REGION 8 MSME SUCCESS STORIES
|Beata's Delicacies Pinyato and Ampao|
“The journey of thousand miles, begins with a single step”, as the saying goes. Every entrepreneur has their own story to tell on how they started their journey. They have their share of ups and downs, struggles and victory, before attaining the sweet success they’ve been battling for.
For Ma. Beata Casiguran, rice and pili nuts has been significant ingredients of her humble success and has been a part of her journey since 1996, the time when she first started her career as an entrepreneur. Raising a family of five children with her husband (who is a farmer) has never been a joke to her who has been working as sales lady in stores or bakeries in Allen, Northern Samar. Realizing that her income is not sufficient to cover up their financial needs, she decided to venture into a business.
The decision to quit her job was one of the decisions she considered to be tough. Going into a business she never experienced before was somewhat uncertain but she took it as a challenge. Banking on her knowledge in making piñato (pop rice) which she acquired when she was still a kid from piñato producers in the neighboring municipality – Rosario, she started her first production with a kilo of rice. That time, 1996, rice grinders were not yet available in their place and they have to pound the rice with large wooden mortar (lusong). Being too laborious, she did not consider making piñato on a larger quantity; her production was only based on orders being made. However, having seen that she was making profit out of piñato production, she decided to increase her production and expanded her market to Calbayog. This venture has been their main source of income since then, where she was able to send her kids to school and augment their daily needs.
In 2005, she joined the Allen Pili Nut Producers Cooperative. Being a member of this DTI-assisted organization, she had the benefit to attend seminars on Marketing, Costing and Pricing, Personal Financial Management, etc., and learned the knowledge of producing pili food products. Likewise, she was exposed to trade fairs and other marketing activities catered by DTI. Unfortunately, the group was dissolved and the members went on their own in producing their products, while others just ceased. For Beata, quitting her production was not an option but rather felt the need to further enhance her product. She used the knowledge she gained from the seminars and continued her production of pili food products with her piñato as well. As a CARP-assisted entrepreneur, she was also given the opportunity to come up with a well-designed packaging and labeling for her piñato and pili food products.
As of now, she has four workers assisting her and her monthly sales averages from 40 to 50 thousand pesos. She has been actively participating in local, provincial, regional, and national trade fairs organized by the local government and by the DTI, the latest of which was the BAHANDI 2015 of region VIII. Her market outlets are the Catarman Airport Pasalubong Center and Linda’s Inn, bus terminal in Calbayog, Samar. Also, as an active member of the Association of Northern Samar Producers (ANSP), she continues to avail the assistance given by the DTI and other assisting agencies to the group.
With her experiences, she learned that persistence and determination are equally important for a business to survive, and an aspiring entrepreneur has to take advantage of every opportunity that comes along the way.
Emilda Engo of Catarman, Northern Samar, a wife of a seaman and a mother of three, had the bitter taste of life when she lost her eldest son to a drowning accident in year 2009. Getting over it is never easy. The pain of her loss is perpetuating especially when she is left alone. To divert her attention, this Boholana resorted to business as a means to cope with her grief. She started making peanut butter and offered it around. Introducing her product was difficult at first as she lacks network. Later on she realized there is opportunity in this business when all the 6 bottles she delivered to a grocery store were bought within the day. Emilda decided to take this pastime seriously when customers encouraged her to produce more.
To make her business official, she got her business name registered with Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in 2010. Having her product registered further increased customers’ confidence. Emilda keeps on asking and using feedback to continually improve the product quality. Gradually she is gaining more patrons, as positive response from customers further fueled her enthusiasm.
In 2010, DTI called her up requesting her to visit their office. At that time, Emilda who is a high school graduate, have intimidation with government institutions. Her first thoughts turned out unfounded when DTI offered their assistance for the improvement of her product instead, an offer she agreed in great delight. DTI improved her label design by hiring a professional designer and had its Nutritional contents analyzed. She was also enlisted in several Entrepreneurship Development Seminars and marketing assistance extended by the department. She then became a member of the Association of Northern Samar Producers, a pool of entrepreneurs assisted by DTI.
