In Baguio City, 12 mothers of working children now successful bakers

Date Posted: April 28th, 2014 02:33 AM

Danilo Dalisan of Brgy. Sto. Tomas, Baguio City, has been a baker for 10 years, but one day, to his dismay, he suddenly found himself out of work. For lack of something productive to do, he volunteered to be a baker-trainer to a group of women in the barangay who called themselves the Sto. Tomas Proper Women’s Association. The Association members have two things in common. They are mothers of child laborers and all share the passion for baking.

One of the women-members is Margie Ciriaco, a mother of three working children. She and the other members thought of starting a bakery, but don't know how. An opportunity came in September 2012, when the DOLE Cordillera Regional Office, which have known the desire of the women, awarded the Association a grant of P499,750 for the purchase of baking equipment, tools, and materials to start a bakery.

But even before the Association could go full-time in their new-found livelihood, they needed to polish their baking skills. They thought of Danilo Dalisan, who gamely agreed to train them for three months. Dalisan, who was still jobless then, imparted his knowledge and shared his baking expertise to the women who learned fast.

The DOLE-CAR also conducted for the 12 women a TCP, or training cum production, to test which bakery products will sell so that the raw materials the DOLE-CAR granted them will not go to waste. The DOLE-CAR also taught them marketing. Soon, the women were already baking, and customers begin to notice their bakery products. The cash register of the Association began to ring with profits, slow at first, but pointing towards faster income.

Today, the Association is one successful story in the books of the DOLE's Community Enterprise Development Program in Baguio City--a bakery ran by the owners themselves. Ciriaco and her colleagues work in the bakery by selling the products themselves.

"I now earn an extra P200 per day by delivering bread and pan de sal to my regular customers. I work from 6:00 A.M. to 8:00 A.M.," Mrs. Ciriaco narrated.

“Ar-aramidek daytoy tapno matulungak ti asawak gapu ta maysa laeng isuna nga pison ken saan nga permanente ti trabaho na. Jay matub-tubok iti panagilakok iti pan-de-sal ket dakkel iti tulongna ti panag suportak iti pamilyak nang-nangruna iti tallo nga annak ko. Tatta ket saandan nga agkol-kolekta iti basura nga ipan da idiay collection area tapno tumubo da laeng iti lima nga pesos iti maysa nga sako. (I do this to help my husband who is a laborer and has an irregular employment. My income from selling pan de sal supports my family, especially my three sons, who usually go out early morning to collect and deliver garbage to the collection area for P5.00 pesos per sack.)," she added.

Baker Dalisan recounted that after only three months of teaching the members of the Association, the bakery now provides P1,000 in income per month to each of the 12 women.

"I, myself, was paid P2,000 for my assistance to the women from September 2012 to January 2013. I am happy for them," Dalisan admitted.

In one of his field visits, DOLE-CAR Regional Director Henry John Jalbuena dropped by the bakery in Brgy. Sto. Tomas and expressed amazement at how quickly the community-based enterprise could become profitable. He had a brief chat with the members of the Association who thanked him for the DOLE grant.

The women also expressed gratitude to Sto. Tomas Proper barangay officials led by Punong Barangay Miguel Kiwas for their support to their enterprise.

The Association's bakery continues to be profitable. In the succeeding months after his visit in 2013, Director Jalbuena said he was informed the members’ income had increased from P2,500 each per month in a two-month period and again rose to P3,000 each a month from April 2013 to the present. “The determination of the women, strong leadership of the barangay officials, and support of the community to the Association had ensured the success of the bakery," said Jalbuena.

The surprise of the baking enterprise is that Mr. Dalisan has been hired by the Association as full-time baker. The Association also has 14 bread sellers who work two hours each day. Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz encouraged the women to create a ripple effect to ensure the sustainability of their bread production which has benefitted not only Brgy. Sto. Tomas Proper but also the nearby communities.



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