‘Yolanda’ survivors launch Yo Bag

By Raymart Escopel

Iloilo City – In order to fast track their recovery from super typhoon “Yolanda”, the micro, small and medium entrepreneurs (MSMEs) greatly affected by the said typhoon recentlyb launched the “Yo Bag”.

“Yo Bag” is a short term for Yolanda Bag. The formation of the said product was conceptualized by Philexport 6A Inc. as an income generating project for MSMEs who lost their livelihood due to typhoon “Yolanda”.

Through the Fair Trade-Panay, Inc. (FTFP), one of the members organizations of Philexport 6A, Inc., the project was able to get support from its foreign partner, Misereor, Germany.

Seven small business organizations were able to benefit from the said project. These include the Himulat Heron and Bangon Kababaihan of Estancia, Iloilo; San Antonio Women’s Association of Ajuy, Iloilo; Belison Women Association of Belison, Antique; Tumandok of Tapaz, Iloilo, AGFA of Aklan; and Roxas City Fisherfolks Association of Roxas City.

Aside from the relief goods and GI Sheets that the said organizations received after typhoon “Yolanda” courtesy of FTFP and Philexport National, each organization also received one unit of sewing machine with complete materials that they can use in “Yo Bag” production.

The said livelihood prohram is part of the long-term rehabilitaion intervention of typhoon “Yolanda” survivors.

The seven organixation will be reposnsible for the production of the “Yo Bags” while Philexport 6A, Inc. and FTFP will help in the marketing activities of the products.

On her part, Priscilla Barana of Bangon Kababaihan of Estancia, Iloilo which has 153 members expressed her gratitude to Philexport 6A, Inc. and FTFP for giving them the project as it served as big help for them to sustain their livelihood.

This was agreed by Lenie Aguihap of Himulat Heron who said that the sewing machinbe and the materials given to them in making the Yo Bags gave them the motivation to stand up and continue with their lives despite the big challenge that they have faced due to typhoon “Yolanda”.

Meanwhile, Philexport 6A President Ruth Fe Salditos said that thgey hope to promote the Yo Bag internationally as its symbolizes the support of the people to the victims of typhoon “Yolanda”.

She added that at present they are showcasing the Yo Bags at a trade Fair being held at SM City Iloilo from July 28 to August 3 as part of the SME Week.

The bag was designed by Ilonggo fashio designer Jaki Peñalosa.

Each bag costs P99 and 20 percent of the total sales will go to the benefiting oraganization./PN