Abra entrepreneur now an exporter through gov’t aid

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BANGUED, Abra – A local entrepreneur here is now an exporter, thanks to the technical support program of the government especially the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).

The JB Campol Furniture Shop owned and managed by Mr. and Mrs. John B. Campol,  natives of Brgy. Poblacion, Boliney has gone a long way since it started operation in the early 1980s.

It was started by John’s late father with only two skilled carpenters-carvers from San Vicente, Ilocos Sur and used manual tools such as hacksaw, planer and chisels.

When the elder Campol died in 1987, John was forced to stop schooling and help in its operation using same old manual carpentry tools.

Orders increased and so did the income of the shop. John went back to school and graduated in Bachelor of Science in Commerce major in Management in 1991.

In 1992, John invested additional capitalization of P50,000.00 for the procurement of raw materials and mechanized tools. But the shop experienced rough sailing and, after five years, John stopped operations due to the declaration of a total log ban by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

When the DENR declared a selective log ban and allowed again the transport of wood, John re-opened his shop in 2003 with another start-up capital of P200,000.00.  With the marketing assistance of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the shop regained its momentum and John registered his shop in 2004.

John’s participation in the trade fairs sponsored by the DTI in various malls in the Metropolis such as SM Mega Mall, Mall of Asia, and Alabang Festival Mall gave him exposure in the world market.

Purchase orders increased and in order to cope with the increasing market demand for their products, John sought the technical assistance of the DOST in Abra.  This was in the form of an equipment loan under the Small Enterprises Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP) scheme. As a result, John expanded his business operation, and increased his workers from 10 to 25.

Today, JB Campol Furniture Shop has a standing order of 8,000 pieces of wooden chopping boards of different sizes made of mahogany and acacia for export to Valencia, California, USA.

From its humble beginnings, the JB Campol Furniture is inspiring and worth emulating for other entrepreneurs.

Explaining the SETUP program, DOST-Abra Director Menandro Buenafe emphasized the benefit of a backward link it generates. With the increased business operation of the furniture industry, people in the forested communities are given livelihood by being able to sell their forest trees as sources of raw materials for the wood industry.

Moreover, the sustainability of the furniture industry is strengthened because of the continuing program of tree planting because the forest dwellers are linked up with the seedling producers who supply them with their planting materials.

Consequently, the program also contributes to the national program of the government to address the global problem of climate change.

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