Sawali-Making Project - Maitum, Catigbian, Bohol


Partner Community: MACFA, Barangay Maitum, PACAP, Bohol Chamber of Commerce, Incorporated and UBCDFI

Sawali-Making is a local livelihood recovery project of Catigbian, Bohol which was affected by the 7.2 magnitude earthquake last October 15, 2014, by supporting and enhancing the small scale bamboo-based production in the community. In Maitum, Catigbian the residents had been producing woven spilt mats (sawali) to earn extra income in addition to farming. Although there has been an increased demand for sawali in the reconstruction of many houses and school edifices in the areas distressed by the earthquake, their lack of capital and knowledge to maximize the economic benefits from such demand were constraints in scaling up the industry.

University of Bohol Community Development Foundation, Inc. and College of Business and Administration of the university through the Philippines-Australia Community Assistance Program (PACAP) financed for the project grant. The recovery project assisted 80 members of the Maitum Coconut Farmers Association (MACFA) who were the beneficiaries of the project. The concern on the reliable water source for farming brought about by the earthquake has shifted farmers from rice farming to sawali-making. They have been a government registered organization with an initial working capital collected from the members. But while they have managed to organize themselves, they have no experienced in the social enterprise which is crucial in sustaining the sawali production. The project provided for financial support as seed capital for the purchase of bamboo raw materials, hauling, emergency kits, safety gears and tarpaulin sheds for the sawali weavers. The project trained them on enterprise development, financial management, budgeting and leadership skills as well as direct linkage to the market. It capacitated them on environmental laws, environmental awareness, organic farming, and solid waste management. But with the decreased demand on sawali, the farmers diverted into organic swine and goat production which helped sustain the project.