Freeman Cebu Business

Exporter initiates livelihood program for GK beneficiaries


To help develop Gawad Kalinga Cebu’s productivity and livelihood program, costume jewelry exporter Pan Arts Corporation recently signed a memorandum of agreement with GK Cebu that commissions a program called Charmed Shelter Accessories to be implemented.

Charmed Shelter Accessories is a livelihood program that will provide designs, skills and technology trainings to all GK Cebu beneficiaries to be conducted by Pan Arts Corporation. After the trainings, beneficiaries will produce the charmed jewelry composed of charmed bracelets, cell phone charms and wine bottle charms which will be marketed abroad and 100% gross profit of which will go to GK Cebu beneficiaries.

Pan Arts Corporation is engaged in manufacturing and exporting high quality fashion jewelries and home decorative items. Its president Gahum Vincent Garcia said that the program will “enhance GK beneficiaries’ livelihood opportunities by getting them involved in the production process of export-quality jewelry. It will introduce them to a different level of work, raising the bar for quality and skill.”

Gawad Kalinga has five major programs implemented in existing GK villages in the country that include shelter, productivity and livelihood, health, education, and community empowerment. The latter, they say is difficult as it entails a change on the mindset of beneficiaries having been exposed to lowly living conditions, but they expressed optimism that implementing the Charmed Shelter Accessories program will give these people hope for their future.        

Gawad Kalinga advocacy has already spread to as far as Papua New Guinea, Cambodia and Indonesia and they have partners from as far as the United States, Canada and Europe.

As of the meantime there are 12 GK villages in the province including Bantayan where 39 families reside, Bogo City with 74 families, Mandaue City with 87 families, Budlaan with 99 families, Liloan with 17 families, Sambag with 10 families. Other GK communities are found in Talisay with 18 families, Dumanjug with 22 families, Toledo with 54 families.

Roughly around 477 families from the 12 GK villages are to benefit from this project but GK Cebu and Pan Arts emphasized that the training and production required in the program will not be forced to each family as any from its members can participate not only the mothers or the fathers but also their daughters or sons.

“We hope this program will blossom into something as it will allow beneficiaries to be involved in the production of export quality products that they are not yet capable of doing. We also hope that this will produce more fruits,” said GK Provincial Head Danny Lagahid.

Getting absolutely nothing in terms of profit from this program, Garcia pointed out that the long term effect of the program in their business will provide them with more manpower, more deliveries and more clients and more production.

But he emphasized that above all else, they just mainly want to do charity in a way that will be sustainable for their beneficiaries. “We really want to help and we intend to have a large pool of skilled workers for productivity. This program is like providing them with not just fish to eat but also teaching them how to fish. We give them these two things,” he stressed.

Pan Arts Corporation emphasized that the pieces will be sold to a broad price range as it will be marketed internationally. The pieces guarantees quality as it will be hand-crafted with intricate designs.

Pan Arts Corporation has already been supplying major clients abroad like Marks and Spencer’s, Banana Republic and other designer labels and Garcia assures that the pieces will come out very expensive for purchase starting from a minimum of P 150 to a thousand per piece.

Next week, Charmed Shelter Accessories product samples will be highlighted and officially launched in the market this coming International GK Summit at the SM Mall of Asia in Manila. International participants are expected to attend giving optimism to GK Cebu and Pan Arts that the event will generate favorable production orders for the program. —Rhia de Pablo

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