The women sewmates and some of the children in Brgy. Tumanding joins PLDT Community Relations Head Katherine Diaz De Rivera and PEF executives for a group photo. The turnover ceremony was attended by PEF Director for Research and Conservation Dr. Jayson Ibañez, Brgy. Captain Datu Dante Tumanding, Alfredo Buhawi of Arakan, North Cotabato Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Office, IP Mandatory Representative Datu Badang Layuran, and Plushies for Conservation sewmate Mercy Panawad.
PLDT, through its Community Relations (ComRel) Division, recently turned over the new Conservation SewMates Production and Multi-purpose Hall to the community of Barangay Tumanding in Arakan, North Cotabato. The donation, which aims to provide a platform for the women sewmates of Arakan to further enhance their toy making skills and creativity, was made in partnership with the Philippine Eagle Foundation (PEF).
The new multi-purpose hall will serve as a venue where the women SewMates can gather to create attractive and high quality Philippine Eagle plush toys. It can also be used by the community for important meetings and discussions.
“PLDT believes in the ingenuity of every woman in Brgy. Tumanding. We hope that through this multi-purpose hall, they can thrive well and pass on their beautiful craft to the new generation,” said Katherine P. Diaz De Rivera, PLDT ComRel Division head.
The production and selling of the Philippine Eagle plush toys is one of PLDT’s Corporate social responsibility activities for its 90th anniversary in 2018. In partnership with the Davao-based PEF, selected indigenous women from partner communities were trained to create the toys that were mainly sold at the Philippine Eagle Center. This community enterprise has provided an alternative livelihood to indigenous peoples’ communities living within the forest.
Diaz De Rivera addresses the community in Brgy. Tumanding in Arakan, North Cotabato.
Aiming to increase the communities’ commitment to the conservation and protection of biodiversity and the forest, proceeds of the Philippine Eagle plush toys benefited the Sinaka Eagle Bagtok Napunangan Kayupaton Association (SEBNAKA) of Manobo Tinanaon women in Brgy. Tumanding, as well as the conservation efforts of PEF.
Before the multi-purpose hall donation, sewmates crafted the plush toys in their respective houses and consolidated them in the home of one of their members. Their dream was to have an official place for making the plush toys as well as a storage for the materials.
According to the women, the Plushies for Conservation has changed their lifestyle as housewives. The initiative has not only served as a recreational activity for them but also provided them extra income for their family’s basic needs such as food and education.
The turnover ceremony was also attended by PEF Director for Research and Conservation Dr. Jayson Ibañez, Brgy. Captain Datu Dante Tumanding, Arakan North Cotabato Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Office (MENRO) Alfredo Buhawi, IP Mandatory Representative Datu Badang Layuran, and “Plushies for Conservation” sewmate Mercy Panawad.