Thanks to the assistance of the Department of Science and Technology-Technology Application and Promotion Institute (DOST-TAPI), Alan B. Lastimosa and his wife Wellcie, owners of A&S Handcrafted Arts, are confident that they will be able to fulfill their clients’ purchase orders on time.
Their company recently received P618,554 under DOST-TAPI’s Venture Financing Program-Purchase Order Financing Facility which provides funding assistance to qualified Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises for the purchase of raw materials needed to meet their customers’ orders.
This is actually the second time that A&S Handcrafted Arts received such type of financing from DOST-TAPI.
For the first assistance, TAPI provided P804,167.07 to A&S Handcrafted Arts cover the cost of raw materials needed to serve the required Purchase Orders of the company’s clients from United Kingdom.
“Malaking bagay (It’s a big thing for us),” Wellcie said of their first experience with the program. “Ang kalakaran kasi kailangang bayaran muna ang suppliers bago sila magdeliver sa amin. Dahil sa financial assistance na natanggap namin nung 2012, nabili agad namin ang mga materyales at nagawa agad namin ang mga order (We have to pay our suppliers upfront before they deliver. With the financial assistance we received back in 2012, we were able to acquire our materials right away so we were able to immediately produce our goods),” she explained.
The financial assistance provided by TAPI also helped boost the profitability margin of the company by 50 percent and generated an income increase of 15 percent.
In addition, the company was able to develop three more new products and hire additional staff. With a higher production capacity, the company easily met its delivery schedule.
Alan mentioned in the submitted completion report for the project that “the DOST-TAPI PO Financing Project is a laudable one.”
Meanwhile, Wellcie added that compared with getting financing from banks, which they have also tried before, DOST’s program is lighter for small entrepreneurs like them because of the reasonable payment scheme plus the fact that the loan is interest-free.
The couple’s business started out as a manufacturer and exporter of Christmas and Easter decors and other accessories. Later renamed as A&S Handcrafted Arts, the company evolved by creating new lines of design from old crafts using all natural materials portraying ethnicity and exoticness in abaca mache sculptures and figures, lamps, candleholders, votives, vases and other seasonal accessories.
The process of making the laminated abaca mache was developed by Alan himself and had won him awards locally and internationally.
Filipino-owned companies that are involved in manufacturing goods in line with DOST priority sectors namely food processing; furniture; gifts, housewares, and decors; marine and aquatic resources; horticulture and agriculture; metals and engineering; health products and pharmaceuticals; and information communications technology and electronics may avail of TAPI’s Purchase Orders Financing Program. In addition, the proponent must have valid purchase order/s for local and foreign markets.
On the other hand, qualified MSMEs must cover the production and labor costs as well as other expenses. Likewise, they must refund the financial assistance to DOST-TAPI after a specified period and satisfy other requirements.
Alan and Wellcie Lastimosa of A&S Handcrafted Arts Inc. receive Php 618,554 financial assistance from DOST-TAPI represented by Jovito Rey Gonzalez (middle), chief of Investments and Business Operations Division during the MOA Signing/Orientation and Awarding of Check activity held last 11 February 2015. Bottom photos: Sample products in a showroom