Marikina shoe factory revs up production to meet back-to-school demand  

Published August 17, 2022, 12:47 PM

by Khriscielle Yalao

A shoe manufacturing factory in Marikina City is now producing 400 to 500 black shoes per day to meet the demands in time for the opening of face-to-face classes in public schools this coming Monday, Aug. 22.

A shoe factory in Marikina City doubles its production on Friday, Aug. 12, 2022 due to high demand for black shoes in time for the opening of face-to-face classes on Monday, Aug. 22, 2022. (Noel B. Pabalate / MANILA BULLETIN)

Noel Evangelista, C Point Shoe Factory’s owner and manager, said they are increasing production to replenish their depleting stocks and to prepare for the resumption of on-site classes in all private and public schools on Nov. 2.

“Talaga pong medyo nagkukulang na po kami sa stocks…Nag-exceed po [ang average shoe production target] kasi nadagdagan rin po ang mga bagong customers na nag-avail ng black shoes (Our stocks were not enough…We exceeded (our average shoe production targets) because we had new customers who are availing of black shoes),” Evangelista said in an interview with Manila Bulletin.

Some of their regulars normally refer their brand to other customers, he added.

Evangelista said they were caught unprepared by the announcement of the Department of Education (DepEd) as they thought face-to-face classes would resume in October or November.

But despite this bump in demand, the factory has been able to produce black school shoes.

A shoe factory in Marikina City double their production on Friday, August 12, 2022 due to high demand of black shoes for the opening of face-to-face classes on August 22, 2022. (Noel B. Pabalate / MANILA BULLETIN)

There are 60 to 70 sapateros working in the factory at present but they are not enough for the factory to efficiently return to pre-pandemic production levels.

“Yung iba kasi nag-alisan na po sa sapatos. Napunta sa construction o nagbebenta na lang ng isda. Pero meron kaming mga bago na part-time, additional employees (Some of our previous employees have left the shoe industry. They’ve gone to construction or selling fish. But we do have new part-time, additional employees),” Evangelista said.

To meet the growing demand for school shoes, the sapateros at C Point also work on Sundays, their supposed rest day.

“Ang mga hinahanap po nila [customers] ngayon ay mga bagong design. Ito po ang mga niru-rush namin (Customers are buying shoes with new designs. So we are rushing the production of these),” he said.

A shoe factory in Marikina City double their production on Friday, August 12, 2022 due to high demand of black shoes for the opening of face-to-face classes on August 22, 2022. (Noel B. Pabalate / MANILA BULLETIN)

Pandemic woes

​​​Evangelista admitted the factory suffered during the pandemic as no one was buying shoes.

The crisis urged them to innovate in order for their business to survive.

“Dati po, may mga tindahan kami. Nag-online selling kami at live-selling para maka-cope up. Tapos ang mga tao namin, nagbebenta na rin online para madami pong mabenta (Aside from our physical stores, we also sold items online and did live-selling activities to cope. Our employees also participated in online selling to increase sales),” Evangelista said.

The pandemic did not stop us from manufacturing shoes, he said.

The factory also makes footwear for other uniformed personnel such as the police, security guards, and the fire brigade.

C Point also produces other leather goods such as slippers, sandals for women and men, belts, and bags that help them keep their business afloat amid the pandemic.

Evangelista said the Marikina City local government greatly supported and alleviated the burdens of the shoe industry during the crisis.

They promoted the industry through multiple summer and holiday bazaars in various barangays in the city, gave financial assistance to sapateros, and provided a 50 percent discount for shoe businesses in their business tax payments.

Evangelista said they are eager to return to “business as usual” and are ready to meet the demands under the “new normal.”

“Matagal na po namin hinahantay ito at natutuwa naman po kami na gumalaw na po ulit ang industriya ng sapatos,” he said. (We’ve been waiting for this for a long time and we are happy that the shoe industry is starting to revive.)

 
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