Sharing passion for women empowerment


KOTA KINABALU: Sharing the same passion for women’s economic empowerment brought Palawan’s women entrepreneurs and Zara Boutique Hotel’s proprietress Eliza Goh together.

The opportunity for networking came by during the recent Sabah International Exposition (SIE) 2014.

Goh, who espouses women empowerment, has provided employment opportunities for local women, including single mothers, in her all-women managed hotel at Harbour City.

Younger ones have even used the hotel line as a stepping-stone on their path to higher education pursuits after earning enough money.

Back home in Palawan, Eva Valledor is also known for her advocacy of women helping women in the weaving indusry. She is the owner of Binuatan (meaning creations), a company producing woven products such as place mats, table runners, bags, cellphone/passport holders and curtains made from a type of dried grass or fibre from the stem of the palm tree.

“We can produce at least 4,000 to 5,000 place mats in a month. Such mats are highly marketable in Palawan. Right now, I have employed about 70 weavers who are mainly women. It’s an opportunity for mothers and single mothers to earn,” Valledor said.

According to her, a visit to her products showroom is a part of city tour in Puerto Princesa City (capital of Palawan) where tourists drop by to experience the weaving process.

“This is possible through arrangement with tour operators,” she said.

Another entrepreneur who generated jobs for women is Kharla Luneta, the Vice-President of Magnum Air (SkyJet) Inc.

SkyJet Airlines, which is Manila’s Boutique Airline, is a young airline in the Philippines but has already started chartered flights to Taiwan, among other destinations.

“We hope SkyJet will serve the KK-Puerto Princesa City route (previously served by MasWings). More importantly, there is still an opportunity for MasWings and SkyJet to work together,” said Kharla.

While here, the Palawan Tourism Council (PTC) hosted a dinner for about 30 travel agents and tour operators from Sabah in efforts to boost travel between Sabah and Palawan.

President of PTC, Deborah Tan said now that SkyJet Airlines has come into the picture, it could be the solution to the connectivity between Sabah and Palawan.

“We are promoting tourism in Palawan. It will only be possible if there is connectivity so SkyJet is our partner airline to connect Palawan to Sabah,” she added.

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