MANILA, Philippines – Faced with polarizing issues and disinformation, several Filipinos have gone above and beyond to cut through the noise, heed the call of their community, and answer with collective action.
This year, Rappler’s civic engagement arm will be bringing back the MovePH Awards to celebrate individuals, organizations, and initiatives that are making a difference.
With the theme “Inspiring movements with impact,” this year’s awards will recognize MovePH Ambassadors who are pushing for change in their field – not just for themselves but also for others.
One ambassador will be chosen from each of the 5 categories of the 2019 MovePH Awards. Exemplifying how communities and businesses can work together, among those being recognized is the MovePH Ambassador for entrepreneurship and social development.
After reviewing more than 70 nominations, we have selected 3 finalists for this year’s MovePH Ambassador for entrepreneurship and social development.
Along with the judges’ scores, part of the criteria for this year’s 2019 MovePH Ambassadors is the community vote, comprising 30% of the overall score.
Now we want to know your top choices, as we open public voting for the finalists until January 10, 2020.
MovePH awardees will be recognized in an awarding ceremony in February 2020.
Meet the Filipinos who inspire courage in their community and seek to move the country forward.
Caramoan, a secluded town at the tail of Camarines Sur in Bicol Region, can rival the beauty of Boracay. However, beneath the surface, much of the region’s once abundant coral has been destroyed by dynamite and cyanide fishing over the past few decades – a practice which continues today, despite its illegality.
Agrabah, founded by CEO Jun Ocol, is advocating to teach the farming community of Caramoan to adapt 3D ocean farming, which uses horizontal ropes on the water’s surface, anchored to hurricane-proof floats, that connect to lines underwater supporting seaweed crops and interspersed with hanging net enclosures to grow scallops and mussels. Clam and oyster cages, also connected to the surface ropes, sit on the seafloor.
This type of farming helps regenerate coral reefs and increase the fish stock in the area. Currently, Agrabah is supporting seaweed farmers of Caramoan, helping the community have sustainable livelihood through a secure market.
Agrabah Ventures empowers Filipino farmers to earn fair and steady profit by fostering connections between farmers and potential partners. Through an online platform, Agrabah allows farmers, fisherfolk and consumers to find each other and make transactions at fair value, thereby solving the problem of unfair market pricing and scarceness of supply.
Agrabah supports over 1,000 seaweed farmers in Bicol region and cut flower farmers in Pampanga and Benguet. It also provides technical training in partnership with the Department of Agriculture and Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources to empower women in farming communities especially to join.
Agrabah is currently raising at least $250,000 to scale their impact. With this amount they can help over 50,000 farmers nationwide.
Crystal Seas is a family-owned company established in 2006. It’s guided by 4 principles, which are to promote Mindanao culture through handwoven and handcrafted products, provide better livelihood opportunities for marginalized communities by partnering with them and developing their skills in handicraft production, introduce the people behind the designs, and pursue these aspirations for the greater glory of God.
Kickstarted in 2006, it has created partnerships with Inaul weavers of Maguindanao, Tboli and Blaan women of South Cotabato, Kalagan women and persons with disabilities, and out-of-school and women groups of Davao City.
Since the Marawi siege, Crystal Seas has promoted Balud, the handwoven textile of the Maranao, catching the eye of exporters and global brand Fitflop as it partnered with Crystal Seas to make bags made of the cloth from Marawi to match their shoes.
This year, it launched another accessories line, Onse, which aims to highlight the 11 tribes of Davao City, and make them co-creators of the designs under the label.
Crystal Seas aims to create a Mindanao brand through its Mindanao-inspired designs, further amplified in a global platform as the products become ambassadors of the people who made them and the place where they came from.
Being from the southern part of the Philippines, Crystal Seas designer Carmaela Alcantara hopes to improve the social enterprise’s marketing activities to let more people know about its communities and its story.
Everything Green Trading and Consulting is the the start-up social enterprise that’s behind Gree-ne-las, environmental-friendly alternative hotel slippers produced by Filipino marginalized communities that aim to contribute to the zero-waste solution.
Gree-ne-las are made from unprocessed abaca “bakbak” or dried abaca leaf sheaths. Camille Duque Albarracin, the founder of Everything Green Trading and Consulting, and her team move to give back to the environment by reducing the carbon footprint through maximizing the use of local resources, and promoting Sustainable Agriculture and Sustainable Forest Management.
They “greenovate” products to bridge it to the mainstream market, particularly the hospitality industry such as hotels, resorts, restaurants, and wellness centers.
They collaborate, co-create, and spark creativity and product innovation among women, persons with disabilities, the youth, indigenous people and other sectors to help with product design and innovation.
Gree-ne-las also prepares them to become “investment-ready’ and find solutions to environmental problems of the community.
Gree-ne-las has impacted the lives of artisans of 32 families from marginalized communities in Bicol including the Kabihug tribe. They aim to reach out to at least 200 more families by 2021.
With this project, they hope to reduce at least 42,000 kilos per month of textile and rubber waste from Boracay and other tourist destinations. Aside from supplying slippers, they also provide a workshop for the staff and management on sustainable and zero-waste hotel operations tailor fit to the set-up and requirements of the place in order to completely understand the philosophy and values of going green.
They hope this project would have a ripple effect not just on hotels but also on the millions of travelers here in the Philippines and the world. – Rappler.com