MANILA - Vice President Leni Robredo on Wednesday led the turnover of the Angat Buhay Weaving Center for Yakan weavers in Lamitan City, Basilan.
The facility, meant to help the beneficiaries in their livelihood, was built by the Angat Buhay program of the Office of the Vice President in partnership with C.C. Buencamino Architect and the local government of Lamitan City.
“Hindi na kami maulanan. Hindi na kami mainitan. So ngayon, nagpapasalamat kami sa Angat Buhay. Umulan man, bumagyo, wala na kaming pakialam. Habi na lang nang habi. Siguro, dito na kami yayaman, mag-improve, sa weaving center ng Angat Buhay na ito,” Yakan Weavers Association President Laila Tadja said.
(We will no longer be drenched in the rains, or work under direct sunlight. We are thankful to Angat Buhay. Rain or shine, we'll just keep weaving. We'll probably get rich or at least have improved lives through this weaving center.)
Robredo also turned over four units of sewing machines and 30 sets of starter kits with threads donated by Yellow Boat of Hope Foundation.
In a Facebook video post, Robredo showed the facility including such woven products as table runners made by the local weavers.
“Nung nakilala namin sila, ang na-find out namin, parang mas kumikita, instead na yung weavers, yung traders, yung bumibili ng produkto nila. Mas malaki ang nakukuha sa pagbebenta ng produkto nila. So ang ginawa po natin, dumaan sila sa maraming training under our Angat Buhay program para turuan sila ng business side,” Robredo said.
(When we found out that traders get richer than the weavers, we trained the weavers under our Angat Buhay program so they will be knowledgeable on the business side, too.)
Boosting Filipino industries and strengthening micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) will be among Robredo's top labor agenda should she win the presidency in 2022, she has said.
She said it is time to wake the "sleeping" Filipino industries, which involves developing the maritime, climate, and technological ones to create "resilient" infrastructures and generate jobs.
Robredo vowed to also stop “endo” or end of contract scheme, saying a worker's right to job security should be upheld.