barangay Buntis, Bacong, Negros Oriental.

Cristita Yucor Popanes, the Buntis Handloom Sinamay Weavers Association Vice President diligently weaves sinamay cloth every day at their weaving center in order to produce various sinamay products.

Composed of 50 mixed men and women members, it was organized on May 6, 2015 through the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s Sustainable Livelihood Program. The DSWD-SLP provided Skill Training on the production of high quality products made of abaca and the proper way of running the business in order to maintain their earnings. It also provided starter kits to equip and to provide necessary materials and equipment to the participants for Sinamay weaving.

Several members of the association are already expert weavers. But they need to organize themselves into an association because they wanted to unite as weavers of barangay Buntis and share their skills and knowledge on the craft to other program participants who are interested to engage in weaving.

Now, each member can produce 30-50 meters of Sinamay per month. They sell their Sinamay cloth at Php 150.00 per meter. The Php 85.00 goes to the participant for labor and Php 65.00 goes to the association. The income of the participants depend on their output. The more they produce sinamay, the more they will earn. The association usually gets to sell out their Sinamay cloth every two months.

Some of the members are not full time weavers. Some of them have other sources of income such as candle-making, livestock raising, fish vending and the like. In their spare time, they go to the weaving center to weave abaca. Weaving has become their practical use of leisure time because they have another option to spend their time on something where they can earn more on top of their usual income.

Like any other group, the BHSWA also faced some issues when it started as an association. Some members lack cooperation or participation in the association’s operation due to mismanagement of the officers. Presently, more members are participating in and cooperating with the activities of the association.

According to the president of BHSWA, Marilou V. Casiano, the key values of the association are patience and understanding. Patience applies both for weaving and for the members. She also emphasized the importance of understanding each other within the association because not everyone has the same attitude towards their fellow members. However, a person’s patience and understanding have limits. She says that when things/situations comes out of hand, the whole association will decide on what action to take through a meeting with the members.

The members also help each other especially to those who are still learning the craft on sinamay weaving. Expert weavers patiently teach and guide those who are new to weaving. To firmly inculcate to the members, the goal of the association, they posted its vision and mission inside their weaving center.

The abaca weaving industry in Bacong is well-supported by other agencies such as the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and Fiber Industry Development Authority (FIDA) in order to strengthen the loom weaving industry as this will promote employment generation. The members of BHSWA are now more equipped with knowledge and skills through the several enhancement training conducted by the Department of Trade and Industry and Fiber Industry Development Authority.

In fact, the association members are now producing not just Sinamay cloth but also caps, bags, pouches, barong tagalog and sambra/kimona made out of abaca through the Product Development Trainings conducted by the DTI and FIDA. Their products are displayed in their weaving center.

The association has also participated in a few product displays in the province such as product display initiated by the province of Negros Oriental at the Lamberto Macias Sports Complex at the product display during the Culmination of the Government Agencies’ Association of Negros Oriental (GAANO) Sportfest 2017 together with other SLP products from Negros Oriental. They also participated in the DSWD Region 7 Panaghiusa Festival 2017 in Ayala Center Cebu.

Despite the existence of four weaving centers in Bacong and other weaving centers in other parts of Negros Oriental, the demand for Sinamay is still high. Having this demand, the association plans to add five more handlooms which will be conveniently stationed in the house of five participants so that they will have more time to weave.

Moreover, the members of BHSWA are grateful for this livelihood project.

Para nako dako kaayo ni og gikatabang kay kung wala pud ni wala pud ko’y income kay naa rako sa balay. Bintaha nagud ning naa ning ingon ani nga programa nga 4Ps ug SLP kay mabuhi gyud mi (For me, this project is really a great help to me. Without this, I won’t have any income because I only stay at home. These programs, 4Ps and SLP help us with our livelihood.),” expressed Irish S. Villarmia, Treasurer of BHSWA. ###


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