With newly improved product label, the marketability of her peanut butter was boosted. Sales significantly increased and her outlets swollen in numbers. Sales of P18,000 per month puffed into P200 K to P250 K monthly. Her keen sense on marketing was even further acuminated by attending seminars through DTI’s SME Roving Academy. Exposure to Regional Trade Fairs also further enhanced her marketing competence. She joined Bahandi Trade Fairs on Years 2012 and 2015. From a single outlet in Catarman, it grew into 12 including supermarkets and bakeshops. Through customer demand she started reaching out other towns, and now have another 4 outlets in the towns of San Roque, San Jose and Mondragon. Now her product is also available at big supermarkets in Catarman including Gaisano Super Mall. As a result of trade fair participation, invitations to make her product available outside the province is also coming. Starting as the owner/worker/marketing manager herself, she now employs 2 permanent workers and 1 part time worker in her business. Emilda is also preparing for the expansion of her production center in the near future to cater for the growing demand.
For her, monetary benefit is not the prime motivation why she is thriving in this field. She maintained optimum product quality, keeps her costs at lowest, and is contented with minimal return. Emilda is fascinated by the fact that she is not only helping herself cope with the loss of her son but is partaking in a meaningful contribution to the community. Emilda now serves as an exemplary entrepreneur to her fellow ANSP members. She likewise gives the credit to DTI for their package of assistance that contributed much in the growth in her business.
Delza Native Product
|Handcrafted, intricately-woven tikog pillow cover|
Delza Morales started her career in the tikog industry as a coming home OFW in 2001. Through the assistance of DTI, her enterprise has grown to become the top supplier of beautifully designed and skillfully handcrafted tikog home décor products. Prior to 2013, her stocks for delivery and raw material amounte to Php 2M. But Super Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) posed a big challenge to her enterprise when it destroyed all its investments amounting to a Php 9.457 M damage. Through the rehabilitation assistance of SBC, Delza was able to rise up from that fall. Her workers increased as she penetrated markets nationwide and it brought global attention to Tikog which was recognized as an industry. Delza Native Products participated in more trade fairs—Sikat Pinoy Fashion Lifestyle Expo, Buy Pinoy, and the National Trade Fair to name a few. As of February 2016, the company was invited by CITEM to participate in Ambiente 2016 International Frankfurt Fair in Frankfurt, Germany. The company also participated in the Bahandi 2016, the GREAT Women Trade Fair 2017, and the Manila FAME 2017 where the company received the KATHA Award for the Best Product in Home Décor Category.
Javier Instant Salabat
|Javier Instant Salabat|
A LGU-DA-DENR-DAR-DTI CARP Convergence Initiative project established in March 2013 in which the major product is the Salabat. Registered in DOLE as an association with 24 members, in which six (6) are male and 18 are female. It is located in Zone 2, Javier, Leyte. Currently, there are four (4) product packaging designs namely the Canister, Sexy Bottle, Inner Box, and sachets.
This IGP helped the local farmers who are into ginger production. They had a difficulty in marketing the ginger which was sold at a low price due to high supply, inaccessible farm to market roads. This convergence initiative project introduced in the local government of Javier as a model project, this has opened to a circumferential road project which connected all the barangays in Javier to the “bagsakan” area in the Poblacion. The potential raw materials that can be processed by the farmers is Ginger. Through the efforts and initiative of Mayor Sandy Javier, this has been their priority sector that could give livelihood to its constituents. He donated the building that could house the processing equipment. This has been acquired through time by the LGU through DOST’s SET-UP. DTI-CARP enter to the picture in providing trainings such as Skills Upgrading Training in Ginger Processing, and Productivity Training (cGMP, Food Saftey, and Occupational Safety Hazards). Facilitated and assisted in processing the Product Certification and Licensed to Operate at DOH-FDA and also product development of its packaging and labelling materials. The farmer beneficiaries of the projects has expanded their Ginger Farms since the produce are directly transported to the processing center. This is the very first DTI-CARP assisted MSME that is FDA-compliant. Major market is all the Andoks outlets in Philippines.
