In 2013, a community tiger grass farm, also known as Luway, emerged in the hilly area of Odiongan in Sitio Silangan, Barangay Pato-o. Fast forward to 2020, the world was going through tough times because of COVID-19. The people in Pato-o saw they had to think up a different way to earn. Selling their tiger grass proved difficult because there was no one to buy it during the pandemic. So they had an idea: why not make brooms out of tiger grass themselves? They requested assistance from the government because their goal was to become skilled broom makers rather than simply selling tiger grass to consolidators.
In response to the community’s request, the Negosyo Center Odiongan collaborated with the leaders of Barangay Pato-o and Odiongan town officials in 2020 to hold skills training on tiger grass broom making. The following year, in 2021, a skills upgrading training was conducted to further improve their broom-making abilities. And in 2022, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) provided the community with livelihood opportunities in the form of broom handle plastic labeling, which increased the marketability of their product, as well as other manufacturing supplies from the Local Government of Odiongan.
The group sought assistance again in formally establishing an association. They received assistance from the Negosyo Center and were referred to the Odiongan Community Organizing Office to help them register with the Department of Labor and Employment. After officially registering their association, they were accredited by the Sangguiniang Bayan of Odiongan as the Layuning Umunlad na Walang Alinlangang Yumaman Association (LUWAY).
The Local Government of Odiongan and the DTI Negosyo Center have continued to support the LUWAY association since 2023. The LGU built a cluster house that serves as a manufacturing and storage facility, as well as a meeting place for association members to collaborate and share ideas.
The Negosyo Center has been instrumental in the success of the association’s livelihood. Not only were they given capacitation trainings, but also marketing assistance to connect them with their target customers and make the Tiger grass industry more sustainable, with the goal of improving people’s lives in Pato-o by turning adversity into success. The Layuning Umunlad na Walang Alinlangang Yumaman Association exemplifies that when a community works together and people do not give up on their dreams, amazing things can happen through sheer determination.