(PAGASA 24-HOUR PUBLIC WEATHER FORECAST as of Tuesday, 05 March 2024) Northeast Monsoon affecting Luzon. Butuan City, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur, will experience partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers or thunderstorms due to Easterlies/Localized Thunderstorms. Possible flash floods or landslides during severe thunderstorms. Moderate to strong winds coming from Northeast to East will prevail with moderate to rough seas (1.2 to 2.8 meters).

Wednesday, 6 September 2023

Artisan pioneers eco-friendly rattan, a first in PH 

By Renelle L. Escuadro

The government ensures full support and assistance in the development and growth of the micro, small and medium entrepreneurs (MSMEs) who make up the 90% of the country’s business sector.

This challenges local designers to strive for innovation and creativity as their valuable contributions to economic development and nation-building.

From decades of appreciating natural rattan or wicker on mostly furniture, the public is now embracing the synthetic or plastic rattan. This material is hailed for its quality and durability as it requires less maintenance and has a longer lifespan compared to natural rattan.

Lynn Sheryl Reasol, owner of Binuhat Arts and Craft Trading of  San Jose in the Province of Dinagat Islands, ventured differently as the first and only artisan MSME in the country who introduced and used plastic rattan on fashionable bags and homewares. Significantly, she presented this raw material as environment friendly as it is made of seaweeds and plastic wastes.

As a local weaver, Reasol shared that before her finished products were made from natural Ticug, pandan and Buli, saying,  “The weavers of the country use the same raw materials and we compete primarily on quality, design and price.”

“With the eco-friendly rattan,  I started to  get the attention of the buyers since I have something different and my fashionable handbags and homewares are not available to the rest of the local weavers,” she added.

Reasol shared that she currently works with a private supplier in Cebu for processing and manufacturing of eco-friendly rattan as this is the nearest available plastic extrusion machine to her location.

She is presently in partnership with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) in Caraga through the Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP). This collaboration aims to bolster her business by providing a comprehensive set of high-quality plastic extrusion machinery valued at P1.9 million. This investment will enable her to increase production of her products and meet the rising demands of her customers, both locally and internationally.

As an eco-artisan, she believes that having the machine available in her production area, which enables her to create her own raw materials, will make a significant contribution to the solid waste program and overall waste management efforts in her province and the entire country.  This is because she will be recycling plastic wastes from her locality, and the province of Dinagat Islands is abundant in seaweed resources, which can also be utilized effectively.

Further, the Department of Trade and Industry recognized the significant potential in Reasol's flourishing business and has been providing support since 2020. This assistance includes establishing connections and facilitating its expansion into the global market.

“I am blessed to have DTI encouraging me to join all trade fairs and exhibits that are participated by local and international audiences,” Reasol said who just joined the recent National Trade Fair 2023 on August 23 to 27 at Mega Trade Hall, SM Mega Mall in Manila.

DTI’s One Town, One Product (OTOP) program allowed her to showcase her products in a strategic booth at SM City Butuan thus, increasing the product demand and ensuring stability.

DTI provided training on handicraft and weaving to her local community, enabling her to establish a team of skilled weavers. Presently, she has created a stable income source for 15 female and senior citizen weavers, and they are supported by eight male weavers who received training. Additionally, she provides livelihood opportunities to non-regular weavers, including 10 students in her barangay, helping them generate income for their education.

Junana Montiel, a senior citizen and local weaver trained by DTI, said, “ Nagpasalamat ko sa DTI sa pagtrain sa akoa sa paghimo ug mga bags, baskets ug uban pa. Mao nang si Lynn Sheryl Reasol sa Binuhat Arts and Craft Trading magpahimo jud sa akoa isip usa ko sa mga regular weavers niya [I thank DTI for allowing me to join the handicraft training, so now Lynn Sheryl Reasol sa Binuhat Arts and Craft Trading makes me as one of her regular weavers which is a big help for my daily needs].”

Rogelyn Montiel, a student and weaves for  Binuhat Arts and Craft Trading added, “ Moapil ko ug weave ug bags kay may-nalang ako sweldo diri magamit nako sa skewala [ I join and weave bags because the income I receive her helps me in my school expenses].”

Indeed, Lynn Sheryl Reasol of Binuhat Arts and Craft Trading is just one of the many MSMEs who continue to make ambitious and transformative journeys, hand in hand with the government. (RLE/PIA-Caraga)