The Naval Suman Makers’ Association (NASUMA), an association and producer of “Suman” – a traditional food made from sticky rice wrapped on 100% natural and biodegradable leaves was established in March 2011 after receiving various business development services such as skills trainings, product development, enterprise development / business management and business registration facilitation from DTI-Biliran. The group is composed of twenty-seven (27) existing and potential suman producers, majority (26) of whom are females and one (1) is male. Marketing assistance through the participation in various regional, national and international fairs have been continuously extended to this group of women producers up to present. With the majority of suman producers are women, they shared the same needs, issues and priorities relative to suman making, and that is the lack of capital to improve their capabilities. With the continued organizational strengthening/ institutional building, the association is enduring to grow and becoming more aggressive in sourcing needed resources. Though the Suman Industry suffered damages amounting to P172, 100.00 during the onslaught of Super Typhoon Yolanda in November 2013 due to damages on Anahaw Plantation as Primary Packaging, damages on glutinous rice plantation, Naval Pasalubong Center, and some simple tools and equipment, the group has recovered their livelihood three (3) months after the typhoon by facilitating their participation in trade events (provincial, regional, and national). Likewise, simple tools and equipment amounting to P51, 636.00 under the Livelihood Seeding Program (LSP) was given to the twelve (12) active individual members of the association on January 12, 2015. A Water Retort Machine and Band Sealer amounting to P480,000.00 under the Shared Service Facility (SSF) Program is set to be delivered this February 2016 and will be installed in a Livelihood Section/Area at the Community Evacuation Center in Naval, Biliran. The provision of facilities/equipment will prolong the shelf life of suman thus, solving the problem of easy spoilage.
After the convergence of interventions, the suman producers have posted gains of about P974,290.00 in Domestic Sales, generating 40 direct jobs in CY 2015. Moreover, increased in income and indirect jobs have also been generated from the operators along the value chain as demand for inputs for suman processing i.e. sticky rice, coconut, ginger, anahaw leaves as well as wood chippings as fuel, increased.
With the provision of facilities/equipment under the Shared Service Facility (SSF), capabilities of suman producers will be enhanced, shelf life of suman will be prolonged, solving the problem of easy spoilage, thus, productivity and efficiency will be achieved.
Island's Best Foods
|Island's Best Calamansi Concentrate|
The Islands Best Foods owned and managed by Mrs. Rosario G. Amoroto from Brgy. Hollywood, Guiuan, Eastern Samar started her family enterprise in May, 2009 after the Technology Transfer Training on Calamansi Processing conducted at Brgy. Bitaugan, Homonhon Island, Guiuan, Eastern Samar. The training was conducted upon request of the Barangay Officials to DTI and DOST-ITDI to implement a three-day livelihood training in Homonhon Island considering that the area is noted as the calamansi producing capital for the province of Eastern Samar. Being a resident in Brgy. Bitaugan, working as midwife and her husband as the incumbent Barangay Chairman during that time, processing the raw materials into finished products was considered a viable venture and it will surely help minimize the wastage and spoilage of the raw materials specifically during bad weather condition where transporting of farm products from Homonhon Island to the mainland of Guiuan is impossible due to the strong current and big waves.
That during the early stage of her business, challenges on how to improve the shelf life of her products coupled with poor packaging and labelling were the reasons why she cannot regularly deliver and sell her products to target buyers. Likewise, the production capacity was also limited due to the absence of equipment that will enhance and increase the volume of production of her business.
When Super typhoon Yolanda hit in Guiuan, Eastern Samar and other nearby municipalities on November 8, 2013, the family business of Mrs. Amoroto was distraughtly affected. The processing plant and building including some equipment were destroyed by the strong winds. During that time it was considered as a defining moments of Mrs. Amoroto, if she will continue or not the processing of calamansi considering of the severe damages and the absence of raw materials coming from Homonhon Island.
With her intense interest to rehabilitate her family business and with the assistance of the different government agencies like DOST, DTI, SB Corporation, LGU-Guiuan and the non-government organization (NGOs), she was invited by DTI-ESPO to attend a financing forum organized by DTI and SB Corporation where the enterprise rehabilitation facility (ERF) for ST Yolanda affected MSMEs was discussed and presented during the forum proper. With the completion of the required documentary requirements and after passing the loan evaluation, the business of Mrs. Amoroto was granted a special term loan in the amount Php340,000.00 as working capital in order to rehabilitate her business. In order to augment the limited supply of the raw materials, the company sourced out the required raw materials from Mindanao and other calamansi producing area in the island of Samar which were not hardly hit by the super typhoon.
Other assistance extended to the business of Mrs. Amoroto includes the provision of small tools and equipment under the ST Yolanda DTI-Livelihood Seeding Program (LSP). Likewise, capacity building seminar on food safety, the current good manufacturing practices and other entrepreneurship training modules thru the SME Roving Academy were extended as part of the technical and business advisory assistance. She availed also the SET-UP assistance from DOST in order to upgrade her equipment in the processing of calamansi.
