Operation Sagip

Relocatee Sewers Sign Agreement with Uniqlo

Althea Cahayag
July 6, 2017

Sixteen sewers from Southville 7 Calauan, Laguna, the resettlement site of National Housing Authority co-managed by ABS-CBN Lingkod Kapamilya Foundation, Inc.-BayaNiJuan (ALKFI-BNJ), benefit from the renewal of agreement with Uniqlo’s Upcycling Project.

The Upcycling Project aims to provide livelihood to the residents of Southville 7. Uniqlo collects denim fabrics from their customers who had their jeans altered and these are donated to the sewers. With the training given by Uniqlo’s takumi (sewing expert), the sewers were able to design bags from the denim scraps. The finished bags are bought by the clothing brand and will be sold in their stores as novelty items and will also be used as corporate giveaways.

According to Susan Afan, the Managing Director of ALKFI, this renewal of partnership became more important because of the participation of the sewers. “What’s really special about this year’s partnership is ‘yung ating association ng ating mga mananahi, 16 of them are actually going to have a partnership directly with Uniqlo. Kasi, we’ve also been with the BayaNiJuan now for seven years and we have given already our deliverables so now it’s time for us to exit but what a wonderful legacy we’re going to leave behind is for the women now to be able to directly work with Uniqlo.” (What’s really special about this year’s partnership is that, our association of sewers now has a direct partnership with Uniqlo. 16 of them will be benefiting from it and I think it is a wonderful legacy as we exit from the BayaNiJuan project which we have been in for the past seven years.)

ALKFI and Uniqlo also renewed its partnership for the Recycling Project. Uniqlo started the initiative in 2006 where in they collect the clothes donated by their customers. These clothes, together with some of their “end of life” products, will be given to ALKFI. Through its various programs and/or projects, ALKFI will sort and distribute them throughout the Philippines.

“We need the partner that shares the same passion and goals with us,” said Geraldine Sia, Uniqlo’s General Manager. “ABS-CBN Lingkod Kapamilya Foundation is able to provide assistance in carrying out our programs as well. Through the power of clothing we were able to aid those who are in need especially the displaced communities,” she added.

Uniqlo Heads Masayoshi Nakamura (Co-Chief Operating Officer) and Geraldine Sia (General Manager) with ALKFI heads Susan Bautista-Afan (Managing Director) and Leah Bautista (BayaNiJuan Operations Manager) together with the Samahan ng Mananahi of Calauan, Laguna, headed by Salve Estrella.

Salve Estrella, the President of Southville 7’s Samahan ng mga Mananahi shared, “Masaya kasi ‘yung mga kumbaga pinaghirapan namin nakita ko. Noon, nakukuntento lang ako sa sinusweldo ng asawa ko at ‘yon lang ang pinagkakasya-kasya namin sa araw-araw. Sa ngayon na may mga tumutulong sa amin na tulad nito na pagbibigay sa amin ng mga retaso na libre at binabayaran pa kami sa pagbuo namin nito. Malaking tulong sa amin. Dagdag para sa mga anak naming nag-aaral.”  (We feel proud that the bags we made are displayed inside a big clothing store. Before, the only income that we have is the salary of my husband. But now that we have an extra livelihood, it helps us with our families’ daily expenses, especially with the schooling of our children.)

Four members of Southville 7’s Samahan ng mga Mananahi check the bags they made which are displayed in a Uniqlo store. Wearing white is Salve Estrella, the president of the association.

Uniqlo also had employee engagement activities with other programs and projects of the foundation. In partnership with ALKFI-Bantay Kalikasan’s Kapit Bisig Para sa Ilog Pasig, 250 families from Paco, Manila, became the recipients of its second clothing donation drive. They also donated clothes and repacked them to be distributed by Operation Sagip to families affected by calamities.

Southville 7 is home to more than 5,000 families affected by Typhoon Ondoy (Ketsana), informal settling families near the Pasig River, and Home Development Mutual Fund beneficiaries.

Through ALKFI’s partnership with different donors and organizations, houses and community facilities were constructed. Health care and livelihood programs were also provided.

BayaNiJuan is a project under ALKFI’s Operation Sagip that co-manages the Southville 7.