Seamstresses doing their daily routine at Cefekur. (MASASalazar/DOST VI)
Food. Shelter. Clothing. These fab three are the basic needs in quest of survival. Of the three, clothing weaves unique patterns such as designs that endure the test of time.
Truly, Cefekur Garments Industry mastered the nitty-gritty of clothing apparel. From designing to lay outing, sewing, stitching and so on, this success is attributed with distinct influences brought by passion, determination and innovation.
Mrs. Feliciana Valencia, the proud owner of Cefekur, recalled how the business kicked off in 1991.
“We started as sub-contractor with five sewers using an ordinary machine to cope with the embroideries. Some borrowed sewing machines were utilized to produce school uniforms, t-shirts and lab gowns.”
Cefekur owners, Mr. and Mrs. Valencia (left) proudly shares to DOST Secretary Fortunato Dela Peña (2nd from right) their appreciation on DOST SETUP-ISSF project for the enhancement and upgrading of their company’s production process. Also in the photo are DOST-Philippine Textile Research Institute Director Celia Elumba (center) and DOST Region VI Director Rowen R. Gelonga (right). (MASASalazar/DOST VI)
While her husband formed intricate designs, Mrs. Valencia worked closely with the staff ensuring that the products are of utmost quality.
In 1995, they bought an edging machine and sewing machines. Five years later, Mrs. Valencia resigned from her work and helped her husband in managing the business. They began to specialize in sportswear where they supply it during Congressional District Meets.
The company’s products and services include printing, stitching and embroidering garments. Today, the most ample product they make is the sportswear like jerseys and shorts.
“We chose garments in the sense that my husband has a tailoring shop from the family and he has the skills to cope with the design. When Cefekur grew, our customers demanded t-shirts and sports wears until some local government units (LGUs) from the first district and other towns required us to make sports uniform for the Congressional District Sports Association Meet.”
Cefekur have also been through tough times which spell opportunity loss. These range from electricity and machine failure, and poor maintenance. It also experienced difficulty to cope with the volume demand and delayed distribution.
Through word of mouth, the company learned of the various assistances under the Department of Science and Technology – Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP).
DOST approved the company’s request a month after. Under the project entitled “Product and Process Improvement of a Gift and Décor Production Facility for Cefekur Garments Industry”, it sought the enhancement and upgrading of the company’s production process.
The services became possible with the technical assistance on equipment upgrading such as the computer embroidery and industrial sewing machine.
“With regard to the quality that we have, we can compete in the national level. In terms of embroidery, we’re happy to note that it’s computerized and same goes with our industrial machine.”
Through tapping S&T experts and industry practitioners, Cefekeur was able to avail technical consultancy programs on Energy Audit (EA) and Cleaner Production (CPT). These consultancy programs are excellent platforms in advancing scientific solutions that translate to positive socio-economic and industrial impacts.
With the help of these innovations, Cefekur now ensures product quality and efficiency. Added to that are the increased sales, increased volume production and job generation.
This development encouraged the owners to expand their product lines such as personalized gifts and souvenirs. They have caps, mugs and other customized products.
Although there have been numerous businesses in Iloilo, Cefekur Garments Industry stands still as one of the most steadfast in the industry. No doubt, a huge appreciation goes to science and technology for making the business work. (DOSTVI-LMLamasan)