After the rehabilitation efforts, one of the breakthroughs with the business of Mrs. Amoroto when she was invited to attend and participate in during the 2015 Bahandi Regional Trade Fair held at SM Megatrade Hall, Mandaluyong City on September 2 to 6, 2015. That after the five-day direct selling to institutional and walk-in buyers, the business of Mrs. Amoroto was declared and awarded as the top seller exhibitor for the processed food category generating the highest cash and booked order sales. The Php2.5 million booked orders generated during the said marketing event that even until now the company of Mrs. Amoroto is delivering on a monthly basis served as a positive indicator after a series of assistance extended by DTI and other stakeholders to the business of Mrs. Amoroto.
With the collaborative efforts and assistance of the different stakeholders, plus the positive business outlook and aggressive entrepreneurial drive of Mrs. Amoroto, the products of Islands Best Foods had already penetrated to institutional buyers not only in Region 8 but also in chain of stores in Metro Manila.
The domestic sales generated and the direct and indirect jobs created by the business of Mrs. Amoroto had contributed in a little way to the economic development in Homonhon Island, the municipality of Guiuan and the entire province of Eastern Samar.
Lolo Bobby Handicraft
|Lolo Bobby's candle lamp|
The humble start-up of the Lolo Bobby Handicraft of Bato, Leyte, with its female proprietor, as a placemat producer made from coco shells paved its way to its new beginnings as one of the micro entrepreneurs of the Leyte Province. It is an active participant of local trade fairs and various product development activities initiated and coordinated with DTI and CARP’s SMITTDP which geared its competitive advantage in innovating and improving its products. From two (2) male regular employees and use of manual simple machines (e.g. sharp bolo), the efficiency of its manpower has a production capacity of 200 pieces of its total products with Region 8 as its only market. Currently, the Lolo Bobby Handicraft has now 12 male regular employees crafting the components of fashion accessories like necklaces, bracelets, earrings, and lampshades to name a few. As a result of product development activities, she has also materialized the use of carahorns and hardwoods as raw materials. 70% of its products mostly uses the current raw materials apart from coco shells. Production capacity has increased to 80%, and a market potential in as an indirect exporter subcontracting a Manila-based exporter to Japan. She has also been a regular participant in Manila FAME, a CITEM-organized fair with international, and national institutional buyers. Presently, sales averages to Php100,000.
E. Merida's Delicacies
|Merida's hopia con pili|
Ate Elvie, the mother, as what she told me, formerly works in Bali, Indonesia as a department store supervisor in her younger years. It had been in her dreams of having her own store too! Never did she knew that one day, her dreams of being an entrepreneur would come true with the help of our own local raw materials. Her first entrepreneurial venture was having a sari-sari store, but it was not that profitable as time passed by. So she tried participating in the Provincial Livelihood and Development Training for molido and sampalok, making those two and selling them was her first step in creating sumptuous delicacies.
Eventually, she came up with the idea of making something out of ‘’pili nuts’’ since she thought it was a tasty snack and thus, the Pili Brittle, Hopia con Pili and Salted Pili were out to the market. Luckily, she had a good rapport to gain the trust of her suppliers and still has good working relations to them up to this day.
Their first customers were her relatives, and as the word-of-mouth strategy worked well, the famiy business was eventually recommended into much prestigious individuals--- from government employees, doctors and even priest who, up to this day, still continue to patronize her products. Aside from being afternoon snacks, Merida’s Northern Samar Delicacies has been a popular Pasalubong and gift item, a token for visitors to have a taste of Northern Samar. It has been always there whenever the Province of Northern Samar celebrates its founding anniversary, and has been a pride to foreign visitors, such as when medical missions are conducted and foreign doctors attend to it. The family business has been a member of Philippine Export Organization because of the frequent orders from OFWs and foreign visitors who loves the mouth-watering delights.
‘’Of course, there are always downs in this business. There are times in a year where pili is so expensive and we cannot afford to buy it as our main ingredient. But that doesn’t stop us, ’’ he quips. ‘’Mom had an idea of a substitute product whenever we do not sell pili at that time of the year. Thus, we got malunggay, kalabasa, and this year, we added the rice crispy, all of them are chips. It’s cool since I was able to sell it to my friends easily because chips are so affordable!’’ Innovation is the trick the family was able to withstand such deficiency in their venture. Moreover, Ate Elvie added that they were lucky to receive help from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in terms of their product packaging which attracted more buyers to their products. She is also a frequent seminar participant since she believes that extensive knowledge is also a requirement for a business to success, and as what she said, there is always a room for improvement, which applies to both her skills and her products.
