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Vol. XXVI, 3rd Quarter
July –September 2008

SETUP assisted product chosen to join Euro export coaching program

A hobby that later turned out to be a globally competitive business that employs hundreds of workers and a two-storey production facility that lies in a 1,000 sq. m. of land in Barra, Opol, Misamis Oriental, is what the Cagayan de Oro Handmade Paper Crafts (CDO-HMPC) has become.

 The enterprise, which modestly started out of Mrs. Lolita “Luchi” Cabanlet’s fascination with handmade papers from      Japan, Thailand and India during her furloughs with her lawyer husband Virgilio years ago, has produced even better products compared with its archetypes.

Using ordinary kitchen blenders which she consequently broke three of them before she could ever make a successful run. She created an encouraging flow of orders.

Through the Department  of Science and Technology’s Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program or SET UP- a program initiated and funded by DOST that offers technology upgrading to further enhance the production capabilities of SMEs- helped out in acquiring and installing new and better production equipment that elevated the CDO-HMPC into globally competitive producer of handmade papers.

“DOST provided us with the right facilities through the DOST-SET UP in order for us to handle export markets,” added Atty. Virgilio Cabanlet.

CDO-HMPC’s products have reached and captured markets in Australia, Europe, Fiji, Hong Kong, Japan, Kuwait, Qatar, and the United States owing it to the company’s passion for quality and a heart towards innovative designs and details.

SETUP Assisted Products

This year, CDO-HMPC is one of the five Filipino SMEs that will participate in the coaching program for exporters which will be conducted by the Centre for the Promotion of Imports from developing countries or CBI Export Coaching Program in Rotterdam, Netherlands.

According to CBI website, the program is an initiative of the Government of Netherlands which supports the economic development of developing countries through strengthening the competitiveness of companies from those countries on the European (EU and EFTA) markets.

“The program’s objective is to assist exporters of developing countries on how to properly export to the European Union,” said Atty. Virgilio Cabanlet.

According to him, CDO-HMPC applied in the program through the Philippine Exporters Confederation, Inc. or PHILEXPORT, a non-stock, non-profit private organization which is mandated to strengthen the country’s export industry through its export promotion and development programs.

There are four other Filipino companies that were chosen for the program which started in January 25 and will last for three years.
Starting next year, CDO-HMPC will be featured in the yearly Paperworld Trade Fair in Frankfurt, Germany. 

“In anticipation of the upcoming surge in production through the program, CDO-HMPC is looking to develop other SMEs and cooperatives which are engaged in the paper productions by providing them with the available technology for a fair price,”  Atty. Cabanlet articulated. 

When Ms. Cabanlet was asked about the growing competition on handmade paper products in both local and off-shore, she declared that “I consider my clients as friends, therefore, they will stay with me for life, and also I try to make my products unique and in good quality.”

SETUP’s technology upgrading and financial assistance packages for SMEs have reached P307, 705,598 since its inception in 2002, while 603 out of the 693 enterprises have grown steadily under the program. In 2007, the number of enterprises that sought its assistance has climbed up to 165 compared with 61 in 2002.