Out-of-school youth in Tagbilaran City produce bags, wall decors from trash

By: Doris C. Bongcac - CDN Digital | March 19,2023 - 04:33 PM

Some of the wall decors that are now on display at the Gallery Center at the Tagbilaran City Tourism Information Center.

MANDAUE CITY, Cebu — Single use plastic bags, food wrappers, and tarpaulins that we no longer need can still be converted into something useful.

And the beneficiaries of the livelihood program for the out-of-school youth in Tagbilaran City in Bohol province, do not just recycle these trash.  They covert these into lovely bags and colorful wall decors with the help of the hot and cold press machines that were donated by JICA.

Program beneficiaries, who are with the Tagbilaran City Youth Souvenir Manufacturing (TYSM) Souvenir Shop, have been training since last year to produce unique designs while the city government was helping them find materials and a market for their products.

Dice Arcenal, head of the City Tourism Office, said they would also earn a share from the sales of the products that they had designed and manufactured.

Just recently, SM Mall entered into contract with the city for the purchase of 20,000 eco-bags that they would also distribute in their malls.

These are samples of the ecobag produced under the city’s livelihood program for out-of-school youth. | Doris C. Bongcac

“Kato lang sa ang gicommit sa city kay wala pa ta kahibalo, kay gamay ra man pud [ang nagtrabaho ani]. The more nga mas daghan ang makatrabaho, the more daghan ang macommit nato,” she said.

(That will just be the ones that the city will commit because we still do not know how things will go because there are only a few [who work on this]. The more people who will work on these projects, the more that we can also commit.)

In the future, they hoped to also partner with other establishments, especially those located in their city to also help promote their products, Arcenal said.

Aside from making bags and purses, program beneficiaries have also produced various wall decors, one of which was inspired by Mayor Jane Yap.

A wall decor design that was inspired by Mayor Jane Yap. | Doris C. Bongcac

Single Use Plastic

Adelfa Salutan, head of city’s Livelihood and Community Development Unit, said they used tarpaulins and single use plastic or food wrappers for their products.

Program beneficiaries make their own design on the tarpaulin. They then cut the plastics and arrange these according to their design, after which, they make their designs undergo hot press and later on cold press.

The already designed tarpaulins are later on sewn into bags and purses or framed.

| Photo from the TYSM Souvenir Shop FB page


The city’s heat and cold press machines were stored in production areas located in government facilities in Barangays Tiptip and Dampas, Arcenal said.

Salutan said that the 12 hot and cold press machines that the out-of school youth now use were sent to the city earlier for its Plastic Recycling Project for Improving Women’s Income. The  project that was implemented in partnership with JICA lasted for about two years and a half.

The city government under Mayor Yap decided to continue to implement the livelihood program, this time for the out-of-school youth.

Arcenal said that when the program started in 2022, a total of 24 out-of school youths were made to undergo trainings in partnership with TESDA and the academe, among others.  But only 19 of them completed the trainings.

Salutan said that to date, only six of the program beneficiaries remain active.  The others have enrolled at the Tagbilaran City College this semester.

Samples of the ecobags are now on display at the Gallery Center at the City Tourism Information Office. | Doris C. Bongcac

With the livelihood program’s implementation, beneficiaries started to collect used tarpaulins, including those that were used in the May 2022 elections.  They also visited the city’s dumpsite to collect reusable plastics.

Arcenal said that recycling and helping the out-of-school youth was an advocacy that was being promoted under the administration of Mayor Yap.


In order to make the program sustainable, Salutan said she planned to connect with the Solid Waste Management Board and the Bohol Environment Management Office to source more used tarpaulins and plastic bags and food wrappers.

A handbag made from recycled tarpaulin and single use plastic. | Doris C. Bongcac

She also plans to coordinate with the city’s 15 barangays during their respective barangay assemblies in order to tap the assistance of the households.  Doing so would also help in the realization of the city’s “zero plastic waste” campaign.

Salutan said the recyclable materials that they had collected were washed before these were processed. The heat press process takes 30 seconds to complete and another 30 seconds for the cold press.

And to address their need for workers, Salutan said they planned to tap students, especially during the summer break to also avail of the livelihood program.


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TAGS: bags, Cebu Daily News, garbage, Plastic, recycling, Tagbilaran City, tarpaulin
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