The orders were increasingly soaring and as how blessed the family were, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) aided them loan for more equipment to be used in the business and eventually the agency had recognize the good will of the family and continues to help them. As the years go by, people who patronized their business invited more and more customers to try those delicacies. They were able to display at the Catarman Airport, Monterey meatshop and lately, the family business caught the attention of the manager of the newly opened Gaisano Grand Mall Catarman. Inviting them to get their products displayed in the mall’s Pasalubong Center, gaining exposure for the snacks they are selling.
‘’The Gaisano opportunity was both a blessing and a lesson for us,’’ Ate Elvie uttered. ‘’A blessing because it was a way to market the products but at the same time, we discovered that someone tried to sabotage our display through destroying our packages especially our boxes. We do not know who did that but now we have been wary that such incidents could really happen when you try to expand your market since competition is getting tough. We frequently visit our display there so that it will not be covered by the newly delivered products from other businesses, since after all, it is a Pasalubong Center and products are from various suppliers.’’
As she waits for the hopia to cook, she said that realized that they need to improve studying the behavior of the competitors to avoid occurrence of such situations. Envy is always there in the industry and as an entrepreneur, she needed to devise strategies for the family business to be stable. She shared her photos to me, telling me that she had made cookies and cupcakes out of her raw materials, to acquire new skills and to cater more market especially on special occasions such as fiestas. ‘’I watch YouTube videos,’’ she spoke as she points a photo of cupcakes in her phone telling me that she learn making them through online videos.
After trying her Hopia con Pili and almost two hours of chatter, I decided to ended it by asking what she could recommend to people who wanted to enter the industry she belongs to, and what she advised was hardwork, extensive knowledge, perseverance, support from family and friends and most of all, prayer. It was the formula of success for the whole family, and even her daughter added that everyone should love what they are working and God will just reward all the hardwork!
Higaron Ha Tabo Association
The Higaron Ha Tabo Association is one of the assisted non-government organizations of DTI-CARP SMITTDP, Eastern Samar Provincial located at Brgy. Tabo, San Policarpo, E. Samar. Tabo is an Agrarian Reform Barangay under the Eastern Samar Settlement Project of San Policarpo, Eastern Samar.
These all started when the “two-man team” of DTI-CARP, Eastern Samar Provincial Office opted to conduct a livelihood benchmarking in the northern part of the province specifically in Brgy. Tabo, San Policarpo, E. Samar primarily because of the existing mining operation in the southern part of the province particularly in Salcedo and Mac Arthur where some of our assisted MSMEs engaging in seaweed farming were discouraged in doing seaweed farming/production for the fact that mining operation adversely affects the growth of seaweeds. There was even an incident when the chairman of the Carapdapan Small Farmers and Fishermen Producers Multi-purpose Cooperative was murdered last May 1, 2012 due to mining operation controversy in E. Samar specifically in Salcedo. He was strongly against mining operation. The person was the late Mr. Francisco P. Canayong of Brgy. Carpadapan, Salcedo, E. Samar.
It was gathered from the survey that seaweed farming was the most appropriate and potential livelihood to grow in the area because the major occupation of the barrio folks are mostly farmers and fishermen. Obviously to say, that almost of the households is “farm and sea” dependent for their living.
This encouraging affirmation prompted the DTI-CARP people to conduct a Techno-transfer Training on Seaweed Production on August 21-23, 2013 in coordination with BFAR, LGU-DA and DAR with 300 kilos seaweed planting materials to start with. The training participants were farmers and fisherfolks. As an informal group, they were advised to register at the Department of Labor and Employment. From 19 ((M: 8; F: 11) original members of the association it has now 27 (M: 11; F: 16) households seaweed farmers. The group started with only two (2) monolines for seaweed test planting which has rapidly grown to 20 monolines of 100 meters with 350 tie-ties. Within one month, the 20 cultivation tripled to 60 after 60 day, yielding 18,900 kilos seaweed with 10% biological loss. Peso value from sales generated amounted to P121,000.00. Enticed by the product lucrative buying price pegged at P45.00/kilo for dried seaweed and P10.00/kilo for fresh or planting materials only in the locality while TBK Corporation in Tacloban City is buying at P 55.00/kilo of dried seaweed in the year 2013. Two individuals who are landowners, one from Brgy. Binogawan, San Policarpo, E. Samar and the other from Brgy. Tabo serves as buyer and consolidator, respectively of dried seaweeds in the locality. The Higaron Ha Tabo Association hesitantly plunged seaweed farming. Now almost all households in the community are in seaweed farming. Apparently their economic plight has significantly improved, with the assured the real poverty alleviating per capita income of P22,500.00 per cropping season considering that of the 27 member of the association, each owns an average of 10 cultivation lines. As more and more members and barangay folks ventured into it, local buyers flocked to do business right at Brgy. Tabo. Undoubtedly, Higaron Ha Tabo Association is now the name to watch in the seaweed industry of Eastern Samar.
