Ecija women venture into water lily weaving

CABANATUAN CITY, Philippines—An additional income of P50 a day can go a long way for a family.

With this in mind, Elvie Ronquillo, a leader of a women’s group here, encouraged an initial batch of 50 women to take part in a three-day training on water lily weaving, which was conducted at the old capitol compound last week.

After the training, these women were tasked to share their new skills with other members of their organization in Nueva Ecija, as provided under the livelihood program of Gov. Aurelio Umali.

The group, called Ladies of Nueva Ecija, produces bags, slippers and trays from water lilies, which are widely available in the province.

Ronquillo said the women would eventually produce home decor and home and office supplies.

“A P50 daily extra income that you can earn right inside your house counts for a housewife,” she said.

For example, a pair of slippers made from water lily, she said, can be sold for P35 each in the market.

She said the local government had committed to help the group market its products.

Board Member Emmanuel Anthony Umali said the livelihood activity was a step toward achieving peace in the province, which is known for its intense political rivalries.

“This is beyond making extra income for your family; this can be translated to peace and development that we have long wished for,” he said.

The provision of livelihood opportunities for housewives, he said, is one of the thrusts of the provincial government.

In Cabiao town, the Department of Labor and Employment, along with the local public employment service office, handed out P500,000 worth of livelihood assistance to 75 workers under the government’s Tulong Pangkabuhayan sa Ating mga Disadvantaged Workers (Tupad).

Pedro Fernando, Dole Nueva Ecija director, said the assistance was distributed to workers from 23 villages in Cabiao.

The beneficiaries include out of school youth and displaced workers.

Mayor Gloria Crespo-Congco hoped that the financial assistance will raise the standard of living of her constituents.

Tupad was launched in 2009 as Dole’s program for long-term employment generation, in response to the global financial crisis that reached its peak that year.


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