Building Community Resilience

Keeping BK Dumandan Afloat Amid the Pandemic

The restriction of movement of non-essential goods and temporary suspension of market hubs compromising the Bantay Komunidad sa Dumandan’s (Community Watch Group in Dumandan) social enterprise takes a toll on its members. But despite the challenges brought upon by the pandemic and lock downs, BK Dumandan members devised a way to turn their situation into an opportunity and to continue making a dignified living.

In late March, they started production of the most in-demand anti-COVID-19 essential good using their remaining inventory: face masks. The members designed and produced washable face masks which were approved by the Negros Oriental Provincial Hospital (NOPH). NOPH made the first order of face masks which were distributed to their medical staff since supplies were hard to come by during the first few months of lock down. Meanwhile local government units in Negros Oriental also procured face masks for their essential workers. Over 2,700 face masks were produced and sold by the enterprise in April and May helping them make a slow recovery. Profits went to distribution of 3 kilos of rice for all members. A bulk order of one thousand doormats was made by a partner market hub in early May after two months of strict ban on transport and nonessential business was lifted, helping the enterprise make its slow but steady recovery. 
However, demand for face masks has significantly diminished as more suppliers joined the market, and returning to regular operations remains a challenge even as community quarantine measures against the pandemic relax urging the members to become proactive looking for other ways to earn and keep the social enterprise afloat.

To support the enterprise's new initiatives, VF is providing the center with additional sewing machines and other raw materials which will fast-track their production capacity and decrease their production time. It is a priority that the enterprise and its members endure this time of health and economic crisis and make a full recovery. Additionally, as a trusted and established institution in Negros Oriental, BK members were selected as recipients of livelihood start-up packages by the Department on Agriculture- Provincial Office and Department of Labor and Employment. The packages are expected to compensate members' loss of income during the lock down period.

Set-up of a small community organic farm is being explored by BK Dumandan as a necessary adjustment to pandemic.
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A BK Dumandan members making face masks and doormats.
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BK Dumandan Updates

01

April 1, 2020

DISTRIBUTION OF PIGLETS TO 10 SELECT BK MEMBERS in partnership with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and Public Employment and Service Office (PESO) Zamboanguita
02

May 1, 2020

EACH BK MEMBER RECEIVED 3 KILOS OF RICE FROM FACE MASK PROFITS
03

May 5, 2020

DISTRIBUTION OF FULLY HARDENED CHICKENS TO BK MEMBERS as part of the livelihood as part of the livelihood package from the Department of Agriculture-Provincial Office. Recipients are expected to return same set of chickens, two roosters and 8 hens, which will then be distributed to others members.
04

May 6, 2020

FIRST DELIVERY OF 1000 PCS OF DOORMATS AFTER THE GOVERNMENT RELAXED QUARANTINE MEASURES
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