|Photo shows the tarpaulin which attracts customers with the SMKI red-orange logo.|
Near the corner of P. Torres and Obviar streets in the commercial district of Lipa City, Batangas is the SMK Canteen, a livelihood project of Samahan ng mga Manggagawa Kababaihan, Inc. (SMKI).
The SMKI is an organization of 25 former factory workers from various companies in Batangas, was a recipient of P 143,247.00 grant requested to operate a canteen project under the DOLE Livelihood Program.
Operation of the canteen has just started but logs an average of two thousand pesos sales daily, an amount which could easily cover for it’s rental. The canteen has a stay-in cook, a spouse of one of the members. The members take turns in manning the canteen which operates from Monday to Saturday.
|Two on-duty SMKI members at the entrance of the canteen. Organization’s logo are pinned on their shirt and apron.|
SMKI leadership saw a growing number of canteen customers in their daily operation. Ms. Grace Santos, the project management team leader, said their group will meet monthly to discuss developmental concerns.
The SMKI has gone through a lot of challenges. Initially, the project was proposed to be near a jeepney station in San Juan, Batangas where target customers are commuters and jeepney drivers and operators.
The target location was sold to a real estate developer prompting them to scout for a better location. From a list of alternative locations, they were able to select and sign a contract with the owner of their present location – a prime location in the heart of Lipa City.
The SMKI, which used to be registered with DOLE Batangas Provincial Office, is now also registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
By: Guido R. Recio
Sr. LEO, DOLE Batangas