BOON FO HABLON: NGCP inks deal with Rajo Laurel for sustainable livelihood project

THE National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) Project Baro, one of the company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) projects, gets a boost as renowned fashion designer Rajo Laurel recently signed an agreement to use the project’s products for NGCP’s corporate uniform in 2020.

Project Baro is a sustainable livelihood project that aims to promote and sustain the indigenous art of weaving in the country. It hopes to improve the economic conditions of its partner communities by building their capacities. Aside from the provision of trainings on various weaving techniques, raw materials and equipment to weavers, the project will also help increase their income through market linkage and access.

“It is important for the project to go full circle as the equipment and trainings will find no use if there is no market for them to sell their goods,” NGCP said in a statement.

The collaboration between NGCP and Laurel will see the use of Iloilo’s Hablon fabric, produced by member-weavers of the Miagao Weavers’ Association (MWA), in NGCP’s corporate uniforms. Laurel’s company, Laurel et Ross, which has been in the business of masterfully crafting uniform designs since 2001, will oversee the design and production of the uniforms.

“We believe that we should not stop our efforts by just giving them tools and trainings, but also keep them relevant by linking the communities with local and international entrepreneurs who are able to see the quality and design of Filipinos,” explained NGCP.

Laurel, for his part, expressed his excitement over the project. “Weaving is a very strong, significant symbol of our country. Miagao is one of the most popular weaving communities and it is very important to not allow this identity to disappear. I’m very happy that NGCP got me for this project as this will help a lot of weavers,” Laurel said.

Around 75 weavers are expected to benefit from the project.

Aside from the MWA, NGCP also supports member-weavers of Kalinga Indigenous Weavers’ Association (KINWA) Etnika in Kalinga and Buhi OTOP Key Players Association (BOKPA) in Camarines Sur. Both associations supply NGCP with their products and are linked to socio-ethical enterprises through the project. “Through the support we give to our communities and local industries, we not only enable their craft to mature, but also give them better opportunities to showcase what Filipinos are capable of,” stated NGCP.

In addition to sustainable livelihood projects, NGCP’s CSR Program puts prime concern on environmental conservation and the continuous development of its host communities through various initiatives.

NGCP is a Filipino-led, privately owned company in charge of operating, maintaining, and developing the country’s power grid, led by majority shareholders Henry Sy, Jr. and Robert Coyiuto Jr.