By Bong Galarpe
LIVELIHOOD projects initiated by the Bag-ong Sugbu Foundation Inc. through the years uplifted the living conditions of a lot of unemployed women from the different barangays of Cebu City’s South District. One of the projects involved the sewing of bags using used tarpaulins.
Regular training of interested women trainees daily at the Abante Barangay headquarters at the Mancing Building, Punta Princesa, Cebu City.
Bag-ong Sugbu first conducted trainings that proved to be very helpful as the skills these women have learned in making bags have now become a source of income for their families.
Rowena Delbo, who has been with the project after just two days of training, said: “Okay kaayo ni nga programa para sa mga wa’y trabaho. Makatabang gyud sa kalisud. Labi na nako nga duha akong anak nga graduating karon. Makabayad intawn ko sa ilang graduation. Akong bana driver ra man sa trisikad.”
The Bag-ong Sugbu Foundation — organized and established in 1999 by Atty. Aristotle “Totol” B. Batuhan, to provide livelihood services to urban poor communities, workers, farmers and fisherfolk – took charge of the marketing and trading of its beneficiaries’ products and found a client for this very particular project.
Samples of their finished products.
Mothers learn new skills to earn an honest livelihood.
Students of the University of San Carlos taking up Entrepreneurship, who call themselves “Social Entrepreneurs,” adopted this project to help the poor with their livelihood.
Louis Canizar, spokesman of Terra Enterprise which the students officially call their group, said they supply the women workers with the recyclable materials as the product is about recycling.
“We provide them the materials and the women will make the bags,” Canizar said. “We decided to initially use tarpaulins for this project as tarpaulins are not easy to dispose of, but we also plan to develop other products using other recyclable materials.”
Terra Enterprise, which is registered with the Bureau of Internal Revenue, started this project with Bag-ong Sugbu Foundation in June of last year. The group is made up of Kristian Marc Cabahug as CEO, Canizar, Mariko Natu-el, Nicole Dy, and Giovanni Ponce.
“We would like to thank Sir Totol for giving us this community of women. We are proud to be associated with Sir Totol who supports green livelihood,” Canizar said.
According to Bag-ong Sugbu women’s sector chief Juliet Jabonero Magdamit, there are 15 trained workers involved with this particular project.
“We have 15 women for this project who worked by rotation as we only have 3 sewing machines,” Magdamit said. “However, Sir Totol plans to add 3 more machines not just because orders are increasing but also to generate and increase the sales and income of the beneficiaries as well.”
“These women easily learned the cutting and sewing of the bags and now they earn additional income for their families. They equally divide the sales among themselves. Sir Totol wants to help families cope with the hardships by making available these livelihood trainings and programs to residents of the South District,” Magdamit said.
Products of the beneficiaries include backpacks, tote bags, coin purse, and messenger sling bags all made up of tarpaulins.
Several women’s groups identified with Abante Barangay are now into selling rice.
Ubay-ubay ka mga bugasan ang giablihan ug gisuportahan ni Atty. Totol Batuhan.
Maghimo sab og sabon diha sa Tisa.