El Nido, Palawan
The farmers, weavers, food sellers, workers, and residents form the heart of the communities in El Nido, Palawan. They have also proved how community development empowers people and communities, as we continue to share our dreams with one another, and together find ways to achieve them.
As many parts of the country implement enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) to contain the spread of #COVID19, the need to address very real needs of people on the ground also becomes urgent. For more than a years, our work with weavers, farmers, workers, and food sellers in El Nido involves connecting them to businesses as well as potential markets for their products. With economic activity slowing down as a result of the pandemic, many community-based enterprises continue to look for ways to earn an income for their families as well as their workers’ families.
Recognizing this challenge, Ayala Foundation started relief initiatives for its community partners in El Nido, while also piloting potential solutions that can helLipp communities adapt to the “new normal.”
Together with partners and volunteers, Ayala Foundation assembled care packs for 100 households in El Nido, Palawan. Each care pack contains rice and other essential food items purchased from partner farmers working in surrounding barangays, and put together in bayongs woven by the Sibaltan Women Weavers Association, a group of entrepreneurial women weavers from barangay Sibaltan, also in El Nido. Partners from Ayala Land’s Lio Estate Resorts and Lio Tourism Estate also stood behind the initiative, even providing some food items such as cheese for the care packs.
Among the recipients of the the care packs were Ayala Foundation’s partner weavers, farmers, food sellers, and front-line barangay workers from the barangays of Villa Libertad and Pasadeña.
Each care pack carried a short inspirational message for our partner communities during this challenging time: “Manatiling ligtas sa #COVID19. Maging magiting sa pagpapahalaga sa kalusugan ng pamilya at pamayanan. #AsOneWeCan.”
“Maraming salamat po sa mga food pack na ibinahagi nyo sa amin. Malaking tulong po ito lalo na po sa panahon ngayon,” said Kagawad Edwin Cagas of barangay Bagong-Bayan, El Nido, Palawan. Cagas is also one of Ayala Foundation’s partner farmers.
An important part of Ayala Foundation’s commitment to its El Nido partner communities is to connect local workers, entrepreneurs, and agricultural workers to a market. Given the challenges posed by the ECQ, community partners still had to find ways to move their products to provide for their families. Will a local online market work in El Nido?
In April Ayala Foundation, together with the Lio Tourism Estate, has launched a virtual market to serve the needs of the local community for food and other services.
Called the Lio E-Lengke, this online market aims to support local farmers, weavers, and sellers of cooked food and local delicacies. This way, the local entrepreneurs can continue to find a way to support their families, while those who are staying home because of the quarantine can continue to have access to high-quality produce, meat, seafood, and poultry, as well as home-cooked food.
The participating farmers, weavers, and food sellers have been Ayala Foundation and Lio Tourism Estate’s partners for various community development initiatives. Before COVID-19, the farmers have been supplying fresh produce and poultry products for the hotels and restaurants in the resorts. The weavers, meanwhile, have been making mats and bayongs for use of tourists and other guests. The sellers of cooked food have been serving their tasty delicacies at the weekly taboan (market) at Lio Beach.
With the ECQ, these community enterprises are finding new ways to serve their local communities, particularly skeleton staff workers and residents from barangays Villa Libertad, Barotuan, and Pasadeña.
The Lio E-Lengke online store is now officially open to serve local communities. To learn more about available items, ordering information, and pick-up points, visit facebook.com/LIOELengKe