Year 2000 china made shoes & bags poured in the entire country of the of the Philippines. I was then a bag manufacturer and a shoe retailer. We have 8 stores in Metro Manila and 1 store in Cebu. We sell ladies & children shoes, from 1997 to 2002. Marikina shoe industry was deteriorating. I’m one of the manufacturers working, pursuing & saving the industry. Our Mayor then was Bayani Fernando, who was not able to do anything to uplift the shoe industry. He imposed the increase in business permit for more than 75% forcing the ‘Marikenians’ to transfer their factories to nearby towns like Pasig, Antipolo and San Mateo. Only few manufacturers struggled manufacturing in Marikina. After few years Filipinos found out that China made shoes does not last like the Marikina made. The newly elected Mayor Del de Guzman made a way to encourage shoe manufactures to go back to Marikina again. He encourages us to make durable shoes that can out sell the China made. Durability is the solution to competitiveness. Together with DTI series of seminars were conducted for us to be alive again in the shoe industry. The city government helped us to organized the shoe caravan. We sell our products to different towns in Metro Manila and provinces. Little by little the shoe industry comes to life again. As of this date I still continue to manufacture ladies bags, wallets, & pouches. So far, business has been good to us.
Thank you to Mrs. Myrna Dela Paz for this interview.