Two individuals who are landowners, one from Brgy. Binogawan, San Policarpo, E. Samar and the other from Brgy. Tabo serves as buyer and consolidator, respectively of dried seaweeds in the locality. The Higaron Ha Tabo Association hesitantly plunged seaweed farming. Now almost all households in the community are in seaweed farming. Apparently their economic plight has significantly improved, with the assured the real poverty alleviating per capita income of P22,500.00 per cropping season considering that of the 27 member of the association, each owns an average of 10 cultivation lines. As more and more members and barangay folks ventured into it, local buyers flocked to do business right at Brgy. Tabo. Undoubtedly, Higaron Ha Tabo Association is now the name to watch in the seaweed industry in the northern part of Eastern Samar.
Today, Higaron Ha Tabo Association is number one (1) in the seaweed sector in northern part of the province. Fast money and insurance crop in times of scarcity. Seaweed Farming has become a predominant family livelihood now in Brgy. Tabo. Wives and children work at home tying seedstocks (planting materias) to the cultivation lines for fathers to farm in the seas. As an off-shot, illegal fishing in the vicinity has totally been eradicated with the known illegal fishers now strongly involved in seaweed farming and drying. Realizing the economic impact and the ever assured local and foreign markets, the twenty seven (27) household seaweed farmers are now in the industry.
For seaweed industry in Eastern Samar, Higaron Ha Tabo Association seaweed producers and dryers have indeed rose to height of popularity having supplied tons of dried seaweed to TBK Corporation in Tacloban City as buyer of dried seaweeds. The group is also the ready supplier of seaweed planting materials to other farmers who are interested to engage in seaweed farmimg.
Sto. Niño de Plaridel Parish Multi-Purpose Cooperative (SNPPMPC)
|SNPPMPC native pillow cover|
The DTI Shared Service Facility (SSF) project in Sto. Niño de Plaridel Parish Multi-Purpose Cooperative (SNPPMPC), Plaridel Baybay City, Leyte has boosted the honor and prestige of the barangay and the city. In seven months time operation using the new SSF facilities, production of pandan and bariw products significantly increased by almost 50% because of the presence of the appropriate sewing machines. From the simple bayong, the sewers/weavers can now make or create various products specifically bags of different styles.
The cost of production reduced because the raw materials were maximized. Even the smallest pieces of pandan strips, fabrics, foam etc. that were already considered as waste before, can now be made into souvenir items. Aside from that, the producers/MSMEs could now produce more because the sewing machines are readily available at reasonable and affordable rental cost. Labor cost in edging a placemat for example is P5.00 per piece in other shops, while with the SSF, it cost only P2.50 for labor and maintenance so a decrease of 50%. As production increases, the cost reduces. With the SSF, “Waste no more, income pa more”.
Before, the market were walk-in customers only, but eventually after participating in trade fairs, they were able to expand their market by getting buyers from cities like Manila and Cebu. They are now indirectly exporting to the USA and Indonesia through direct exporters like Atty. Toribio Almendra and Y-Nonas Creation and Gregorio Cataquez, Jr.
Unlike before when they were hesitant to accept big volume orders due to lack of machineries and financial resources, with the SSF, they now accept volume orders. The beneficiaries of SSF, work as one team (coop members or non-members) in order to meet the orders in volume on time.
Some beneficiaries have leveled up from being mat weavers only to being good designers of their products. The SNPPMPC encouraged them to create products with all the raw materials provided by the cooperative and to use the facilities for free, just to enhance their hidden skills and talents, and the cooperative pay for their new designs. Moreover, the cooperative have started to diversify and is now also producing sewn garments and embroidered curtains.
With the acquisition of new machines, the cooperative is now able to encourage more beneficiaries to join. Their SSF beneficiaries increased from 466 to 560 or a 20% increase.
Sales for the year 2014 was Php575,000.00. This includes the sales of the different associations. While in 2015, barely seven (7) months (January-July) after the launching of SSF, the sales has risen to Php860,000.00.