A memorandum of agreement on the convergence initiative among PhilFIDA, DTI, DOLE, DOST and the City Government of Zamboanga was signed early this year to support the development of the industry for “TEPOH”, a Badjao term for mat weaving.  

The convergence program specifically focuses on the establishment and promotion of the “TEPOH” industry for the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP’s) brought about by the crisis in Zamboanga City. The program intends to make the weaving industry a sustainable livelihood activity for the Bajao women and their families who are part of the IDP’s. 

Under the program, the PhilFIDA is responsible in the establishment and development of three (3) hectares pandan farm and the provision of technical assistance to farm workers on the cultural management of pandan.  The agency, through its region IX office, will provide the leaves to the Bajao Women for the production of pandan mats while the establishment of pandan farm is still on-going. PhilFIDA will likewise extend technical assistance to the Bajao women in the harvesting/processing of pandan leaves for mat weaving and other products that can also be commercialized. 

The following are the initial activities undertaken under the program:

  1. Conducted training-demo on mat weaving last June 10-11, 2014 at the IDPs Transitory Site, Masipla, Mampang, Zamboanga City, with 44 Bajao women as participants. This was conducted through the assistance of DA Region IX under their Gender and Development (GAD) Program during the “Bajao Women and Elders Convention”.
  2. Provided six thousand pieces of pandan leaves, funded by the DOLE IX, during the conduct of a training cum production (actual weaving) of pandan mats to about 40 women at IDPs Transitory Site, Masipla, Mampang, Zamboanga City last September 15-19, 2014.
  3. Conducted site selection for the establishment of three (3) hectares pandan farm in Barangay Talisayan, east of Zamboanga City.

The PhilFIDA, DOST and DTI will work together in providing assistance to the Badjao women on pandan production and weaving and other activities such as product development and conversion and marketing of their goods. Next year, the convergence program will conduct training on basic and advance dyeing of pandan leaves and more hands-on trainings on the processing of harvested leaves. 


 Demo on Pandan (Tepoh) Mat Weaving during the 
Bajao Women & Elders Convention 

(Sponsored by DA RFU-9)


 Hon. Alianagan, Mampang Brgy. Captain delivers his message to the
 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) Bajao women.


IDPs during the training using semi-processed pandan leaves sourced from DOLE-TESDA IX