TAGBILARAN CITY, September 3 (PIA)—The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) hands to Bien Unido weavers a package of goodies that would enhance their productivity and open up options for more diverse romblon (pandanus) woven products.
The package of goodies include a mechanical drier worth P470,000, three heavy duty sewing machines worth 127,800 and a digital weighing scale for accurately measuring dye in coloring the romblon strips prior to weaving.
All in all, the package of goodies is in a DTI Shared Service Facility housed in buildings at the back of the Bien Unido Municipal Gymnasium.
Handed to Bien Unido Weavers Association (BUWAS) as managers, the facility could also be used, not just by the 37 members, but for all romblon weavers within the vicinity, said DTI Regional Director Asteria Caberte during the handover ceremonies, September 2.
BUWAS has been a DTI partner in the Bayong Development Program, Caberte implied.
Already imbued with the romblon weaving tradition, Bien Unido residents got the needed government boost when from their traditional mat weaving, the move to reinvent the bayong (bawjot) got people interested in the mainstreamed fashionable romblon mat bags.
But still hounded by production inadequacies especially during rainy seasons, the bayong development slackens as weavers rely on the heat of the sun for drying the fibers before they can be dyed and woven.
And lacking in equipment to adequately deliver the exact amount of dye and the facility to fully immerse the fibers in the specified colors, BUWAS saw a concern in the quality of their dyed fiber.
In response to the production gap, the DTI in Bohol under officer in charge Maria Soledad Balistoy pushed for the SSF to make local weavers more efficient to ultimately enhance product competitiveness which would result to expanded capabilities and better income.
BUWAS, according to chairman Marina Boniel has a current production volume of 200 bayongs a month.
With the new facility which totals P610,600.00, they are looking at 150% increase in production volume, which could help them produce no just for local markets and Cebu exporters but Manila and foreign markets as well. DTI regional director Caberte told media.
This should also increase the incomes of members, DTI Bohol project development officer Engr. Jerome Gabin added.
He said at the current income of P7,000.00 a month, the facility would exponentially increase their incomes of up to P30,000 a month.
More to the new facility that would leapfrog BUWAS to a forward position in the local weaving market, Caberte also committed to the SSF managing group more product development programs.
We have witnessed how slow, productive weaving is, that even the value of the material and the labor component is not included in the pricing, she noted.
Caberte, who just came in from an intensive product development gab in Manila, hinted to the local weavers the need to diversify over the limited aspects of weaving.
Today, I commit for intensive product development for Bien Unido weavers. We need to elevate this into a social enterprise, she declared.
With the regional commitment, DTI Bohol OIC Balistoy also committed for values and entrepreneurial skills trainings for the weavers who have struggled to keep a tradition of weaving alive in the second district of Bohol also assured inclusive growth to poor weavers. (rac/PIA-7/Bohol)