Having reached its 17th episode on Thursday evening (October 7, 2021), the Sari-saring Pag-asa program has undoubtedly impacted the lives of many Filipinos around the country.
Initiated by Former Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano and his allies in the Balik sa Tamang Serbisyo sa Kongreso (BTS), the program helps sari-sari store owners increase their supplies and income.
Among them is Jessil Cabaya from Mandaluyong City, who had lost her job because of the pandemic and decided to start her own small business.
Chosen as a beneficiary on August 31, 2021, Cabaya’s new source of livelihood can be told through a series of numbers:
- P1,500. This was how much Cabaya used to earn on a daily basis before she was chosen as a beneficiary.
- P2,500. How much she makes in a day now after using the cash aid to boost her stocks. Every month, Cabaya sets aside P500 as her savings.
- P3,500. The amount every beneficiary receives from the Sari-saring Pag-asa program. With the money, Cabaya was able to invest in her store by stocking up on her supplies. She was also able to buy a cellphone, refrigerator, and groceries, and she remits money to her parents.
- 4,136. As of October 7, Sari-saring Pag-asa has reached a total of 4,136 beneficiaries from all over the Philippines. During the latest episode, 75 beneficiaries were chosen. This includes 45 pre-selected beneficiaries (from San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan; Angeles City, Pampanga; and Pilar, Bataan). Another 30 Facebook livestream viewers were also pre-selected as beneficiaries.
Despite the circumstances brought about by the pandemic, Cabaya’s decision to start a sari-sari store and her perseverance has certainly paid off.
“Pag nagsimula kayo, pagpatuloy niyo lang yung pagtitinda kasi babalik naman sa inyo. Tiyaga lang kasi lalaki at lalaki rin yung tindahan niyo. Nang dahil sa tindahan ko, mayroon na akong naipundar na mga gamit, mayroon pong refrigerator,” she said.
(When you start, just keep selling because it will come back to you. Be patient because your store will continue to grow. Because of my store, I already have the things I have set up, I now have a refrigerator.)