Sogod weaver wins P500K

Sogod town, Cebu. (Google Maps)
Sogod town, Cebu. (Google Maps)

A FURNITURE maker from the town of Sogod, northern Cebu was hailed as the second grand champion of the Sugbo Negosyo Season 2, an economic assistance and province-wide program of the Cebu Provincial Government.

Merry Rose Pepito, owner of Pepito Handcrafted Furniture, received P500,000 as prize in QR-coded cards during the awarding ceremony held at the Capitol Social Hall last Thursday, Dec. 14, 2023.

After the ceremony, Governor Gwendolyn Garcia announced that due to the program’s success, there will be a Season 3 of Sugbo Negosyo in 2024.

Runners-up

Nicola Enriquez of Bez Acre Farm Products, Toledo City, emerged as the second-place winner; while Shareen Rivera of Whisk and Beyond Cakes and Pastries, Dalaguete, won third. They receive P300,000 and P200,000 worth of vouchers from Capitol, respectively.

The rest of the Top 7 winners will each receive P100,000 as additional capital for their businesses.

To improve her business, Pepito used the QR-coded cards to redeem pre-approved items from partner stores of the Provincial Government such as supermarkets and general merchandise.

Pepito won out of the 35 Medium, Small, and Micro Entrepreneurs (MSMEs) selected from a list of 10,000 beneficiaries of the program who were given an initial capital of P10,000 by the Provincial Government. The financial help came in the form of QR-coded cards that can be redeemed from partner stores.

The first Sugbo Negosyo had around 8,000 beneficiaries.

Aside from the award from Capitol, Pepito was also among 10 winners who received P100,000 and mentorship from the Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) with the support of Provincial Board Members and the Department of Trade and Industries (DTI).

Sogod is home to some of Cebu’s best makers of handcrafted furniture and home decors.

Sugbo News, the Provincial Government’s media arm, reported that Pepito started her business during the Covid-19 pandemic. She was into weaving, taking over her father’s business.

She then continued making sustainable furniture products from indigenous materials, notably rattan.

She started with an initial capital of P800 for a single product — a rattan jar named ‘Padayon’, a Cebuano word meaning to carry on or move forward.

Garcia said with the support of the Cebu Provincial Board, another P100 million in funding will be allocated for the Sugbo Negosyo Season 3.

The Capitol’s micro-business assistance program was first launched at the height of the Co­vid-19 pandemic in 2021.

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