UP ISSI, DANA Asia Collaborate to Develop Eco-store Business Model

UP ISSI, DANA Asia Collaborate to Develop Eco-store Business Model
(Clockwise from bottom right) Ms. Lotti Fraser, Dir. Melanie M. Moraga-Leaño, Mr. Joshua Garcia, Leo Alforte, Mr. Reynold Manegdeg, Ms. Karen Kay Bravo-Coballes and Mr. Uziel Guthrie Naguit pose for a photo after the partnership signing ceremony

The University of the Philippines Institute for Small-Scale Industries (UP ISSI) and DANA Asia have teamed up to enhance the business model of the ALPAS Community Housing eco-store pilot project. On April 20, 2023, both organizations signed a partnership agreement at the Virata Hall in UP Diliman, Quezon City, to mark the beginning of this collaboration.

The agreement was signed by DANA Asia’s Director of Programs, Ms. Lotti Fraser, on behalf of their CEO, Duncan Power, and UP ISSI Dir. Melanie M. Moraga-Leaño. 

The signing was witnessed by key individuals who will be taking on critical roles in the intervention project. Among those present were Mr. Leo Alforte, who will be serving as DANA Asia’s program coordinator, Mr. Reynold Ferdinand G. Manegdeg, who will act as the program adviser, Ms. Karen Kay C. Bravo-Coballes, who will serve as the project manager, and project management team members Mr. Joshua V. Garcia and Mr. Uziel Guthrie D. Naguit.

About the ALPAS Ecostore

The eco-store is situated at the Aniban ng Lehitimong Paninirahan ng Ligtas sa Sakuna (ALPAS) Community Housing Project in San Jose Del Monte City, Bulacan. It provides shelter for over 500 households that have been relocated from waterways and high-risk areas in Caloocan City.

On October 18, 2022, the community launched an eco-store venture with the assistance of DANA Asia, creating job opportunities for its members and advocating zero waste. The eco-store, which is operated and managed by the community cooperative, serves as a refilling station for household essentials like coffee, rice, and sugar.

By emphasizing the use of refillable containers, this initiative aims to significantly reduce plastic usage in the community and encourage residents to adopt more environmentally friendly consumption practices. Additionally, the store aims to provide more affordable yet high-quality products compared to those commonly found in sari-sari stores.

The UP ISSI and DANA Asia intervention program will be carried out in three phases. The first phase involves assessing the progress made by the pilot eco-store venture. In the second phase, the program team will propose strategic adjustments to the business model to ensure its sustainability. The last phase will provide a three-month mentorship program for ALPAS members operating the eco-store, equipping them with the necessary skills and knowledge for continuous success.

The project management team will be conducting enterprise and community visits at ALPAS starting May 2023.

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