Linking art and biz through string art

DAVAO CITY – In an artist’s perspective, selling or marketing one’s artworks could be as tedious as conceptualizing an output from scratch. But despite that, Sandie L. Padilla took the challenge by heart.   

Padilla is among the fifth batch graduates of the Kapatid Mentor Me (KMME) program, an initiative of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship (PCE) aiming to guide and mentor entrepreneurs according to their needs, with the help of experts in different fields. This batch graduated last July 18, 2019.   

Padilla, who owns and manages Sandie String Art Design, was hesitant about starting his business when he came back to the Philippines after working in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia for 6 years. However, with his love for the arts and his determination to have a sustainable livelihood, he finally decided to open this venture.    

Padilla, who used to work as a coffee shop barista while still abroad, is armed with the kind of creativity and commitment to come up with something that is unique and eye-catching. The idea of having a business related to using strings to create portraits came into mind while he was busy making remarkable pieces through wire sculptures and coffee bean art during his work breaks. Innovativeness is innate in him, and this became his ticket to discovering his talent in crafting artworks through strings. Who could have thought that the long strips of thread can be used to produce portraits?    

It was a eureka moment for him when he started doing string art, he said that he remembered doing it when he was still in elementary. When asked about his motivation to pursue this, he shared that it is the uniqueness and craftsmanship of string art.  

When Padilla came back to Davao City, he did not pursue his passion for string art right away.  He tried working as a promo-merchandiser in a shopping mall at first, however, he felt that something was telling him to pursue art instead of getting an eight-hour job.    

While navigating on Facebook and checking on anything that got his attention, he came across the official page of Negosyo Center Davao City. Through it, he found out about the different programs and services that the Negosyo Center provides. That was when he realized that it would be great to begin working on his own business.    

“I immediately thought of turning my passion in string art into a business opportunity,” he narrated. From then on, he started attending various training activities, including those on how to run a business, and an orientation on how to avail a micro loan. With his unending interest in business, he enrolled in the KMME program, which provided his foundation as an entrepreneur through different sessions tackling the 10 modules.   

Following his KMME graduation, the Sandie String Art Design started reaping the fruits of his labor, especially that Padilla participated in trade fairs, such as the Mindanao Trade Expo (MTE) and the renowned Manila FAME. This move made him earn between Php15,0000 and Php77,000.    

Despite the struggles he encountered as an entrepreneur, especially with being a newbie and the uniqueness of his concept, Padilla never lost the spark to go on. He is thankful to DTI, too, for walking with him in this journey.    

The pandemic, which has affected business operations, did not stop him as well to continue with what he has started. Innovative as he is, Padilla maximized the social media and other means to widen his network, to sustain the expansion of his market. His untiring efforts resulted in new designs and the establishment of a bigger production area in his house.    

He encouraged other artists to consider getting into business through the craft they love. For him, it is likewise a way to give back to the community where they operate.    

”Ang kita sa abroad kay makita raman sad nimo diri sa Pilipinas basta og maningkamot ra man gyud diay ka (We can still earn here in the Philippines the amount we receive while working abroad if we continue to work hard),” he said.    

It is Padilla’s dream to help the persons with disability and women in several communities in the future. He said he will establish his own gallery or workshop for him to teach them about string art, and earn from it.      

For those interested to buy Padilla’s artworks, he can be contacted at 09665384644 or in his Facebook page, Sandie String Art Design. END

DTI-BPS reinstates mandatory certification of plywood  

MANILA—Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez reported that DTI shall reimpose the mandatory certification of locally manufactured or imported plywood.  This is to assure customers that all plywood products would go through rigorous quality checking.  

“Unfair competition from imported substandard plywood threatens not only public safety, but also the local manufacturing industry, which plays a vital role in the recovery of our economy,” Trade Secretary Lopez said.  

“While consumer safety has always been our priority, this is also our way of protecting legitimate manufacturers and importers, especially during this time of the pandemic,” he added.  

The DTI, through the Bureau of Philippine Standards (BPS), will begin audit/inspection, sampling, and testing of the quality of locally manufactured or imported plywood with the issuance of Department Administrative Order (DAO) No. 20-06, Series of 2020, which prescribes The New Technical Regulation Concerning the Mandatory Product Certification of Plywood effective 30 October 2020.  

