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Mariveles coop is biggest bag-material supplier

Written by
  • Mhike R. C.
  • 7 years ago

Do you know that every bag you purchase from Bataan has a story?

CITY OF BALANGA –The Mariveles Bagmakers Multi-purpose Cooperative Inc. (MBMPCI) is now a successful “bag-material” supplier, thanks to the Department of Labor and Employment’s (DOLE) livelihood assistance.

The cooperative’s journey to become the biggest supplier of raw materials for bagmakers in Mariveles town and nearby areas was not an easy one, says MBMPCI-Manager Lina Marcos. “Nag-umpisa po kami noong 2006 kung saan karamihan po sa amin ay nawalan ng trabaho dahil sa pagsasara ng mga kumpanyang pinagtratrabauhan po namin. Dahil po dito, kami po ay nagbuklod-buklod at binuo namin ang kooperatibang ito sa hangad na muling maiangat ang antas ng aming pamumuhay,” Marcos shared.

Initially, the cooperative had 30 members comprising displaced skilled sewers from different factories in the Freeport Area of Bataan (FAB), formerly known as the Bataan Economic Zone. To jumpstart its business, the cooperative required a P1,500.00 membership fee and was invested to buy raw materials to be sold or loaned at low interest to its members.

“Bukod po doon sa membership fee namin, nakapaghiram po kami ng maliit na puhunan na humahalagang P50,000.00 para makabili pa po kami ng karagdagang materyales para sa paggawa ng mga bags ng aming mga miyembro sa kani-kanilang patahian sa bahay,” Marcos said, adding: “Noong una, marami rin po kaming pagsubok na dinaanan pero hindi po kami nasiraan ng loob at ipinagpatuloy po namin ito at unti-unti naman pong nakita ng iba’t ibang ahensya ng gobyerno ang aming pagsisikap.”

Seeing the potential of the bag-making industry in Mariveles, the local government supported the cooperative by helping them earn a livelihood grant from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

In 2009, the cooperative received a P400,000 livelihood assistance from the DOLE’s integrated livelihood program that was used for its Raw Materials Training Cum Bag Production. “Napakalaking tulong po ng tulong-pangkabuhayan na ipinagkaloob po ng DOLE sa aming kooperatiba ganun din po sa mga miyembro namin. Nagkaroon po sila oportunidad para magkaroon ng puhunan para sa kani-kanilang mga negosyo at sila rin naman ay nakatulong din sa iba pang mga kasamahan nila na taga rito na nais magkaroon din ng maliit na negosyo o trabaho,” Marcos said.

Through the years, the cooperative worked in close coordination with the DOLE and other government agencies to further improve the management of its day to day operations. In addition, they already have a clear organizational structure with existing policies, constitution and by-laws, as well as provision of annual dividends to its members. Regular meetings and annual general assemblies are likewise held to boost and promote camaraderie among its members.

“Kami po, sa pamamgitan ng DOLE, ay ginamit para makatulong po sa bawat miyembro ng kooperatiba. Naging maayos at transparent po kami sa aming mga miyembro at sa panggangasiwa ng kooperatiba. Malaking bagay din po kanilang kooperasyon at suporta, kaya naman po kami, mula noon hanggang ngayon, ay patuloy parin sa pagsama-sama sa pagsulong at pagunlad bilang isang kooperatiba,” Marcos said.

From 30 members, who started as volunteers with small incomes, have now risen to 524 members at present and are now budding entrepreneurs earning decent incomes to help their families. They are now earning a range from P500 to P1,000 per day because of their acquired skills and strategies, as well as having an established market. Aside from this, 17 members were permanently employed to man the day to day operations of the cooperative and are likewise now earning the minimum wage.

With the growth of the cooperative which was initially housed in a small “pasalubong center,” they needed a bigger space to contain their inventory and improve their retail store. “Halos P50,000.00 po ang renta namin buwan buwan sa aming lugar kaya gumawa po kami ng paraan at naisip na ilaan nalang ang malaking rentang ito at paghiram din sa banko upang makapagpapatayo ng sarili naming gusali,” Marcos said.

Because of their good track record and credit access to different banking institutions, the cooperative was able to put up a 4-storey building with office furniture and equipment located at the town proper.

At present, the cooperative now has an estimated asset of P25,000,000.00 and have just recently distributed dividends to its members amounting to P4,500,000.00. For the members, the success of the cooperative is also their success because it has greatly improved their own businesses as well as their lives.

MBMPCI-member Marilyn Portillano was once a factory worker but now a budding entrepreneur with her own “pataihan” in her home after joining the cooperative. “Dati po akong nagtratrabaho sa pabrika pero noong ako po ay naging miyembro ng kooperatibong ito, nagkaroon po akong sariling pataihan. Malaking tulong po ang kooperatiba sa aking munting negosyo dahil nakakahiram po kami ng puhunan para sa materyales sa paggawa ng bag. Lahat po ng miyembro ay tuwang-tuwa tuwing may general assembly dahil sila po ay nakakatangap ng taunang dibidendo meron din po kaming natatangap na Christmas package tuwing pasko. Ngayon po, mas nakakatulong na po ako sa aking pamilya” Portillano said.

MBMPCI-member Richelle Rupinta, meanwhile, started as a working student in 2009 and was eventually hired as a bookkeeper after graduating from college. “Nag-umpisa po ako sa MBMPCI bilang working student noong ako po ay second year high school dahil gusto ko pong magkaroon ng karanasan sa pagtratrabaho. Noong ako po ay nakapagtapos ng pag-aaral sa pagsabay din ng paglaki ng ang kooperatiba, ako po ay nagkaroon ng trabaho dito bilang bookkeeper na sumasahod naman sang ayon sa aminimum wage. Malaking bagay po ang tulong ng DOLE sa pagunlad ang kooperatiba at pagunlad din ang aking buhay,” Rupinta said.

Marcos, on behalf of the 524 members of the cooperative expressed her heartfelt thanks to the DOLE and assured that they will continue to make the cooperative grow. “Lubos po kaming nagpapasalamat nang marami sa DOLE dahil sa livelihood assistance na ipinagkaloob po nila sa amin. Dahil po sa tulong nila, doon po kami nakapagsimulang palakihin ang aming negosyo upang makatulong sa aming mga miyembro gayun din sa mga iba pa na nais magkaroon ng sarili nilang negosyo. Asahan po ninyo na ipagpapatuloy namin na pagyamanin ito sa pamamagitan ng pagtulong din sa iba,” Marcos said.

The DOLE Livelihood and Emergency Employment Program (DILEEP) will continue providing livelihood opportunities for those who are willing to help themselves improve their ways of living.

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