Marielle Gelacio used to work as a salesperson for a prominent mall. A mother of two, she earned P350 per day in this line of work.
However, when the restrictions were placed due to the pandemic, she could no longer continue working, thus losing her only source of income.
“Napakahirap po talaga ng sitwasyon po talaga namin kasi po namomoblema po kami sa araw-araw kung saan kami kukuha ng kakainin namin, kung saan kami kukuha ng panggastos once na may magkasakit,” Gelacio said, recalling the hardships she and her family faced during the early days of the pandemic.
(Our situation was really tough, because everyday we would always worry about what we were going to eat, or where we’d find funds in the event someone in the family gets sick.)
With these uncertainties in mind, she decided to invest part of the P10,000 she received on July 18, 2021 from the Sampung Libong Pag-asa program in a small online business selling perfume.
Gelacio used P2,500 to get her business going, then allotted P5,000 to pay their utility bills and P1,500 for groceries and vitamins needed by her two children.
She also managed to give P1,000 in order to kickstart her mother’s balut selling business.
“Hindi na ako nag-aalala kung saan po kami kukuha ng pang araw-araw namin, ” Gelacio said, expressing her gratitude towards the Sampung Libong Pag-asa initiative.
(We don’t worry anymore about where we’ll get our daily needs.)
“Mahirap, pero kakayanin po namin, kasi alam namin nandyan si God at handa siya para gumamit ng mga tao na handang tumulong sa katulad ko na nawalan ng trabaho dahil sa pandemic at naghihirap din dahil sa pandemic, ” she added.
(It’s hard, but I know we’ll make it through because our God is present through the people who help those like me who lost their job because of the pandemic, and are having a hard time because of the pandemic.)
Gelacio’s story was featured in the latest edition of Sampung Libong Pag-asa aired on Wednesday, September 8, 2021, in which former House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano and his allies in the Balik sa Tamang Serbisyo (BTS) sa Kongreso focused on aiding displaced workers in the sales industry such as sales staff, sales clerks, and merchandisers, to name a few.
During the program, Cayetano explained the rationale behind the 10K Ayuda by alluding to the oft-cited quote about teaching a man how to fish.
“‘Wag ninyo akong tanungin lang kung paano kayo magkakaisda, tanungin niyo ko kung paano mangisda… Mahirap i-negosyo ang P1,000… Sa P10,000, nabayaran mo na ang konti mong utang, nakabili ka ng pagkain for one week, meron kang pang-negosyo,” he said.
(Don’t ask me how you will get fish, rather ask me how you can fish…It is hard to start a business with just P1,000… With P10,000, you can not only pay some of your debts, you can even buy food for a week and have enough funds to start a business.)
Launched on May 1, the Sampung Libong Pag-Asa program gives P10,000 in financial assistance to select individuals affected by the pandemic.
The program focuses on various affected sectors each week in order to raise awareness to the general public as well as the government regarding a Filipino family’s need for stable financial assistance in the midst of a global health crisis.
As of writing, over 9,900 families have benefited from the said program, and the number continues to rise.###