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Read the CDOH Case Study

About the company

The Cagayan de Oro Handmade Paper Craft Company was started by Lolita B. Cabanlet 14 years ago when she started making paper with a blender in her kitchen. Today, the company is exporting its products to markets around the world. They have a vision that combines the entrepreneurial endeavours of the Cabanlets with the desire to assist the unemployed and underprivileged members of the community.

Total grant funding approved: ECF A$407,139


About the project

The project will develop the abaca industry in more accessible areas to Cagayan de Oro City. It will engage over 900 families that have grown abaca but cannot sell their products due to poor transportation links between their villages and Cagayan de Oro City.

The project has three main components. These are:

  1. to increase incomes of the Indigenous Peoples (the Higaunon Tribe) of Claveria, Misamis, Oriental and Malitbog, Bukidnon by sourcing abaca fibres from their lands and fostering export of abaca fibre and abaca based products.
  2. to expand handmade paper manufacturing and craft making facilities of Cagayan de Oro Handmade Paper Crafts
  3. to contribute to the capacity building, training and poverty alleviation of the local communities.

Results December 2012

  • The Cagayan de Oro Handmade Paper crafts project increased paper production capacity by over 250% as a result of the ECF grant and increased export sales, the business is profitable;
  • Cagayan de Oro employs 22 paper makers, 15 craftsmen (mostly men) working on the more technical designs such as boxes, albums in the factory.
  • Cagayan de Oro have trained 88 home based workers and is currently working with 46 on an ongoing basis (see below). The average income received is up to P95,000 (A$2,083).
  • 300 abaca growing households in Misamis Orientals are selling abaca to the local buying station constructed by Cagayan de Oro using ECF funds. Previously the closest place to sell abaca was a local market place 30 minutes away by motorbike. The buying station uses a simple grading sheet to identify the different grades and pays P30–45 (A$0.7 to A$1) depending on the quality.
  • A household earns on average P14,400 (A$335) from the sale of abaca every three years.
  • A number of farmers had sold 10–12 kilos of abaca at a time to cover daily needs; some sold 180–300 kilograms or enough to pay school fees or purchase inputs. The locally available buying station means farmers can sell small or large quantities of abaca as needed and have more control over their cash flow.
  • Many of the 300 households have increased their planting activities as a result of the setting up of the buying station.
  • The management teams of Cagayan de Oro are social entrepreneurs and this has contributed to the success of this beneficial supply chain partnership between the company and communities.

Cagayan De Oro: Training a local home-based workforce

Cagayan do Oro Handmade Papercrafts is located in Cagayan de Oro in northern Mindanao, Philippines and was awarded an ECF grant of A$407,139 to develop an abaca supply chain and expansion of a handmade paper making factory that uses abaca.

Cagayan de Oro contracts home-based workers to assemble and construct the cards and paper products The company has trained 88 local women and is currently working with 46 on an ongoing basis.

In many households, the home-based workers have also trained their family members (sisters, children, husbands) to support. They can be helped by 3–5 family members.

The average income for some suppliers is up to P95,000 (A$2,083) per year in 2010 and this is expected to increase in 2011.

“In 2007, we received an order for 1 million cards and therefore had to mobilise the whole community to help!” Luchi Cabanalet Cagayan de Oro founder Additionally Cagayan de Oro has also provided the 73 home-based workers with school supplies and scholarships for their children. This program was developed as many of the women indicated the main reason they were working was to fund school fees for children.