Upcycling raw materials to create Philippine treasures

Friday, December 28, 2018

Ms. Loly Gomez is Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Baguio-based Philippine Treasures, Inc.

 

Way before “upcycling” became a catch word, Loly already had a knack for tinkering with home decorations and objects of art made from indigenous materials, scraps and other things other people see as trash. Her forte, however, is creating Christmas decorations. Loly enjoys experimenting with shards of glass, twigs, and leaves that she turns into ornamental balls, lanterns, garlands, and wreaths.  

“I was recycling at a time when nobody else was doing it,” Loly shares. This passionate craftswoman from Baguio started out her craft as a mere hobby, but she eventually saw its large business potential. It was then when she established Philippine Treasures, Inc. (PTI) back in 1971. PTI is a home-based décor and handicraft enterprise where Loly sits as vice president and chief operating officer.

It was not long before the demand for her decorations rose quickly, and she bagged large contracts from large institutions such as the US military installation Camp John Hay.

 

Partnership with LANDBANK

As her business continued to boom, Loly realized that she needed to take a loan from a bank to augment her working capital. While she was hesitant at first, Loly saw that LANDBANK could help her propel her business to greater heights, and make her own mark in the industry.

“I was getting thousands of orders, and had no capital. I was very naïve about banking and financing, but LANDBANK was very accommodating. Within a month of my application, I got the loan. LANDBANK has never let me down since,” Loly says.

At present, PTI is now exporting to various countries and has around 200 full-time workers. This is supplemented by 300 part-time employees during peak season.

PTI has also grown into a family holdings company, Familia Gomez, Inc., with new ventures in tourism. The family is looking at building a resort and hotel in San Juan, La Union, with 75 accommodations, function rooms, a restaurant and water-fun amenities.

 

Consistent support

As with Loly, LANDBANK remains consistent in its support to microenterprises and SMEs (MSME), which make up around 99% of all businesses in the country.

As of September 2018, LANDBANK’s loans to MSMEs amounted to P140.50 billion, which makes up nearly 20% of the Bank’s loans to its priority sectors. The Bank’s other priority sectors include small farmers and fishers, agrarian reform beneficiaries, agri- and aqua-projects of LGUs and GOCCs, communications, transportation, housing, education, health care, environment-related projects, tourism, and utilities.

LANDBANK today remains the leading provider of financial assistance to MSMEs among GOCCs and government financial institutions.