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PIA Press Release

DTI-7 to launch Project "Bayong" in Barili to create jobs

Cebu City (February 9) -- Producing hand-woven bags or what is locally termed as 'bayong' may just be the jumping start that could provide employment for the rural folks of Barili, a southern town in Cebu amid the ongoing and more anticipated lay-offs ahead brought about by the global financial crisis.

Recognizing the potential for job generation in the countryside, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI-7) will launch tomorrow the "Project Bayong" at the Barili Gymnasium.

The DTI-7 said the project aims at developing the abundant raw material and the existing skills in the area into a product (a hand-woven bag or "Bayong") which has a potential demand both for local and export market.

Barili has been chosen by the DTI as a launch site for the project in Cebu because Barili is noted for its "bayong" craftsmanship, making use of local pandan material.

"Project Bayong" also promotes environmental friendliness as hand-woven bags highlight the use of local raw materials such as pandan, rattan or buri shunning the use of plastic bags that causes pollution to the environment, clogging canals and littering the streets, the DTI-7 stated.

China is the prospective market of Project Bayong where there is now a move to ban the use of plastic bags and shift towards the use of native baskets or reusable cloth bags for shopping.

DTI-7 is currently drawing-up plans, provide strategic interventions and mobilize craftsmen nationwide to boost mass production of quality "bayong." Lined-up trainings include basic Skills in bayong weaving to have more new weavers; upgrading skills training to those who have been currently weaving but need a skills upgrade; and training on dyeing techniques where various colors could be integrated to increase the "bayong's" marketability.

The DTI-7 bared the main goal of the project is to seek the support of local government units and NGOs to provide sustainable livelihood and income-generating opportunities and establish more entrepreneurs who will help and strengthen communities in facing the global crisis.

The DTI-7 expressed optimism the endeavor would pave the way towards creating awareness and market for potential products not only in Barili, but also in the neighboring towns of Cebu.

As the world including the Philippines faces challenging times ahead amidst the global economic crisis, the DTI-7's Project "Bayong" is in line with the Comprehensive Livelihood and Emergency Employment Program (CLEEP) of the Philippine Government.

CLEEP is one among several poverty alleviation government programs viewed as an immediate solution to the country's burgeoning unemployment problem and as an immediate response to the global financial crisis. (PIA-Cebu/FCR) [top]

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