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Feature: Taken out from the Streets

“Mahirap ang buhay namin dati (Our life before was really hard).”

Marjorie Dulag, 41, a mother of four and a member of the Pantawid Pamilya Pilipino Program (4Ps) recounts, when asked how was their life before.

“Nagtitinda kami ng mga gulay sa gilid ng daan at kalsada ng asawa ko, kung minsan sinasama ko yung panganay naming anak. Mahirap kasi lagi kinakabahan na baka mahuli ng pulis dahil wala kaming maayos na pwesto (My husband, eldest child and I used to sell vegetables along the streets and sidewalks. We were always nervous, fearing that the police would arrest us.” she shared.

In 2014, Marjorie was given an opportunity to establish a stable source of income together with her five other co-beneficiaries through the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

“Nang nabigyan kami ng pagkakataon na mamili ng pangkabuhayan ng mga kapwa ko benepisyaryo ,gumawa kami ng proposal at ito naman ay naaprubahan.” (When we were given a chance to choose a livelihood project, we wrote and submitted a proposal that was then approved).”

Using the Php 42,000 loan granted to them by SLP, Marjorie and her co-beneficiaries rented a small space in their neighborhood in Bakakeng Norte, Baguio City and started a sari-sari store wherein they also sold fruits and lowland vegetables. The group also used the money to expand her peanut butter business, which she supplies to pasalubong stores in the city market.

Noong una kapag may sobra akong pera doon lang ako nakakagawa ng kaunting peanut butter, bibebenta ko ito sa mga kakilala ko at kapit bahay. Ngunit noong nabigyan kami ng puhunan sa negosyo at nagkaroon nang kita doon ko na mas pinag-igihan ang pagawa at pagbebenta nito sa mga bilihan ng pasalubong. (Before I only prepare and sell few peanut butters when I have extra money but when we were granted a capital to start a business and had income I then started to produce and sell more peanut butters that I also supplied to pasalubong stores.)

Marjorie remembered the instance wherein realization hit her that they have to stop sidewalk vending and look for other source of income. “Nagmakaawa ako sa pulis, kasama ang anak ko, na ‘wag nalang kunin yung mga binebenta namin. Pero, kinuha parin nila (I pleaded to the police, together with my daughter, to spare the vegetables that we were selling. But they still seized them).”

Marjorie said that she is thankful now that she already has an additional source of income through SLP. “Naalala ko na sabi ng anak ko, Ma, maganda ‘to na hindi na tayo nagtitinda kung saan saan na gilid (I remember one of my children telling me, Ma its good now that we are out of the streets),” she recalled.

Marjorie and her co-beneficiaries have totally payed their SLP loan in 2016, two years after receiving it. “Bago namin kunin ang aming kita hinihiwalay muna namin ang pambayada sa aming loan (Before we get our income we always make sure to separate a certain amount for our loan paymet),” Marjorie said.

“Dahil sa programa napalago ang kabuhayan at nakaimpok kami. Dito ko kinukuha ang pampaaral ng aking mga anak, pang araw-araw na gastusin at pampamedikal na pangangailanag (Because of the program, we were able to increase our income and savings. Income gained are used for my childrens school expense and also for the families daily and medical expenses),” Marjorie explained.

To date, it is only Marjorie and another beneficiary who are running their small business, as the three other members have established other businesses of their own. Now she is earning at least P 7,000 every month. The amount is accumulated from her weekly income of P 1,250 from supplying peanut butters and P 2,000 share net income from their sari-sari store.

Marjorie firmly believes that the loan they recieved gave an additional income for her family which helped provide for their basic needs. She also shared that in order to succeed, you should persevere and invest a lot of efforts. All she dreams is for her family to have their own house, which she is confident that soon it will become a reality. #DSWD-CAR, Social Marketing Unit, Babble Mae Gorio and DSWD-SMS, Information Officer III, Collen Joy Calvar

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