Safeguarding The Rights of Local Artisans
In the coastal municipality of Sofronio Española, nestled within the cultural tapestry of Palawan, the endeavors and rights of local artisans have long been overshadowed by a veil of oversight. A void exists in the documentation of initiatives undertaken by various institutions to safeguard and promote the rights of these marginalized craftsmen. This policy recommendation, supported by FNF Philippines, seeks to fill this gap by shedding light on the plight of Palawan artisans. Families from the Barangays of Isumbo, Abo-abo, Panitian and Pulot stand as cultural custodians, passing down traditional skills and contributing to the economy through the creation and sale of handmade products. From mat-weaving to basketry, the diverse array of skills nurtured by these local artisans have persisted despite their struggles to keep their tradition economically sustainable for their families.
This paper proposes a strategic, multi-dimensional approach that spans short-term, medium-term, and long-term goals, involving various sectors to uplift the rights, and economic stability of these local artisans. There is an urgency to address financial and technical assistance, traditional craftsmanship education, and enhanced coordination for artisans' rights protection. Public-private partnerships and collaborations with national government agencies lay the groundwork for long-term development. Proposed medium-term strategies shift towards facilitating access to local financing options and developing markets for artisan products. Simultaneously, cultural actions include expanding support for existing channels and creating databases, similar to initiatives done for the artists in Metro Manila, for the local artisans residing in these rural communities. The long-term objective is to establish a dedicated funding facility, and form institutional linkages for sustained support.
Launching with this policy recommendation, FNF Philippines has produced a short documentary following various generations of mat and basket weavers living in Sofronio Española. This documentary provides a brief look into their lives and the challenges they confront in preserving their livelihoods. Conducting interviews with both local artisans and the municipal government of Sofronio Española, the narrative unfolds to reveal the compelling relationship between the protection of artisan rights and the tourism sector. Through firsthand accounts, this dynamic underscores how providing support towards these communities not only preserves cultural heritage but also contributes to the economic prosperity and identity of the province.
Watch the documentary here:
Download the full paper below.