“Regulating plywood is part of DTI-BPS’ mandate to establish standards that will ensure the production and distribution of quality products for the safety of the consumers,” the trade chief said.  

Under the DAO, only plywood sourced from plywood manufacturing plants with valid Philippine Standard (PS) Quality Certification Mark Licenses will be permitted to be distributed, sold, and used in the country. The PS Quality Mark Licensing Scheme will be available to both local and foreign manufacturers selling or distributing plywood in the Philippine market.  

The documentary requirements for the application for a PS Licensing Scheme include a duly accomplished form authenticated by the Philippine Consulate, DTI Certificate of Business Name Registration for sole proprietorships, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Certificate of Registration for corporations, the latest Income Tax Return, Quality Management System (QMS) Manual for the product applied for, and an oath of undertaking signed by the applicant.  

Upon confirmation of the completeness and compliance of the documentary requirements, BPS, DTI Regional/Provincial Office (RO/PO) or BPS-recognized auditing body, will conduct a factory and product audit. The PS License will only be issued upon satisfactory result of the factory audit and third-party independent testing. The license will be valid for three (3) years, subject to annual surveillance audits, and can be suspended, withdrawn, or canceled at any time for cause and after due process.  

Monitoring and market surveillance activities will be conducted by the DTI /PO, BPS, or FTEB, following existing BPS Inspection and Sampling Procedures to ensure compliance of the certified products.  

In addition, product testing will be conducted by a BPS-recognized testing laboratory, which will check dimensions and tolerances, classification by surface appearance, mechanical characteristics like tension, shear, compression, and physical properties like moisture, content, and density, among others.  

The minimum required markings for imported or locally manufactured plywood products must be visible and legible at all times. It should include the registered brand name, trademark, business name, country of origin, type of plywood, serial number, and PS Mark with license number for traceability and verification purposes.  

Where covered products fail to conform to the requirements of BPS rules and regulations, an order to show cause will be issued to the company to explain its case.  

If the company’s explanations are deemed not acceptable, the manufacturer or importer will be directed to cease from selling non-conforming products and conduct a full product recall.  

The bureau may suspend, cancel or revoke the PS License, as well as blacklist or sanction any manufacturer, importer, or foreign testing facility found violating any of the provisions of the DAO after due process.  

The trade chief explained that part of the efforts to ensure consumer protection thru Standard conformance is the continuous review and consultations for other critical products such as Steel Sheets for Roofing and General Applications, Ceramic Tiles, Concrete Masonry Units (CMU) or commonly known as “hollow blocks” and Ceramic Plumbing Fixtures (CPF).  

The full list of technical regulations can be accessed through this link:  

SB Corp. to roll out Bayanihan CARES on October 26  

With the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act or Republic Act 11494 signed into law, a P10 billion fund has been allotted to the Small Business Corporation (SBCorp) to expand its COVID-19 Assistance to Restart Enterprises (CARES) Program. Also to be made available under this fund is the CARES for Tourism Rehabilitation and Vitalization of Enterprises and Livelihood (CARES for TRAVEL) Program which is allotted P6 billion out of the total fund.  

SBCorp will start accepting applications for the Bayanihan CARES Program on October 26, 2020 to help MSMEs recover and ensure that workers keep their jobs.  

Based on the guidelines, MSMEs with BIR-filed financial statements for 2018 or 2019 with no major negative credit track record are assured of a loan under the program.  

MSME applicants who cannot submit a BIR-filed FS will just submit their barangay or municipal business permits,  photos or videos of business assets, and proof of sales for certain loan sizes.  

Loan amount to be granted will be based on the MSME applicant’s asset size and annual sales. However, additional limits to the loan size will be observed to ensure more MSMEs will benefit from the program.  

Loans will have a one-time front-end service fee ranging from 4% to 8% depending on the number of years the applicant will pay.  

Loan term can be up to four years and grace period up to six months. Certain industries such as tourism can be granted a longer grace period of up to 12 months.  

Bayanihan CARES applications may be submitted through the SB Corp’s online loan application system at starting Monday, October 26, 2020.