Papel is an association of eleven (11) regular workers who manage
a business enterprise making handmade paper and paper-based
products such as boxes, bags, lamp shades, stationeries, greeting
cards and Christmas decors. In February 2000, Alayon Papel joins
other subcontractors at the National Trade Fair (NTF) in Manila.
As a first-time, the exhibitors are looking forward to meeting new
buyers, learning from the experience and taking in more challenges.
Lydia Co, Secretary and a pioneering member of Alayon Papel never
expected a dream come true for a group like thisÖ
years ago, a group of lay missionaries from Spain formed an organization
called Lihuk Panaghiusa (United Action). Lihuk Panaghiusa saw the
need for economic projects and organized eleven (11) people to join
a workshop on making greeting cards made of paper and indigenous
materials. The group came to be known as Alayon Papel and taken
under the wing of Lihuk Panaghiusa. Alayon Papel pursued a livelihood
project making greeting cards out of handmade paper and indigenous
materials which were exported to Spain. The same group participated
a workshop on handmade paper-making and gradually developed skills
on the product. Other handmade paper- based items were produced
to include boxes, bags, lamp shades, stationery and Christmas decors.
In 1997, after joining a Market Fair at SM, Cebu there were inquiries
from the domestic market and Alayon Papel headed for production.
Their buyers include Freedom Handicraft and Ciara Lee. Other than
this, Alayon Papel was also catering to foreign markets in Spain
and the US.
to Romy Pura, Alayon Papelís Manager for about a year now, "The
most challenging part of the business is marketing and product development.
We have to be resourceful. Where do we sell the product? And we
constantly take risks." At present, Alayon Papel has eleven
(11) members with forty (40) piece-workers. The workersí ages range
from 18 to 80 years old. One of Alayon Papelís principle is to employ
people who have the ability to produce regardless of age. While
the production flow is basically manual (i.e. 90% manual and 10%
mechanized), there are high hopes of improving productivity with
the plan to purchase more equipment and machines. With its present
facilities, Alayon Papel is capable of producing some 17,500 pieces
of specialized boxes with compartments, sinamay windows and sinamay
covers within two (2) months. Production processes and flow depend
on the items produced. For example, handmade paper are produced
by on-call workers who cook the product twice or thrice a week.
For boxes, production flow is the assembly line scheme (i.e. cutting
and assembling) proceeding to quality control and packaging. The
same holds true for bags, greeting cards and Christmas decors.
are many aspects that Alayon Papel would like to master on, such
as the application of the 5S of Good Housekeeping. It also looks
forward to the purchase of basic equipment such as a paper folding
machine, a glue applicator and a paper cutter. At the moment, the
cutting machine is capable of producing 700 boxes or 12,000 boxes
each month. It does not intend to become fully mechanized because
as an association, one of its aims is to constantly grow and employ
additional people. While its first year of business was funded by
Lihuk Panaghiusa, by 1999 Alayon Papel broke loose from tradition.
It is now operating based on the returns generated by the business
enterprise and wants to sustain the same arrangements in the future.
Lihuk Panaghiusa is currently busy with other services such as a
scholarship program, a feeding project for children and a micro-credit
project. Indeed, Alayon Papel has made a tremendous leap in four
(4) years. As Lydia Co would say, "Wa gyud ko mag-expect nga
maingon ani." Yes, there were birth pains, but Alayon Papel
has become independent.
the classic tradition of promotion, check out Alayon Papelís products
at the NTF on February 2000. For sure, each item is a labor from
one member who learned and got employed along the way and will continue
to do so with your purchase order.