Department of Labor and Employment
April 16, 2022
Nito-weaving sets better economic prospects for young people entangled in child labor
Over the years, the use of nito vine for weaving traditional baskets, hats, trays and jars of different shapes has become an important source of livelihood in the areas of the country where the vine is found.
Nito vine or lygodium circinatum is a plant belonging to the fern family that grows abundantly in many parts of the country. Clinging to trees and rocks, nito is a vine growing as a secondary forest cover mostly in low and medium altitudes.
For some residents in Barangay Napatag in Tangalan, Aklan, nito vine weaving serves as a means to get their children out of child labor and get them where they should be studying school lessons, thanks to the Department of Labor and Employment.
The department extended a total of Php825,000 in livelihood assistance to some parents of child laborers in Barangay Napatag with the goal of augmenting their income and supporting their families and in the process get their respective children out of child labor.
The labor department’s regional office, with the support of barangay officials, initiated the project as an intervention to child labor incidence observed during the profiling conducted by DOLE in 2019 and 2021.
The incidence of child labor prompted the regional office to launch massive information drive on child’s rights and bring about interventions through the DOLE livelihood program to help address poverty in the community that has forced children to engage in hard work.
The parent-beneficiaries were provided with raw material, which is the nito vines, and the tools necessary to get them into nito-weaving.
Aside from the parents of child laborers, 17 other members of the community from the marginalized sector, farmers, senior citizens, and person with disability were also included in the program.
Regional Director Atty. Sixto T. Rodriguez, Jr. believes that the project will provide sustainable income to the families. “Sayang naman ang skills nila pag hindi nagamit. They are seasoned and skilled weavers. With DOLE support, their expertise guarantees sustainability of the project and additional income to their families,” Rodriguez said.
He said that aside from livelihood, the project helps boost the identity of the barangay as well as the province of Aklan in producing native products.
Napatag is one of the 15 barangays in Tangalan that produces nito handicrafts along with other Aklan’s hand-woven products made of locally-grown fibers such as abaca and pineapple leaf.
Rodriguez observed that the trays and plates of various shapes, fruit bowl and, chip and dip made of nito are popular souvenir items for local and foreign tourists.
“They have potential buyers. Aside from providing supply to retail stores and pasalubong centers, they can also supply nito products to major exporters of these products in the province,” noted Aklan Field Office Head Joselito de la Banda, confirming the marketability of the products.
With the steady decline of COVID 19 cases, Boracay and other tourist spots in the region are coming to life again and promise a potential market for the project. ###