DA-RFO V and PhilFIDA Provide Livelihood Opportunities for Mayon Evacuees

Date Posted August 2023

Families affected by the Mayon volcano eruption are facing upheaval and uncertainty as they have had to leave their homes to stay safe from the volcanic threat. In collaboration with the Philippine Fiber Industry Development Authority (PhilFIDA) Regional Office V, the Department of Agriculture-Regional Field Office V (DA-RFO V) took a proactive step towards providing livelihood opportunities for the affected community by conducting a two-day training on Abaca Twining and Eco-Bag Making at the Malilipot Evacuation Center in Malilipot, Albay, and the San Antonio Evacuation Center in San Antonio, Tabaco City, on July 12-14, 2023.

A total of 42 participants were trained, with each batch consisting of 21 participants, composed of seven (7) families, and each family having three (3) members. The identification of participants was made possible through the support and assistance of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Camp Directors, and Camp Managers (Brgy. Captains) in the evacuation centers. The two resource persons, Ms. Marieta Balaguer and Ms. Gloria Bisa, demonstrated the step-by-step procedure and techniques in abaca twining, while the second day was devoted to eco-bag making, costing, and critiquing.

The activity did not end with twine and eco-bag making alone. The organizers took it a step further by partnering with Shelmed Cottage Treasures, a PhilFIDA-licensed fibercraft processor/exporter in need of 2-ply abaca twines as a reliable market for the products created during the activity.

As the training concluded, it left the participants with the impression that even in the face of disaster, there are opportunities for new beginnings, hope, and resiliency. This proves that with the right support, we can turn challenges into opportunities. Let this be an inspiration to all of us as we weave a brighter tomorrow, one fiber at a time!