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Simple housewives find empowerment in DOLE’s livelihood grants

Tacloban City – From being simple housewives and mothers in a small town in Llorente, Eastern Samar, the women of Mother Ignacia Women Association (MIWA) found their way to experiencing empowerment through the livelihood program of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

With thirty-two (32) members, the MIWA registered with DOLE Region VIII last March 2013 with the goal of empowering themselves and improving their standard of living through income-generating activities. Just a year after, the association sought the assistance of DOLE for their herbal tea production business. Successfully, MIWA availed livelihood grant amounting to two hundred thousand (P200,000.00) for the procurement of tools and raw materials for their small business.

The herbal tea business of MIWA started to become established and the demand of their products also increased causing them to access another assistance from DOLE for the enhancement of their project. In 2017, they received five hundred one thousand six hundred pesos (P501,600.00) for the acquisition of equipment that will help them optimize their production.

Since then, the women of MIWA were encouraged to aspire more in life knowing that they have already a livelihood they can call their own. Driven with sheer determination to improve their business, the women of MIWA strived to enhance their products and expand their market. Currently, their products are already being sold in many outlets in Llorente and Borongan in Eastern Samar as well as in different stores in Tacloban City.

From their monthly sales of less than ten thousand pesos (P10,000.00), they are now yielding more than one hundred thousand (P100,000.00) in a month.

But more than getting income from the business, the women of MIWA gained confidence for themselves as persons. From being simple mothers and wives, they are now more dignified with their contributions to the herbal tea business of their group.

The women of MIWA can now proudly say that they have experienced empowerment. They can now confidently face and interact with other people knowing that they contribute to the welfare of other people particularly in promoting healthy lifestyle with their product. Their product was actually awarded the Best Seller Product during the Nationwide Trade Fare of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) held in Manila last September 2015.

MIWA ought to still improve in a lot of things in order to ensure sustainability of their business. They are now in the process of securing registration with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in order to expand their market and explore the possibility of bringing their products to foreign market.

End/Norma Rae S. Costimiano

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2019-04-01
YAHYA A. CENTI
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