MANILA, Philippines – A family that lost its source of extra income, gets a second chance.
But instead of a dole out, the family will learn to run its little sari-sari business.
The Salarda family’s second crack at entrepreneurship came when Vice President Leni Robredo visited Navotas for her “Metro Laylayan” livelihood assistance program.
Mara Cepeda reports.
(My two children used to study in college. Only my eldest was able to finish. She graduated from a two-year IT course. My capital ran out because it went to their tuition and projects, because we don’t always have extra money to spare. Even our food, we source the money from our store.)
MARA CEPEDA, REPORTING: The Salarda family lives in this shanty in the middle of Barangay North Bay Boulevard South in Navotas City.
Life is hard for the family of 8, with Allan, the patriarch, only earning P250 to P350 on days he finds work as a dried seafood dealer. His wife Judith earns a little more by making fishball and kikiam.
But there’s a chance to get their Sari-sari store back.
JUDITH SALARDA, NAVOTAS RESIDENT: Kaya po humiling ako sa Bise Presidente Leni Robredo po na magkaroon po sana ako ng puhunan ulit para makapagtinda kasi po para po makapasok po ‘yung 4 ko pong anak na nag-aaral pa po. Para po meron po akong pagkuhanan din po ng pabaon-baon nila araw-araw, kasi po ano eh ‘di po sila nakakapasok kumpleto sa isang linggo kasi walang pamasahe
(That’s why we asked Vice President Leni Robredo if she could give us capital so we could sell again and send our 4 children to school. We need the money for the children’s daily allowance, because they couldn’t complete a week of schooling because they don’t have money to commute.)
MARA CEPEDA, REPORTING: Robredo herself visits the Salardas, who were also given a nebulizer for their child with asthma. The Vice President, however, says the help doesn’t stop there.
LENI ROBREDO, PH VICE PRESIDENT: So ngayon, gusto nating matulungan silang mabuksan uli yung sari-sari store pero hindi puwedeng basta na lang iiwanan ng pera. Dapat may financial literacy. Dapat turuan sila ng tamang pagnenegosyo. Dapat hindi dole out. Merong mga obligasyon na dapat tuparin. Pangalawa, yung siguruhin yung mga anak talaga makapag-aral.
(We want to help them open the sari-sari store but we can’t just leave them with money. There should be financial literacy. We need to teach them how to do business properly. They can’t resort to dole outs. They have obligations to fulfill. Secondly, we need to ensure the children can go to school.)
MARA CEPEDA, REPORTING: The Office of the Vice President partners with various organizations to make this livelihood assistance program possible.
In Navotas, the DAMPI organization helped the Salardas. The local government also provided skills training, a job fair, and even services like zumba, facial treatment, haircut, manicure, and massage to the rest of the barangay.
It’s all consistent with Robredo’s aim to help those in the laylayan or in the fringes of society.
Robredo is expected to tour other less fortunate areas in Metro Manila to provide livelihood assistance to Filipinos. The Vice President’s search for stories of hope continues.
Mara Cepeda, Rappler, Navotas. – Rappler.com