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Women’s group in Bohol makes it big in tableya-making business

Cebu City, Philippines. They used to walk carrying tens of kilos of ground-up cacao beans or famously called “tableya” in the many parts of the Visayas. They remembered walking even under the rain in going to the building lent to them just to continue with operations. They thought, a day without enough production makes such a big slash on their income, which all of them hoped to get a little better with what little they used to have.

This group of women, mostly farmers and vendors in the town of Jagna, Bohol, believed that the distance they had to travel from their houses in going to their production area without access to any form of transportation, was so little a sacrifice that they thought doing it was a normal part of their daily grinds all in the name of their Tableya processing business.

Born under name of Canjulao League of Women (CLOW), the group saw the potential of their business seeing how the townspeople readily embraced their products, the most prominent of which is Tableya molded into balls, which many of their patrons love to heat and combine with water to make a traditional Filipino chocolate drink called “sikwate.”

“After receiving help from our own LGU and from other government agencies, we turned to DOLE hoping to avail its livelihood assistance. We believed that with the right kind of aid, our business would still do more,” said CLOW focal person, Gaudiosa C. Aceron.

CLOW began getting in touch with DOLE through the DOLE-Bohol Field Office and went through all the challenges that confronted them until in March 2013, when they were finally given more than Php300, 000.00 in livelihood assistance under the DOLE Integrated Livelihood and Emergency Employment Program (DILEEP) for their Tableya Processing and Marketing Enterprise project.

“We went through a lot. We had no budget to spend for actual purchases of our ingredients. We need to travel to Cebu when the items we would need were not available in the area. And these items were costly,” recalled Aceron.

She noted that after receiving financial help from DOLE, they slowly became more economically independent than they were when resources were scarce.

After seven (7) years of being in the business, the CLOW expanded their products as well as their market. The group started marketing their products in the public market and in some “painitan” sections, and sari sari stores in Jagna. With the intervention of their LGU and other government agencies, they began displaying their products in the different branches of a famous mall in Bohol. Soon enough, they became a regular in the trade fairs conducted in Tagbilaran City, Cebu City and in Mindanao. Their products also reached as far as Manila and in many parts of the country through online selling.

From occupying a building lent to them, the group now owns their a lot, where their processing area proudly stands, this time only a walking distance away from their homes in barangay Canjulao.

Apart from this, said DOLE Bohol Field Office OIC Maria Corazon Monroid, with the CLOW’s increase in production and market, their assets grew from One Million Pesos in 2017 to over Two Million Pesos in 2019.

“We also generated employment and we are so happy about it. We now have 17 workers and 3 others concentrating on admin matters. We also have members rendering voluntary work and some senior citizen-members extending help,” said one CLOW member.

Luzviminda Tadle, 52, is one proud CLOW member and said that the association helped her send her children to school. Her daughter, Kathleen, is now a licensed teacher and she is happy saying that their family benefited the allowances she received from the group. Kathleen obtained her degree from the Bohol Institute of Technology-Jagna and could not have successfully gone through college without the extra income she got from CLOW. Tadle, a vendor for 20 years, is in-charge of all paper works of CLOW.

“We’ve noticed how the group takes care of the assistance they received from DOLE. Proof to that is they are being successful in making their livelihood project alive up until now, making it big and sustainable. This remarkable performance of the CLOW is worth replicating for by other beneficiaries of the DOLE’s livelihood program,” said DOLE-7 Regional Director Salome O. Siaton.

The CLOW emerged as the winner of the Best DOLE-Assisted Livelihood Projects- Group Category at the regional level. It will represent Region-7 to the national awards this year.

Every year, the DOLE recognizes outstanding DOLE-Assisted Livelihood Projects both for the individual and group categories at the Regional and National Levels.

 

End//LSenarlo-Taniza

 

For more information on this report, you may contact (032) 234-3317 or tricitydole7@yahoo.com.ph; (032) 266-7424 or cpfodolero7@gmail.com; (035) 226-2778 / (035) 422-9741/ dolenegrosoriental@gmail.com; (035) 480-9244 or dolesiquijor@gmail.com; (038) 501-0277 and (038) 411-0806 or doleboholfo@gmail.com.

 

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2020-11-19
SALOME O. SIATON
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