DAVAO CITY – Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez officially launched on 27 June 2019 the expanded shared service facility of the Ateneo Shoe Academy (ASA), a shared service facility (SSF) project of DTI-Davao City Field Office in partnership with the Ateneo de Davao University as cooperator to benefit out-of-school youth, persons with disabilities (PWDs), youth in the marginalized communities, as well as other micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the city.

The academy, which is headed by Ateneo de Davao President Fr. Joel Tabora, intends to provide opportunities to the young people, teach them income generating activities, and help them uplift their respective lives and the community they belong.

We believe in the vision of ASA, which is a brainchild project of Davao City Vice Mayor-elect Sebastian Z. Duterte, to help and empower the out-of-school youth and marginalized communities. We wish to bring back their dignity and give them hope that they can succeed too, together with our partners, the young entrepreneurs in fashion, shoes and apparel industry,” said Sec. Lopez.

ASA is also assisted by the Philippine Footwear Federation based in Marikina. Alfie Teodoro, who belongs to the popular shoemaker clan of Ang Tibay, also provided technical assistance to the project.

ASA, a first of its kind in Mindanao, is situated in Barangay Magtuod, Maa, Davao City. The academy compound has two structures: a workshop building where the lectures are conducted and a shoe laboratory where the manufacturing of shoes take place.

While providing living quarters for the students, the academy offers a 10-month shoemaking course that covers training in core competencies of shoe designing and manufacturing. The students are provided with free tuition, tools and materials to be used in their in-house trainings, as well as board and lodging and other related expenses while training.

We want to assure our young and aspiring entrepreneurs, as well as our MSMEs that DTI will continue to support you in terms of technical tools or functional competencies, how to do business, and even financial assistance. We will provide a holistic approach to help you become part of the country’s footwear industry that is globally recognized,” said Sec. Lopez to the beneficiaries.

According to DTI, the project will help to upgrade technologies and enhance existing shoe products in terms of quality and design. It will also support increased production, lower costs, and increase over-all product competitiveness.

The project will likewise develop a new line of business in shoemaking and subsequently tap more opportunities for growth for shoemakers in the Davao Region while nurturing their talents and skills.

The specialized machines provided under the SSF are essential in shoe manufacturing services. These include sole pressing, rib laying, and welt stitching.

The SSF will also cater to other MSMEs in nearby provinces. MSMEs engaged in the manufacture of shoes, leather belts, bags, wallets, and even furniture can avail of the facilities with minimal service fees.

Furthermore, ASA will provide subsidized rates to faculty members, students, and staff of the university and businesses who would like to engage in innovative undertakings that could result in more competitive products.

At the sidelines of the launch, Sec. Lopez also discussed various business and job opportunities with the youth sector in Davao during the Youth Entrepreneurship Program (YEP) Mindanao Roadshow. He cited opportunities in artificial intelligence and the use of modern technology, which the youth sector can explore. He further encouraged the youth to be innovative and start doing business to ride the growth story of the country.♦

Date of Release: 28 June 2019