Kalinga- Nowadays, many people dream of becoming entrepreneurs. However, launching and maintaining a business is never easy. Some people succeed while others don’t, especially for people who have no experience or enough money to maintain such.

Generally, success for poor and amateur entrepreneurs is vague. But a Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program beneficiary proved that poverty and inexperience could not hinder someone with passion and determination to achieve triumph.

35 year-old Ronalyne P. Salicanto reminisced how her family struggled to sustain the everyday needs of her four children.

Her husband, Juniper is a jeepney driver. However, Juniper gets to drive for only twice a week. On other days, he works as laborer in construction sites. But this comes very rarely so Juniper accepts any job opportunity that comes for him to be able to set off for the days that he has no work.

To lighten the burden of her husband as their bread winner, Ronalyne set-up a small sari-sari store in their house. She also decided to take care of pigs while looking after their children.

However, even with the dedication and hard work of Ronalyne and Juniper, their income is still not enough to provide for their family, especially that two of their children are already attending school.

In 2008, Ronalyne’s family was qualified to be included in the first set of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program.

The Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program or the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) in the Philippines is a poverty alleviation measure of the government that focuses on human capital investment in the poorest of the poor households in the country. It is a developmental program that provides cash to poor households based on their compliance with the program’s condition on health and education.

Ronalyne acknowledged the great contribution of the program in her family’s welfare. “Nabawasan ang iniisip kong problema lalo na sa  kinabukasan ng mga anak ko,” she emphasized.

Accordingly, the program enriched the couple’s knowledge on responsible parenthood and familial bond as they were guided by the lessons taught in the Family Development Sessions, which the beneficiary attends monthly. “Mas masaya ang pagsasama namin ngayon bilang pamilya kasi nalaman naming mag-asawa iyong mga kailangan namin. Hindi lamang ang kahalagahan ng pera pati na rin iyong kahalagahan ng pag-uunawaan at pagpapahalaga sa isa’t isa.”

Woman behind the Success

Ronalyne confessed that she earned a degree in commerce but due to lack of opportunities, they remained poor. So when chance knocked on her door, she did everything not to let this go.

In 2012, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) through its Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP)opened an opportunity for Ronalyne. She was granted a capital assistance loan amounting to seven thousand pesos (P7, 000.00) to expand her sari-sari store and piggery.

She used the money in purchasing additional products for her sari-sari store. She also purchased three native piglets and feeds.

Aside from the financial assistance, Ronalyne underwent various capability building activities provided by the SLP to enhance her knowledge as a Commerce graduate to further improve her skills in managing her small business.

Ronalyne’s education allowed her to manage her finances especially the capital assistance she received from the SLP. She also used her own “diskarte” to make most out of her business.
To save money, she utilizes the available resources in her community. She feeds her pigs edible plants as substitute for commercially produced hog growers. She also prioritizes and purchases things that they really need. She often saves money from her income for emergency purposes and to supplement her capital in her business.

SLP staff and local social welfare officers see Ronalyne as a smart and responsible entrepreneur. She always pays her dues on time. Her attitude towards business and life has helped her make the small business into a successful income generating activity for her family.

On March 2013, her small sari-sari store expanded. She built a new shop which is now located near the road for easier access to her patrons. Ronalyne now sells rice and animal food which is sold either per sack or per kilo and others like biscuits, canned goods and many other items that she finds necessary to her consumers.

Ronalyne is now a successful entrepreneur while she also plays the role of a loving and caring mother to her family.

“Binigyan akong DSWD ng oportunidad hindi lang para magamit ang pinag-aralan ko, pero binigyan din nila akong pagkakataon para mabago ang buhay ng mga anak ko at ng pamily ako,” Ronalyne said.

“Basta maging masipag at matipid lang, may maabot ka rin sa buhay. Matuto kang i-appreciate at alagaan yung mga blessings na dumarating saiyo”, Ronalyne shared her advice to her fellow beneficiaries.

Ronalyne might not totally believe how she turned her life into an inspiring story, but for her community and her family, she is a living testimony that anybody can be successful. #DSWD-CAR Social Marketing Unit with reports from Ivy Jane Velano, SLP

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