RULA Cited as Model Community Program

We had the honor of being recognized by Planters Development Bank. If you do not know about it, you should know that it is the largest privately owned and managed development bank in the Philippines.

Below is a newsflash from Planters Development Bank (otherwise known as Plantersbank), SME Advocacy Programs

Quezon City-based RULA Project—a social enterprise beneficiary of the Plantersbank-EcoSwitch Fostering Resource Efficient Enterprises (F.R.E.E.) and SME Advocacy programs—provided building cleaners and security personnel, as well as their family members, the opportunity to learn craft skills and start their own home-based livelihood augmentaiton project at the workshop organized last Saturday, 07 September, under the auspices of the Plantersbank Environment Office Magazine para Mag-Negosyo project.

image006“Paper interlock is a craft that is quick and easy to learn,” RULA Project founder Leah Galisim, an environment and women’s empowerment advocate told the ten participants of the pilot workshop at the SME Center for Asia at Plantersbank head office in Makati. She explained that for less than 100 pesos capital to acquire “a spool of thread, a roll of cellophane tape, a shuttle cut from the cover of a plastic ice cream tumbler,” anyone with patience and an eye for creativity can start a livelihood project producing eco-friendly, fashion accessories from old magazines. One magazine provides enough raw material for one bag, two fashion totes or six coin purses.

image010 image012 image014Margie Salazar and Nida Bandin, artisan-weavers from the community group affiliated with the RULA Project, shared techniques and tips for transforming discarded glossy magazines into fashionable eco-friendly purses, totes and bags. Margie and Nida helped develop the craft techniques that make RULA bags and purses much desired as souvenir items and corporate giveaways. The craft has helped women in their urban poor community to develop individual confidence and financial independence as artisans and entrepreneurs.

Spouses Reymundo and Lelebeth Magsayo agreed that the craft was not as difficult as first thought and they already had some ideas for projects to practice on.  The Magsayos were joined by colleagues and friends Avelino and Evelyn Cuadra; Uzziel, Aracilie and Jupiter Mag-usara; Socorro Babuet, Josey Orpio and Dante Apsoy, who learned first hand the proper folding, lamination and locking techniques to produce their first paper purses.

An offshoot of the Plantersbank Zero Waste Program and  brainchild of Environment Officer FVP Roberto F. Banaag, Magazine para Mag-Negosyo mobilizes employees and friends of Plantersbank to “give a second life to old glossy magazines.”

“Glossy magazines lying around our living rooms can provide a living for others,” FVP Banaag said. He pointed out that glossy paper is not recyclable into paper pulp because of the coating and inks. But it can be re-used as raw material and made into other useful items.

“Besides a training workshop, Magazine para Mag-Negosyo project will provide the magazines which forms part of their start-up social enterprise capital,” FVP Banaag explained. He said the Environment Office initiated the project after members of the Head Office security and cleaning detail expressed interest after seeing the paper crafts displayed in last year’s Eco-Lifestyle Exhibit.

The Environment Office said it collected about a quarter ton of glossy magazines since the  Magazine para Mag-Negosyo drive was initiated in May. This amount of recycled paper saves the equivalent of four trees, which can absorb a total of 48 kilos of carbon dioxide and provide enough oxygen for 16 people in one year.