Wendelina Arnado

Sampung Libong Pag-asa

Former zumba instructor sews path to new hope

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In the midst of the pandemic, more and more workers from various industries are out of work or are displaced as restrictions tighten.

Wendelina Arnado used to earn money as a Zumba instructor before the pandemic hit. This was her primary source of income, but she had to give this up due to the restrictions imposed in order to contain COVID-19.

Noong nag-start ang pandemya, na-stop talaga. As in na-zero po talaga kami n’un,” Arnado recalled.

(When the pandemic started, everything stopped and we were back to zero).

It was due to this that she decided to start a small tailoring business after receiving P10,000 in financial assistance through the Sampung Libong Pag-asa program on August 11, 2021, which focused on workers displaced due to the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) which was at its height at the time.

After receiving the amount, Arnado placed P9,000 into the small business by purchasing fabrics and the necessary tools and accessories she needed to start sewing. The remaining P1,000 was used to pay for her family’s daily necessities.

Nabawasan po yung pangamba ko na baka mangyari po ulit sa ‘min y’ung tulad nung unang panahon ng pandemya na hindi namin napaghandaan, na biglang magkakaganon po at nawalan ng income, hindi nakakalabas at ‘di nakakapagtrabaho,” she said.

(Our worries about having to come back to a total zero again like we had experienced during the start of the pandemic lessened if not disappeared).

Arnado now earns a stable income of P2,000 a week as a seamstress, and feels more secure amidst the lockdowns demanded by the pandemic.

Her story was featured in the latest edition of Sampung Libong Pag-asa aired on Friday, September 3, 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 sports industry such as coaches, athletes, and referees.

When asked why his group constantly pushed for the 10K Ayuda, Cayetano reiterated that band-aid solutions will not help Filipino families rise above their means during a pandemic.

Nagawa natin sa Bayanihan 1 ang 10K, two gives nga lang. Gusto natin magbigay ang gobyerno ng 10K sa bawat pamilyang Pilipino, not just for one year, but for three years para maka-bwelo at makaahon sila,” he said.

(We have once proved that it is possible to give P10,000 through Bayanihan 1. We want the government to push for 10K per family not only for a year, but for 3 years so that every family has a chance to recuperate their losses).

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 9,800 families have benefited from the said program, and the number continues to rise.

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